Regional alliances for iron-rich beans in Latin American countries

Joint proyects
USD 215.000
Counterpart Amount:
USD 329.500
Execution time
42 Months
Total Amount:
USD 544.500
Participating countries:
Panama Panama Colombia Colombia Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Honduras Honduras Nicaragua Nicaragua
Funding source:
FONTAGRO Amount 39% Other agencies 0% Counterpart Amount 61%

Executive Summary

Agriculture in LAC, in particular Family Farming (AF), forms the basis of the regional population's food supply.  It is estimated that it provides 80% of the food consumed daily and the total number of productive units is close to 15 million. In the context of the current pandemic and in the years to come, producers will need new knowledge and timely support to avoid shortages and strengthen the efficient operation of value chains. In other words, it is critical to generate practices and knowledge that promote agroecological and sustainable agriculture, facilitate the use of practices that respond to the effects of climate change and variation, the sustainable use of natural resources, increase productivity and food security. 

Central America, the Dominican Republic and Colombia are a reservoir of biodiversity and a niche for crops and animals of global importance. Unfortunately they are also among the world's most vulnerable regions to the current and anticipated extremes (droughts, floods, hurricanes) of climate change. Therefore, comprehensive approaches are required with the various actors in the chains and efforts in research and development that ensure food security and the sustainable management of natural resources.  In recent decades, the effects of climate change on agriculture have been of great impact, generating volatility in production with the consequent impact on food security and especially on nutrition. Probably the varieties grown in a region will have to be replaced by other varieties that are adapted to the new environment, or the same varieties with a greater degree of flexibility and nutritional content.  It is important to consider initiatives that identify and validate these new varieties of basic food crops, such as beans, which will be key to generating sustainability in local food security. It is in this context where crops rich in micronutrients, such as beans considered in this proposal, can make an important contribution not only to counteract the effects of climate change, but also to strengthen the food and nutritional security of the population, especially the most vulnerable. 

From the scientific-technical point of view, the achievements in the development of crops rich in micronutrients (biofortified) have been significant at the global and regional level, considering that more than 340 varieties of beans, corn, sweet potato, cassava, are already available. wheat and rice, generated by conventional genetic improvement, and that have higher average amounts of iron, zinc and / or vitamin A. Additionally, these varieties have also been improved and selected for their adaptation to climatic variation and for their high productivity. Although the potential of these crops is very high, given the role they play and can play in the diets of vulnerable populations, it is still necessary to determine, particularly in Central America and the Caribbean, key aspects that make the selection of iron-rich bean varieties appropriate to stimulate its demand and value chain. Among them, it is necessary to identify the characteristics of the demand and potential market in the countries, the strategies of identification and validation of the best varieties under the production conditions of each country, and especially to generate a strategy of knowledge management and technology transfer to producers to improve the adoption rate of these new varieties.

The technological solution

This initiative seeks to integrate agriculture and nutrition issues, in order to close the communication and knowledge gap between producers, consumers and food environments. Among the main solutions are strategies aimed at strengthening the value chain, acceptance and technological adoption by producers, such as:

a) Baseline and final line available in the region with data from the main actors in the value chain for iron-rich beans, in the intervention areas, their characteristics, limitations, market opportunities - commercialization and analysis of challenges.

b) A design protocol for the production of quality seed on demand-based producer farms.

c) A Strategic Plan with recommendations and successful experiences in the management of knowledge and communication in each country and at the regional level on stimulating the demand for iron-rich beans.

d) Availability of new varieties of beans rich in iron released for the Dominican Republic.


This baseline will generate market and marketing information, based on primary data from the actors of the bean chain, in the project intervention areas.

Contribute to the adoption of the iron-rich bean varieties in the project countries through the validation and scaling of the varieties with the highest demand on farms.

To ensure that in the Dominican Republic they have released varieties of beans rich in Iron.

Increase the dissemination of new knowledge and technologies that collaborate with the processes from adoption by producers and other relevant actors in the value chain.


The direct beneficiaries will be 1,200 producers and the indirect beneficiaries are estimated at a little more than 6,000. Additionally, the project aims to reach 200 researchers and technicians from public institutions. At least 30 local marketers and other chain actors will have access to training and information.

Sustainable Development Goals

No poverty Zero Hunger Good health and well-being Climate action Partnerships for the goals

Main donors

Participating Organizations

  • Instituto de Innovación Agropecuaria de Panamá (IDIAP) - Panamá
  • Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria (AGROSAVIA) - Colombia
  • Dirección de Ciencia y Tecnología Agropecuaria (DICTA) - Honduras
  • Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales (IDIAF) - República Dominicana
  • Instituto Nicaragüense de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) - Nicaragua

Graphics and data

Financing by country (in USD)
FONTAGRO Amount Other agencies Counterpart Amount

Geolocated Map

With the support of
Fondo Coreano de Alianza para el Conocimiento en Tecnología e Innovación (KPK)