For many hungry subsistence farmers Jack beans are proving essential!
In several SSA countries they are being grown by hundreds of farmers as they not only fertilise the soil but can provide food when there is nothing else!
Perhaps even more importantly they will provide some income when harvested!
Later other crops will be grown.
Hi, Graham. I think it would be very helpful if you could share details on the stage of harvest for the jack beans, the cooking time and any other key food preparation steps these farmers are carrying out. I say this as someone who once endured some violent vomiting after eating mature jackbeans that had been boiled for a while. But, how long the boiling was—I don’t know. I do know that jackbeans proved that they could endure 6 month dry seasons in northern Belize and they did give a fertility response in succeeding corn crops.
Our 1000+ subsistence farmers have yet to harvest their JB crop.
But one group, who were starving, decided to cook some that had been bought for sowing.
The result was so awful that they threw it away!
If you look around the ECHO website you will discover that JB have been germinated for tests done for USAid in Mozambique and shown they can be"delicious"!.
Here is the link to the original Feed the Future & USAID doc that describes the detoxification process. The EDN article by Dawn Berkelaar is a summary of this document and shares photos of the detoxification process (through germination then boiling) we replicated here at ECHO, FL.
That’s a great question regarding getting sick. To keep this simple, jack beans are a legume. All legumes have a protein called tripense inhibitor. This reduces the biological activity by controlling the activation and catalytic reactions of this protein which interferes with naturally digestion process. Thus may people get sick from not properly cooking legumes all over the world. Education is needed to ensure these high protein crops can be consumed safely.
Further information on jack beans being utilized in Africa can be read in this link here. It also discusses how to prepare them properly and safely for human consumption.
Finally, thank you Graham for being continuing the clamor for small-scale farmers to use jack beans.
It seems little recognized that by sowing Jack beans small farmers can start their own agro-ecology!
It overcomes many of the problems found with the usual CA techniques and can deter wandering animals so often found in SSA countries.
Yes! Jack bean grows very well in heavy rain, and prefers hot, humid climates. But it also does with as little as 600mm of rain over it’s growing season. Here is some data from research done by the ECHO Asia team in several countries in the region.
Here is a graph of the monthly rainfall at each of five trial sites (countries) where legumes were evaluated.
And here is a bar graph of the dry matter production (metric tonnes/hectare) for legumes trialed in each of five countries. Jack bean is the blue bar for each of the countries.
Greetings from Malawi.Ruraleducation is a Non Governmental Organisation and works on sustainable Agriculture with small holder farmers we would want to partner you and grow jack beans
Please let me know on how we can achieve this
We are a Non Governmental Organisation in Malawi.and supports small holder farmers .We would want to partner you on the beans project we are new here we dont know how we can go about the project
Please share us more on email@example.com or else firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to hearing from you
ECHO’s global seed bank can be found here. You can order seeds on this page. ECHO is not a seed supplier. Our seed bank offers trial packet of seeds for you to plant and assess for your specific context. If you need bulk seed, contact local agrodealers orr seed suppliers.