Beans with benefits

Nutritious, nitrogen-fixing legumes offer bountiful benefits — along with a few challenges.

September 9, 2013 — Lean and towering at 6 feet 5 inches, Ken Giller blends right into the rows of climbing beanstalks he is examining on this blisteringly hot spring day in Buhoro, a village in northern Rwanda. Local farmers who have been growing various varieties of beans bred for high yields and other desirable traits proudly show him their plots on the terraced hillside.

“Aren’t they beautiful?” Giller beams as he plucks a bean shoot from the red soil and slices open a marble-sized nodule on its root.

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