Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA)

Established by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in 1996, the Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) works with the whole range of actors involved in producing beans – one of the most actively traded commodities in Africa – to provide better beans for Africa.

Better beans for Africa

PABRA is made up of an international network of bean researchers, 29 national agricultural research institutions, and more than 350 partner organizations. As a result of PABRA’s interventions, more farming families have access to improved and marketable bean varieties, new crop management techniques, micronutrient rich bean-based products, niche market varieties and products, and bean related skills and knowledge that help to increase incomes and boost food and nutrition security.

What we do

PABRA works in partnership with farmers, rural communities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), traders and other private sector organizations to improve each aspect of the bean value chain, from production to market, using a market-led approach.

The promise of beans

Common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are an important staple food for more than 200 million Africans. Not only are they affordable, they provide a healthy mix of protein, complex carbohydrates and valuable micronutrients. Moreover, they improve soil fertility and are a significant and growing source of income for rural households.

How we do it: Partnerships for innovative agricultural research

Through joint priority-setting and planning, and agreed division of responsibilities, PABRA generates improved bean technologies on a much larger scale. This means, for example, that a new bean variety developed in one country is shared with countries that don’t have active breeding programs. They then test its suitability and adaptability, and release it, enabling a greater impact across Africa.


Integrated crop management


Seed systems


Linking farmers to markets

Our impact

Over 550 new bean varieties released by PABRA member countries with CIAT assistance across Africa since 1996

Scientists have identified beans that can beat the heat and perform well under at least 3 °C higher average temperatures

Climbing beans yielding three times more than the familiar bush type provide an especially eco-efficient solution for densely populated, land-scarce places like Rwanda, Burundi, and western Kenya

Specially-bred, high-iron beans have reduced iron deficiency and anaemia in young women in Rwanda

Research updates

beans | CIAT Blog Science to Cultivate Change



Latest publications

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