Heat- and drought-tolerant common-bean varieties are needed now, researchers warn.
Photo: F.Schubert/CCAFS


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An international research team has revealed that climate change will reduce the nutritional quality of one of the world’s major staple crops, the common bean.

Climate-change impacts on food security will involve negative impacts on crop yields, and potentially on the nutritional quality of staple crops like the common bean, which is the most important grain legume staple crop for human diets and nutrition worldwide.

A study conducted by scientists at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) in collaboration with the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) indicates that both the nutritional quality and the yields of the common bean will be reduced under the climate change-induced drought stresses that will occur in south-eastern Africa by 2050. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The scientists conducted crop modelling, combined with field trials and molecular lab experiments, to analyse the yields and the nutritional quality of the crop. The crop modelling analysis revealed that the majority of current common-bean growing areas in south-eastern Africa will become unsuitable for bean cultivation by the year 2050.

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