Fighting poverty: Impact of improved faba bean technologies in Africa
Faba bean is a key crop and a major source of dietary protein throughout North and North-east Africa. Demand is growing, fuelled by rapid population growth, and the gap between supply and demand continues to increase. Production is insufficient because crop yields are low, in turn because farmers grow varieties that are susceptible to plant diseases, insect pests, drought and high summer temperatures. In 2003, ICARDA launched an IFAD-funded project, Technology Generation and Dissemination for the Sustainable Production of Cereals and Cool-season Food Legumes. Scientists worked with farming communities, government research and extension agencies, universities and NGOs in four countries – Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan and Yemen – to identify, test and promote a range of new technologies for various crops, including faba bean. The project concluded in 2005. Has the project made a difference? To find out, ICARDA and national research centers in each country jointly conducted a series of studies aiming to: • Assess the adoption of improved technologies; • Identify technical, socioeconomic, and policy constraints that hinder the adoption of new agricultural technologies in order to draw lessons for the future; • Assess the impacts (crop yields, food security, income, poverty) on rural households; Here we summarize the impact assessment for faba bean technologies in Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan. The analysis is based on data collected from 587 households surveyed using stratified sampling and a formal questionnaire. Results for other crops are described in other titles in the Impact Brief series.