Farmers in Nicaragua’s most remote Northern Atlantic region of Waslala can now grow and feed their families on more nutritious varieties of beans, one of their favorite staple crops. HarvestPlus and partners recently delivered biofortified beans to 40 farming families in the region.

These conventionally bred varieties, called INTA Nutritivo and INTA Ferroso, contain more iron and zinc than the beans commonly grown and consumed in the region. They are also tolerant to drought and resistant to diseases.

Several organizations worked with HarvestPlus to ensure that seeds reached the farmers. They included FIDER, CARITAS-Matagalpa, CRS, AsociaciĆ³n Familia Padre Fabretto, and INTA. HarvestPlus also partnered with the Cocoa Territorial Learning Alliance, a network of local development organizations launched by the CGIAR Research Program on Integrated Systems for the Humid Tropics (Humidtropics).

“Counting on the support of the Cocoa Territorial Learning Alliance was extremely valuable,” notes Byron Reyes, a HarvestPlus researcher who works in Latin America. “The staff of local organizations, in addition to their knowledge of the area, were key to the seeds reaching that region.”

Through such effective partnerships, HarvestPlus plans to reach more farmers in the region and across Nicaragua with biofortified nutritious beans. “We are hoping that farmer families will adopt, plant, and consume these varieties to improve their diets and income, and that other farmers in the area will also do so for their own nutritional benefit and food security,” says Reyes.