In Africa and Latin America, the production of beans (Phaseolus
vulgaris) is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, such as
higher temperatures and more frequent drought. Consequently, CGIAR
researchers have registered key advances, e.g. the development of
drought-tolerant and disease-resistant varieties, to help make
production more resilient. In the last few years, however, climate
modeling has suggested that higher temperatures will be the primary
threat to bean production over the coming decades.
Recent projections suggest that the area suited for growing this crop in
eastern and central Africa could shrink by up to 50% by 2050. Across
Latin America, the situation is also dire. In response to this concern,
CIAT researchers have recently identified elite lines that show strong
tolerance to temperatures 4 °C higher than the range that beans can
normally tolerate. Many of these lines come from wide crosses between
common and tepary beans (Phaseolus acutifolius), a species originating
in the arid US Southwest and northwestern Mexico.
This briefing reports findings from research conducted over the last
year, which confirm heat tolerance in selected bean lines and show their
potential for adapting bean production in Africa and Latin America to
future climate change impacts.
CIAT. Developing beans that can beat the heat. International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali, Colombia (2015) 12 pp.