Since 2012, seeds of ten High Iron Bean (HIB) varieties have been delivered in Rwanda in aim of reducing iron deficiency status. A study was conducted among rural bean producing households in 2015, following eight seasons of dissemination of these varieties. The objective was to assess the adoption, disadoption and diffusion patterns of HIBs, which would inform program initiatives to scale up further development and delivery of HIBs in Rwanda.
A preliminary listing exercise/census was conducted to obtain a nationally representative HIB adoption rate. The exercise entailed administration of a short survey to 19,575 households from 120 randomly selected rural villages throughout Rwanda. Among other verification checks, bean samples were collected from HIB producing households to assess iron content and to identify these varieties.
29% of rural bean farming households in Rwanda have grown at least one HIB variety since their release, and 54% of those households have cultivated HIBs continuously or intermittently. There has been a net increase in HIB growers with each progressive season, and variations in adoption patterns are observed across provinces and varieties.
Approximately 500,000 rural households have grown HIB varieties in Rwanda since 2012. While the adoption rate may be a function of seed supply or program coverage, and bean sample verification checks may call for prudence in the adoption rate claims, the widespread adoption observed thus far suggests that demand for HIB varieties is significant. If the trend continues, adoption and consumption of HIBs are expected to reduce iron deficiency rates among Rwandans over time.