Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, November 10, 2014

The nutritional benefits of new high-iron beans song

10 November 2014. KIGALI, Rwanda. Rwanda’s top musicians are promoting better nutrition and health through a catchy new music video. The song extols the nutritional benefits of new high-iron beans that are now available in Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda. Almost 40 percent of children in Rwanda do not get enough iron in their diets. In severe cases, this can lower their IQs and learning capacity, resistance to disease, and energy levels. Beans are a traditional staple food and eaten every day. These new iron beans contain 15 percent more iron than ordinary beans, and can provide women and children with almost half their daily iron needs. They also yield twice the harvest of ordinary beans, increasing incomes for farmers.


More than 700,000 Rwandan farmers are growing and eating these nutritious beans, first released by the Rwandan Government in 2011.
"We’ve had tremendous success so far in getting these beans out, but we wanted to reach a much wider audience across the country,” said Lister Katsvairo, who heads the Rwanda Office of HarvestPlus, a global program to improve nutrition. 
"These iron beans are now making their way into urban markets, so we are launching a campaign to increase consumer awareness. We worked with Rwanda’s top musicians, who cater to all musical tastes including Afro-pop, rap and RandB. Who better to spread this message of how beans can improve nutrition and health?".
The campaign has taken musicians King James, Miss Jojo, Riderman, Tom Close, and Urban Boyzon a series of roadshows across the country where they have performed live for more than 30,000 people. The road shows included exhibitions and sales of iron bean seeds.

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