Beans were introduced to Africa from Latin America several centuries ago. Beans are the main source of protein. Common beans are mainly grown by women for subsistence and for the local market.



Varieties Rose coco (GLP2) – Widely adaptable

Red Haricot (GLP 1004) – Suitable for high rainfall areas

KK8, KK22, KK20, KK15 – High Altitude. Tolerant to root rot

Mwitemania (GLP X92)

Wairimu Dwarf (Torelant to heat)

KAT X69, KAT X56, KAT X16, KAT/B-9 for low altitude

Seed Rate Use 90kg/hectare for when planted alone and 45kg/hectare when intercropped
Fertilizer Rate Apply 20tons/ha of farm yard manure or 70kg Phosphate/ha (planted alone) also N may be applied planting 25kg N (planted alone) or 20 kg N (intercopped)
Planting Spacing Apply 45cm x 10cm (When planted alone) and 75cm x 30cm (while intercropped). Plant population densities are 150,000 – 200,000 plants/ha
Husbandry Application of good compost in the beds will improve yields as it will improve nitrogen fixation. Avoid planting beans near cowpea, soybean and many other leguminous crops, that may be the source of bean flies. The first weeding should be done 2-3 weeks after emergence followed by a second weeding 2-3 weeks later. Cultivate while dry to avoid spread of soil-borne diseases. If irrigated, its preferable overhead irrigation over flood irrigation. You can intercropping with other food crops, such as maize, potatoes, celery and cucumber. Intercropping with chives or garlic helps repel aphids.
Pest & Diseases Pest Name Symptoms Control
  Bean fly

Fusarium root rot

Yellowing of leaves at early stage.

Yellowing of plant and eventual death

Early planting

Removal of plant residual

Crop rotation

Planting resistant varieties

Expected Duration from Planting to Harvesting 2 – 3.5 months
Climatic Conditions Beans grow within a range of temperatures of 17.5-27°C and altitudes of between 600 – 1950 m. They are sensitive to night frost. A well-distributed rainfall of 300-400 mm per crop cycle is required but dry weather during harvest is essential. Suitable soil range from light to moderately heavy soils with near-neutral Ph and good drainage.
Harvesting Dry beans are harvested when the pods (roughly 80%) are mature and have turned yellow. To harvest, pull the entire plants , dry it further then thresh. After threshing the beans are further sun dried to 12 % moisture then stored.
Post Harvest and Storage Solar dry the bean seeds. Put ash or pesticide to control weevils. Store completely dry seeds in a sealed air-tight containers.
Growing Regions  
Expected yields 1-2.8 tons per hectare


Processing Beans are used for human consumption. They are rarely processed

Some millers use it to make supplement flour.


Place Beans are usually consumed locally. There are intermediaries that buy at farm gate and markets and sell to consumers and other retailers.
Price The price varies between Kshs. 4900 to and kshs 8500 per 90 kg bag. It all depends on the season, region and its availability.


Products / By Products Beans is mostly used as food.
Nutritional value – per 100 g / % Daily Values Energy 337 / 17%; Carbohydrates 61.3 / 20%; Fat 1.1 / 2%; Protein 22.5 / 45%; 83.0 / 8%; Phosphorus 406 / 41%; Iron 6.7 / 37%; Pottasium 1359 / 39%; Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.6 / 41%; Riboflavin 0.2 / 13%;




Income Per Hectare: Kshs 55,000 (1000kgs * 55/-).

Cost per Hectare: Kshs. 11,000 (20% of Income).

NET    Kshs. 44,000 (80% of Income).

Break Even Yield (Where Cost=Income) = 3 bags per hectare.

Income Frequency: Twice for Rainfed. Thrice for Irrigation.

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