Cameroon’s “Bean Sharer”
After learning about the benefits of improved bean varieties, one woman has singlehandedly taken up the challenge of distributing beans across her community.
Magdalene Atungsiri is a farmer and retired research technician with Cameroon’s Agricultural Research Institute for Development (IRAD). She has a lifelong passion for agriculture, growing cassava, taro, maize, and other vegetables for her family. In 2016, after attending an agricultural training course, she began trialing improved bean varieties developed by the Pan-Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) and the Alliance.
Bred to be high-yielding, nutritious, and resistant to pests and diseases, these varieties are also favored for their taste. Farmers use nicknames like “beef” and “Maggi cube” to describe varieties so flavorful that they can be cooked without adding salt or seasoning. This is one reason why, she says, “The demand for these different varieties has been increasing, both for grains and seeds.”