TAAT e-catalog for private sector
Request information View pitch brochure

Climbing Bean with High Yield and N Fixation

Growing Prosperity: Climbing Beans for Food Security & Income Growth

Climbing beans are characterized by their long, indeterminate vines that require support from stakes or trellises. They can grow up to 4 meters or more in height, allowing for vertical canopy development and an extended harvesting period. Climbing beans have become a valuable option for small-scale farmers, especially in regions with shrinking and degraded land holdings. Additionally, these beans have been adapted to local soil and weather conditions in various production zones across Sub-Saharan Africa. Improved varieties of climbing beans are bred with a focus on traits such as bean productivity, nodulation efficacy, drought resistance, disease resistance, and pest resistance. This varietal improvement effort has led to the development of elite lines with superior nitrogen-fixing abilities and landraces suited to specific agroecosystems. This technology significantly contributes to food security, alleviates hunger and malnutrition, and enhances the income of small-scale farmers in Eastern and Southern Africa. Furthermore, the nutritional value of climbing bean varieties makes them suitable for processing into various products, including flour, pre-cooked beans, and canned beans, which can be sold in both local and international markets. Farmers, community-based seed producers, and private seed companies have access to a diverse range of improved climbing bean varieties for multiplication. These varieties include specific options for various countries, such as Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda, each tailored to local conditions and preferences. Improved climbing bean varieties are characterized by shorter maturity periods, excellent taste, and high starch content, making them a valuable asset for sustainable agriculture in the region.


This technology is TAAT1 validated.


Scaling readiness: idea maturity 8/9; level of use 7/9

4.6 t/ha

Potential yield

92 kg

N fixed per ha

28 %

Increase in bean consumption




  • Low Yields: Traditional bush bean varieties offer limited yields, making it challenging for small-scale farmers to produce sufficient food.
  • Pests and Diseases: Common bean crops are susceptible to pests and diseases, leading to crop losses and reduced income for farmers.
  • Abiotic Stresses: Adverse environmental conditions, such as drought and poor soil quality, hinder bean cultivation and reduce crop productivity.
  • Nitrogen-Depleted Soils: Many farming regions have nitrogen-depleted soils, which necessitate the use of expensive synthetic fertilizers.
  • Food Insecurity: Insufficient crop yields contribute to food insecurity and malnutrition, particularly in small-scale farming communities.


Higher Yields: Improved climbing bean varieties provide significantly higher yields compared to traditional bush beans, ensuring food security and increased income for farmers.

Resistance to Pests and Diseases: These varieties are bred to resist common pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical pesticides and minimizing crop losses.

Abiotic Stress Tolerance: Climbing bean varieties can thrive in adverse environmental conditions, making them adaptable to different agroecosystems.

Biological Nitrogen Fixation: By promoting higher biological nitrogen fixation, the technology reduces the cost of fertilizers and enables bean cultivation in nitrogen-depleted soils.

Food Security: Climbing beans contribute to food security by offering a more reliable source of food for small-scale farmers and communities.

Key points to design your business plan

Seed Multiplier
Producing climbing bean varieties provides a cost-effective and sustainable solution, addressing economic empowerment, gender equality, and climate resilience in agriculture; empowering diverse farming communities, contributing to enhanced health and wellbeing on a global scale.
To efficiently multiply seeds, it’s essential to acquire Foundation or Registered Seed, depending on your role in the seed development process. Multipliers must obtain a certificate for propagating climbing bean varieties, adhering to the licensing requirements set by each country in SSA for producing and selling certified seeds locally.
Your potential customers are: wholesale distributors of seed to retailers, and to development projects, government agencies, and NGOs1. Building strong partnerships with wholesale distributor networks is key to the success of your business.


Selling climbing bean varieties not only provides a valuable product but also fosters closer engagement with users while simultaneously enhancing health and wellbeing on a global scale.
To successfully navigate this market, you need to know where to source climbing bean varieties in bulk, identify efficient transportation methods, and explore suitable storage facilities.
Your potential customer base is: small, local retailers, development projects, producers, and producer cooperatives or associations


Using climbing bean varieties offers a solution, fostering economic empowerment and enhancing the health and well-being of diverse farming communities.

