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Bean Farming in Kenya | 2023



A variety of bean types grown Using the Best Bean Fertilizer in Kenya

Beans farming in Kenya is the second most important food crop production activity after maize. Beans are leguminous crops and the country’s primary source of cheap protein. According to the variety, a bean farmer can get an average yield of 10 bags per acre. Bean farming in Kenya is mostly practiced in Central, Western, Nyanza, Eastern, and Some parts of Western.

Kenya produced more than 780,000 metric tonnes of beans in 2022. Most farmers regard beans as a super crop because they are a good nitrogen source. Bean farming faces several challenges, such as low soil fertility and moisture stress due to climate change. 

Other challenges affecting bean farming in Kenya include a need for more market information, inadequate seed dissemination systems, and poor cultural practices. 

To address these challenges, research bodies such as the Kenya Agricultural Livestock Organization {KARLO} and the National Agriculture Research Systems {NARS} have developed technologies to help farmers make better decisions. Despite the presence of these technologies, adaptation has been low due to inadequate dissemination of information.

Threats facing bean farming in Kenya

Several threats face bean farmers in Kenya. The first threat is climate change. Climate change has disrupted the planting patterns making it difficult for farmers to know when to plant beans. In some cases, climate change has resulted in Low or insufficient rainfall, which has affected yields.

Another threat facing farmers is the need for adequate information on seed varieties suitable for growing in their local area. This has resulted in reduced yields because farmers grow seed varieties that are not adaptable to their ecological zones. In some cases, the seed varieties are not disease-resistant, affecting yields.

Bean farming is also affected by pests and diseases. Common bean diseases include bean root rot disease, which affects farms in areas of Kitale. Bean farms are also affected by pests such as the stem maggot. The stem maggot attacks the plant within the first three weeks after germination. The stem of the affected plant becomes swollen while the leaves turn yellow.

Lastly, bean farmers are also affected by unfair competition by imported beans from countries with low production costs. In some countries, the government offers subsidies for agricultural inputs, which help lower the cost of production. In Kenya, you can lower the cost of production and increase the return on investment by using an organic fertilizer.

How to choose good bean seed varieties

There are several characteristics that every farmer should look out for when buying quality seeds. One of these is that the bean seed should have one color pattern. Other characteristics are:

  • It should not have any discolouration
  • The seeds should not have any straw or dirt
  • They should be clean/ free of diseases
  • They should not be shrivelled

Types of beans grown in Kenya

There are different types of bean varieties grown in Kenya. One of these is the Mwitemania variety, one of the country’s oldest drought-tolerant varieties. Mwitemania flowers in 30 days and produces pink and white flowers. This bean variety matures in 70 -90 days and has a yield potential of 5 – 7 bags/acre. Other bean varieties are:


This variety is known for its kidney shape. It grows to an average height of 35 cm and flowers within 30 -35 days. KATX56 matures within 60 -65 days and has a yield potential of 7 -10 bags. This variety is tolerant to diseases such as rust, charcoal rot, and mosaic virus. It is liked because it has good cooking qualities {tastes good, and cooks fast}.

Katumani {KAT-B1}

This seed variety is suitable for growing in hot climatic conditions because it is highly tolerant to heat. It flowers within 30 days and produces light pink flowers. It has a sweet grain taste with an average yield of 7-9 bags an acre.

Katumani {KAT B9} – Gacuma

KAT B9 flowers in 30 – 40 days and has light pink flowers. It matures in 60 – 65 days and is more drought-tolerant than the KAT- B1 variety. It has a yield potential of 7 -9 bags an acre and gives an Irish brown color when cooked with maize.

Katumani X-56 {KAT X-56}

This is a fast-cooking variety that flowers in 30 -35 days. It has light pink flowers, with an average yield of 7 -10 bags an acre. The X – 56 matures in 60 days and has dark red grains. The X-56 variety can out-yield the KAT B9 and B1 Under optimal conditions.  


This red-mottled bean flowers in 30 -35 days and produces white flowers. It matures in 60 – 65 days and has an elliptic kidney shape, with a potential yield of 7 -10 bags an acre. The good thing about this bean is that it is tolerant to various diseases such as mosaic virus, charcoal rot, and gular leaf spot. 

Miezi Mbili

This is a bushy variety produced by Simlaw seed company. It produces pink flowers that appear after 35 -46 days. The yield of this variety is 6 -7 bags, with a seed rate of 30kg/acre. Miezi Mbili is tolerant to various diseases such as halo blight, angular leaf spot, floury leaf spot, and anthracnose.

Climbing beans

These beans are ideal for planting in areas with limited land sizes. They are also suitable for growing under irrigation. Climbing beans are a good source of green beans and should be eaten by breastfeeding women. Some of the climbing bean varieties in Kenya include the Kenya Mavuno and Kenya Tamu.

Kenya Mavuno produces white flowers after 40 -70 days. The beans are rectangular and elliptic in shape. It matures after 110 -150 days and has a yield potential of 9 -14 bags per acre. The required seed rate for Kenya Mavuno is 30kg per acre.  

Kenya Tamu flowers after 40 – 60 days and matures after 110 – 135 days. It produces white flowers and has a yield potential of 9 -14 bags an acre. This variety is ideal for farmers who have small pieces of land.

If you are unsure of the type of bean variety to plant, feel free to contact us for a consultative session. 


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