By Zachary Hall, MPH in Nutrition, Nutrition Intern Resilient Agricultural Markets Activity – Beira Corridor Project
Starting in 2016, the five-year USAID Feed the Future Resilient Agricultural Markets Activity – Beira Corridor (RAMA-BC) supports local producers to raise agricultural productivity, profitability and resilience. RAMA-BC aims to advance adoption of sustainable and accessible farming technologies and practices. The use of legumes such as jack bean, pigeon pea and cowpea in cover cropping and intercropping is a key agricultural practice promoted by the project. These practices raise crop productivity, mainly maize, by enriching the soil and improving its structure, repelling pests and reducing weeds. Aligned with the objectives of Feed the Future, the RAMA-BC project has integrated nutrition to its project activities. This document is a scientific justification for detoxifying jack bean through germination, a food processing practice that RAMA-BC has promoted alongside its agricultural activities to improve the nutritional status of its participants and the communities in which they live. RAMA-BC is also broadly promoting germination as a method to improve the nutrient profile of all legumes.