As key partners, you need sellers of climbing bean varieties.

The cost climbing beans seeds vary from xx to xx

Also, consider:

labour costs from planting to post harvest estimated at xx

fertilizer inputs at xx per hectare,

You need to estimate the profit realized with the use of the climbing beans seeds.


Positive or neutral impact

Adults 18 and over
Positive high
The poor
Positive medium
Under 18
Positive high
Positive high

Positive or neutral impact

Climate adaptability
It adapts really well
Adaptability for farmers
It helps a lot
It helps them grow and thrive
Carbon footprint
It reduces emissions a little
It makes a big difference
Soil quality
It doesn't harm the soil's health and fertility
Water usage
It uses the same amount of water

Countries with a green colour
Tested & adopted
Countries with a bright green colour
Countries with a yellow colour
Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burundi Burkina Faso Democratic Republic of the Congo Djibouti Côte d’Ivoire Eritrea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Cameroon Kenya Libya Liberia Madagascar Mali Malawi Morocco Mauritania Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Republic of the Congo Rwanda Zambia Senegal Sierra Leone Zimbabwe Somalia South Sudan Sudan South Africa Eswatini Tanzania Togo Tunisia Chad Uganda Western Sahara Central African Republic Lesotho
Countries where the technology has been tested and adopted
Country Tested Adopted
Benin Tested Adopted
Burundi Tested Adopted
Côte d’Ivoire Tested Adopted
Democratic Republic of the Congo Tested Adopted
Kenya Tested Adopted
Malawi Tested Adopted
Rwanda Tested Adopted
South Sudan Tested Adopted
Tanzania Tested Adopted
Uganda Tested Adopted
Zambia Tested Adopted
Zimbabwe Tested Adopted

This technology can be used in the colored agro-ecological zones. Any zones shown in white are not suitable for this technology.

Agro-ecological zones where this technology can be used
AEZ Subtropic - warm Subtropic - cool Tropic - warm Tropic - cool

Source: HarvestChoice/IFPRI 2009

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are applicable to this technology.

Sustainable Development Goal 2: zero hunger
Goal 2: zero hunger
Sustainable Development Goal 3: good health and well-being
Goal 3: good health and well-being
Sustainable Development Goal 12: responsible production and consumption
Goal 12: responsible production and consumption

1. Variety Selection: Choose suitable climbing bean varieties based on your agro-ecological conditions and socio-economic context. Consider the specific needs of your region and the adaptability of different varieties.

2. Supporting Structures: Prepare stakes or trellises to support the climbing beans. Ensure that the support structures are strong and tall enough to accommodate the vertical growth of the beans.

3. Cropping Systems: Decide whether you will cultivate climbing beans as a monocrop or in combination with other crops such as maize, banana, roots and tubers, sorghum, or millet. Adjust your planting and management practices accordingly.

4. Planting: Choose well-prepared hills or ridges for planting, especially in clay soils or areas with a high water table. Incorporate organic inputs into the planting sites to enhance soil fertility.

5. Spacing: Determine the appropriate spacing between rows based on your trellising system and the level of mechanization. In a monocrop, row spacing is typically set at 75-100 cm.

6. Seed Inoculation: Inoculate climbing bean seeds with rhizobia to promote nitrogen fixation and improve soil fertility. Follow recommended procedures for seed inoculation.

7.  Timely Planting: Plant climbing beans at the right time, considering your local climate and growing season. Ensure that the planting schedule aligns with optimal conditions for growth.

8. Fertilization: Apply appropriate fertilizers as needed, based on soil testing and local recommendations. Proper fertilization can enhance bean yield and soil health.

9.  Weeding: Implement effective weeding practices to control weeds and prevent competition for resources. Keep the bean fields free from unwanted vegetation.

10. Monitoring and Maintenance: Continuously monitor the progress of your climbing beans throughout the growing season. Make necessary adjustments in response to changing conditions.

Last updated on 22 May 2024