Press Release by World Vegetable Center.
A mungbean learning alliance was established in 2015 under the BMZ-funded “Beans with Benefits” project to bring together researchers, farmers, extension workers, brokers, processors, millers, input suppliers and marketers to discuss issues related to mungbean production in Pakistan.
Farmers from different mungbean producing areas share their experiences with the previous mungbean crop at the start of the meeting. The group then discusses general concerns and progress, and by consensus develops a list of issues based on farmer preferences. If possible, researchers provide solutions to the problems on the spot, or take the concerns under advisement for future research.
In a recent meeting, farmers listed insect attacks, lack of quality seed, diseases (especially Cercospora leaf spot), environmental issues, and marketing problems as their primary concerns. Farmers were advised to reduce chemical pesticide use to help natural enemies flourish. They were informed that quality seed is available with parent institutes and private companies in Pakistan and also were encouraged to save their own seed. Disease-resistant varieties are also available, and researchers continue to develop resistant cultivars adapted to various production locations. Breeders are also addressing heat tolerance, an important characteristic as climates change. To ensure farmers have access to daily market prices for mungbean, the group agreed to devise a mechanism of information dissemination through the alliance using a social media application such as What’sApp.