French Bean Farming

French Bean Farming

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INTRODUCTION

Green beans, also known as French beans (British English), string beans in the northeastern and western United States, snap beans or squeaky beans, are the unripe fruit of specific cultivated varieties of the common bean. French beans are the immature green pods of P. vulgaris and are primarily grown for export market to European Union and elite local urban markets in East Africa.

PRODUCTION

Varieties Monel Long varieties, Alexander, Samantha, Tanya, Paulista, Julia, Emelia, Pekera, Gloria
Seed Rate 60kg/ha
Fertilizer Rate 200kg/ha DAP200kg/ha CAN topdressing beginning of flowering
Planting Spacing 30cm by 15cm with plant population of 222,222 plants per hectare
Husbandry Beans are comparatively light feeders and require as a guide line about 25-35 kg P/ ha (equivalent to 1-2 bags of Mijingu rock phosphate/ha) and 75-80 kg K/ha. Like all legumes, beans are able to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, so do not require nitrogen fertilisation. Timely and thorough weeding is essential for French beans. The first weeding should be done 2-3 weeks after emergence followed by a second weeding 2-3 weeks later. During weeding slight ridging of plants will help bean plants withstand attack of bean flies.
Pest & Diseases Pest Name Symptoms Control
Bean fly Seedling ate yellow stunted wilted and many dieAffected stems thicken and usually crack just above the soil level.

Brown to black pupae or pupal feases observed

Use certified seed spray with either DimethoateDiazinon or fenitrothion
Bean Aphid Soft black insects found in clutters round stems young shoots pods and on the underside of ten opened or distorted and yellow.

Brown lesion on pads and stem.

Spray with dimethoateDiazinon
Anthracnose Brown spots on leaves. Use resistant varieties spray with Benomy Mancozeb and fungicides seed dress with Captan.
Rust Red brown (Pustoles) (Pimples) on leaves and pods Destroy crop residues spray with copper fungicide
Bacterial blight Brown water socked lession on the pods occasionallyAccompanied by a hole it is seed borne Crop rotationField hygiene

Spray with Cooper oxychloride

Expected Duration from Planting to Harvesting 2 months
Climatic Conditions The optimum temperature is 20-25°C, Extreme temperatures result in poor flower development and pod set. However, French beans mature faster in warmer areas. Grown between 1000 and 2100 metres above sea level. Rainfed cultivation is possible in areas with well distributed, medium to high annual rainfall (900-1200 mm) but in dry season, irrigation is essential on 50 mm of water per week through furrow or overhead irrigation. French beans grow best on well drained, silty loams to heavy clay soils high in organic matter with pH 5.5-6.5.
Harvesting French beans are harvested before the pods are fully-grown. Harvest starts 7-8 weeks after sowing in early cultivars. Pods should be picked every 2-3 days, and the number of pickings is greater in climbing than in bushy cultivars.
Post Harvest and Storage After harvesting, the pods are sorted and graded and packaged for the market. On transit, they are mostly stored in cold rooms.
Growing Regions Mwea, Taita Taveta, Sagana, Matuu, Kirinyaga, Thika and other areas around Mount Kenya
Expected yields Up to 10 ton/ha

PROCESSING

Processing Processing is by cutting, canning and then frozing.

MARKETING

Place They are marketed canned, frozen, and fresh locally and internationally.
Price Kshs 60 per kg

CONSUMPTION

Products & Use Green beans are often steamed, boiled, stir-fried, or baked in casseroles.
Nutritional value – per 100 g / % Daily Values Energy ; Carbohydrates ; Fat ; Protein ; Phosphorus ; Iron ; Pottasium  ; Thiamine (vit. B1) ; Riboflavin ;

FACTS & FIGURES

Over 130 varieties of green/french beans are known.A dish with green beans popular throughout the United States, particularly at Thanksgiving, is green bean casserole, which consists of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and French fried onions.

BUSINESS CASE

Income Per Hectare: Kshs 600,000 (10,000kgs * 60/-)Cost per Hectare: Kshs. 300,000 (50% of Income).

NET:    Kshs. 300,000 (50% of Income).

Break Even Yield (Where Cost=Income): = 5000 kgs per hectare.

Income Frequency: Thrice per year under irrigation.