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Title:   beans 01
Author: Jeremy Cherfas  
Date:   22 September 2016 
Format: snippet   

#Beans
##*Phaseolus* spp
Beans of the genus *Phaseolus*, like all pulses, are an important source of protein for many people around the world. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 200 million people depend on beans as their most important staple. Beans are grown for their green leaves (often fed to livestock), and immature pods and seeds, but it is the dry seeds -- which are nutritious and store well -- that are the primary end product.

The most important crops globally are the common bean, *P. vulgaris*, and the runner or kidney bean, *P. coccinea* with *P. lunatus*, the lima bean, and *P. acutifolius*, the tepary bean, playing a locally important role in the Americas.

Genesys lists almost [109,000 accessions of Phaseolus][goo]: 86% *P. vulgaris*, 4% *P. coccinea*, 6% *P. lunatus* and 1% *P. acutifolius*. About 68% of the accessions are traditional cultivars or landraces, with 15% improved cultivars and 3% wild relatives.

Of the major food crops, beans, and especially common beans, are among the most variable. Growth habit, seed size, shape and colour, days to maturity and many other factors vary across varieties. There is hidden diversity too, not only in resistance to pests and diseases but also in the nutritional value of the seeds. CGIAR Centers, notably CIAT, have been instrumental in [breeding beans that are more productive and more nutritious][cgiar], benefitting millions of households.

{==NB Why are there 4 accessions for Vigna? And 1 of Macroptilium?==}

[goo]: https://goo.gl/hTMS5p
[cgiar]: https://ciat.cgiar.org/crops/bean