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Home News New Bean Varieties To Fight Iron and Zinc Deficiencies

New Bean Varieties To Fight Iron and Zinc Deficiencies

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Prossy Nandudu

Scientists at the National Crop Resources Research institute have developed two bean seed varieties that are rich in iron and zinc. The aim is to address the increasing rate of iron deficiencies among children from 6 months to 5 years and also women of child bearing age.

The beans named NARO Bean 6 and NARO Bean7 can be accessed by farmers through seed companies accredited by the National Agriculture Research Organization. Such seed companies include Pearl seeds, Equator seed, Naseco seed company, Sayova among others.

This was revealed by Dr Stanley Nkalubo, head of bean breeding program at National Crop Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) on Wednesday last week while receiving an award for outstanding breeder at Kabira Country club.

The Awarding ceremony was organized by the NARO to recognize their research scientists, who also were awarded royalties from their varieties that have been commercialized by seed companies.

The new beans will also address growing concerns of malnutrition across the country, with only 15 per cent of 6-month to 2-year-old children in Uganda consuming the minimum acceptable diet, as measured, added Nelly Birungi, Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF Uganda.

A recent report by UNICEF “Undernourished and Overlooked: A Global Nutrition Crisis in Adolescent Girls and Women” indicates that  malnutrition especially among pregnant women and adolescents heightens the risk of maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity, low birth weight babies, impeded growth, impaired cognitive development, which all often translates to an intergenerational cycle of malnutrition,”.

This has led to a call for nutrition and food security mainstreaming in the second budget call circular on finalization of the budget estimates for the financial year 2023/2024, issued on 15 February 2023.

The circular urges the Sub-Programs of Health, Agriculture, Water, Education, Social Development and Trade to identify and implement measures to mitigate against food (in)security and under-nutrition, specifically maternal and child under-nutrition which is the leading cause of stunting today.

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