By Prossy Nandutu
Although beans have higher returns as explained above, they still face challenges such as Bean rust which attacks leaves, stems and pods of bean plants of which excessive infection leads to death of plant, Downy mildew, Leaf and pod spot, anthracnose which is a fungal disease that typically causes dark lesions on leaves.
To control the disease, Dr Pamela Paparu, a plant pathologist from the National Crop Resources Research Institute advises farmers to control pests and diseases looking out for resistant seed.
Farmers should look out for disease free seed, like buying new seed.
Farmers should also plant early, to take advantage of rains, because too little rain affects plant growth, while too much destroys bean plants. Also planting early reduces the survival of pests and diseases
In case drought related conditions, she advises that farmers should go for short or early maturing plants, but also look out for drought tolerant varieties in addition to practicing irrigation.