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Updated: 12/04/2017 01:19:00AM

’Super beans’ raise hopes in hunger-prone parts of Africa

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In this photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, Ugandan farmer Richard Opio holds a sample of the "super beans" that are being promoted to feed the hunger-prone African continent, in Nwoya, Uganda. As hunger and climate change threaten parts of Africa, two bean "gene banks" on the continent are pursuing "super" beans that are bred to resist drought conditions. (AP Photo/Rodney Muhumuza)

In this photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, workers in a warehouse pack "super beans" into branded bags, part of a substantial consignment ordered by the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization as planting materials for refugees sheltering in northern Uganda, in Kiryandongo, Uganda. As hunger and climate change threaten parts of Africa, two bean "gene banks" on the continent are pursuing "super" beans that are bred to resist drought conditions. (AP Photo/Rodney Muhumuza)

In this photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, Ugandan farmer Richard Opio and his wife sort through their most recent harvest of "super beans" that are being promoted to feed the hunger-prone African continent, in Nwoya, Uganda. As hunger and climate change threaten parts of Africa, two bean "gene banks" on the continent are pursuing "super" beans that are bred to resist drought conditions. (AP Photo/Rodney Muhumuza)

In this photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, workers in a warehouse pack "super beans" into branded bags, part of a substantial consignment ordered by the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization as planting materials for refugees sheltering in northern Uganda, in Kiryandongo, Uganda. As hunger and climate change threaten parts of Africa, two bean "gene banks" on the continent are pursuing "super" beans that are bred to resist drought conditions. (AP Photo/Rodney Muhumuza)

By RODNEY MUHUMUZA

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NWOYA, Uganda — As hunger and climate change threaten parts of Africa, two bean “gene banks” on the continent are pursuing “super” beans that are bred to resist drought conditions.

One testing ground is northern Uganda, where the recent arrival of more than 1 million refugees from war-torn South Sudan is stretching the abilities of local farmers and the land itself.

The so-called “super bean,” a fast-maturing, high-yield variety, is being promoted by Uganda’s government and agriculture experts amid efforts to feed hunger-prone parts of Africa.

The International Center for Tropical Agriculture says the beans have been bred by conventional means to resist the drought conditions.

The group operates one of just two bean “gene banks” in Africa, which is expected to be hit hardest by climate change, said the U.N. Development Program.


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