HarvestPlus improved nutrition and public health in Rwanda by promoting beans that provide more iron in the diet. We worked with more than 30 partners drawn from government, business, and civil society.

HarvestPlus supported the Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB) to breed, test, and release varieties of iron beans developed through our partnership with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Beans are the predominant staple food in Rwanda. 

We worked with private farmers, cooperatives, and non-governmental partners to produce and multiply certified seed of released varieties for delivery to farmers. A payback system ensures that poor farmers receive free seed, which they repay in kind upon harvest.

In partnership with public and non-governmental organizations, we trained farming households in crop management, nutrition, postharvest handling, and marketing.

We also worked to facilitate private sector engagement in the value chain for iron beans, which is essential for long term sustainability of the bean seed distribution, and to strengthen markets for biofortified crops.

Public awareness campaigns leverage the power of mass media and local icons, including music stars, to educate Rwandans on micronutrient deficiencies and the benefits of iron beans.

Our advocacy strengthened national ownership of biofortification through effective integration into national nutrition and agricultural policies.

“Before, when I was growing the indigenous variety, I could hardly harvest 1 ton, but now I harvest 3 tons of iron-rich beans from the same 2 hectares of land.”
— Shiragahinda Augustin, Farmer from Northern Province

Country Contacts

Jean Pierre Mbagurire
c/o CIAT B.P. 1269, Kacyiru, Kigali
Phone: +250 788 380 146 / +250 786 546 025


  • Adventist Development and Relief Agency Rwanda (ADRA)
  • African Evangelistic Enterprise Rwanda (AEE)
  • Eglise Presbytherienne  au Rwanda (EPR)
  • FarmFresh 
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • Association François-Xavier Bagnoud Rwanda (FXB)
  • Howard G. Buffett Foundation Project/MINAGRI
  • Impakomu Cooperative
  • Koainya Cooperative
  • Mbakungahaze Cooperative
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI)
  • Ministry of Education (MINEDUC)
  • Ministry of Health (MOH)
  • Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC)
  • One Acre Fund
  • Red Cross Rwanda
  • Rural Sector Support Program (RSSP)/ MINAGRI
  • Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB)
  • Rwanda Improved Seed  Company (RISCO)
  • SeedCo Rwanda
  • Society for Family Health- Rwanda
  • Gimbuka Project/Caritas-Rwanda
  • Gikuriro Project/Catholic Relief Services
  • Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
  • Global Communities Improved Services for Vulnerable Populations (ISVP) Program/USAID Twiyubake
  • UATA Cooperative
  • Umucyo Coop
  • Union des Coopératives Agricoles Intégrées (UNICOOPAGI)
  • Win Win
  • World Food Programme (WFP)
  • Purchase for Progress (P4P)
  • World Vision International


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