Which are the best French beans varieties in Kenya?

Farmer,Holds,In,His,Hand,Fresh,French,Beans

In this post, we will give you a list of the best French beans varieties to grow in Kenya

French beans farming in Kenya is one of the most profitable cash crops in Kenya. It’s a popular horticulture crop grown for the export market. Its grown for its unripe fruits locally also known as Muciiri, Muchiiri, Mushiiri or Mishiiri. In addition to French beans, the other names the mishiiri is known in English is green beans or snap beans.

Good seed selection will give you high quality (cylindrical pods) yields of French beans and farm income. To select the best seed variety, consider the seed’s maturity period, yield potential per acre and the best growing areas given your soil and rainfall. To guide you in that decision, the post will focus on the following areas.

  • Where to buy French beans seeds in Kenya
  • French beans varieties in Kenya
  • How long does French beans take to mature
  • How long does the French beans take to grow in Kenya?
  • Where are French beans grown in Kenya?

The best French beans cultivars in Kenya

There are three major types of French beans cultivars in Kenya: the climbing, bush and string less cultivars.

  • Pole Cultivars: Also known as the climbing types. It has an Indeterminate growth of up to 3 m high. They are normally supported with poles
  • Bush Cultivars: They are the dwarf French bean types. They are early or fast maturing. They grow 20–60cm tall, and have determinate growth with short internodes
  • String less Cultivars: The most predominant type for the French market.

A list of the best French beans varieties in Kenya

Which French beans markets do you want to target? There are two types of French beans grown in Kenya depending on their intended purpose. The fresh market Michiiri and the processing snap beans.

The fresh market varieties are grown for sale without value addition. The processing types are grown for canning and freezing before final sale to consumers.

French beans VarietyTypes
Fresh MarketSerengeti Amy Pekara Teresa Paulista  Rexas Samantha Belcampo Cupvert
ProcessingJulia Ogandi Vernandon Sasa
Types of fresh and processing French Beans in Kenya

The table below is a summary of 10 French beans seeds sold and grown in Kenya today. It gives you the selling company, the seed growing duration or maturity period. In the explainer below, we give you the best growing areas in Kenya

VarietyTime to maturityyield (t ha-1 )
Kutuless (J12)1.5 – 2 months5 – 7.5 t/ha
VENDA67 days9-11 t/ha
TANA64 days10-12 t/ha
Kenya Amboseli (KSB 13- 02)55 to 60 days9.9 t/ha
Kenya Safari (KSB13- 04)55 to 656.3 t/ha
Serengeti55 days 
Amy58-60 days10 t/ha
Paulista58-60 days 
Samantha58-60 Days10 t/ha
A list of the best French Beans seed varieties in Kenya

Serengeti

The Serengeti snap beans mature in around 55 days. It’s a high yielding variety with average pods of 14-16cm in Length.  This French Bean is tolerant to rust, beam common mosaic Virus and the Anthracnose disease.

Its common features are;

  • Pod length: 14 – 16 cm
  • Pod diameter: 6 – 8 mm
  • Pod shape: circular and straight
  • Pod colour: uniform dark green glossy
  • Plant habit: medium erect bush
  • Plant height: medium
  • Maturity: 55 days
  • Tolerant to Rust, Bean Common Mosaic and Anthracnose

Amy

The Amy is your best choice French Bean See Variety if you are targeting the French export market.  The Amy Muchiiri will mature for harvest in 58-60 days. Its an early flowering types at only 40 days. The cultivar is high yielding with pod sizes of 10-12 cm long. The seed is highly tolerant to anthracnose. The Amy variety is a high yielding extra fine bean. Its a High yielding variety with shiny green pods.

  • Amy French bean Variety performs very in many soil types and geographies
  • It has Glossy green coloured extra fine beans
  • Produces Good quality, straight pods.
  • It has a Medium maturity period of 55-60 days   
  • It’s a High yielding variety with a potential of10 tones per hectare
  • Resistant to Bean Common Mosaic Virus Anthracnose (Race Lambda)

Paulista

The Paulista French bean variety is grown for the bobby grade pods for the UK export market. The Paulista has an excellent presentation in pre-packs. The bean variety is a popular variety with French Bean exporters in kenya. The pod length is 13 – 14 cm in length with a diameter of 6 – 9 mm. It takes 55 – 60 days to harvest from sowing. The

  • Maturity: medium (55 – 60 days from sowing)
  • Pod shape: fine, straight pods
  • Pod colour: attractive dark green
  • Yield potential: excellent
  • Pod length (mature green): 13 – 14 cm
  • Pod diameter (mature green): 6 – 9 mm
  • Shelf life (mature green): very good
  • Uniformity: excellent
  • Disease resistance: Bean common mosaic virus (BCMV), Bean common mosaic virus (BCMV)

Samantha

Samantha is among the best commercial French bean types in Kenya. It’s a high producer for extra fine and fine grade pods. The variety will mature for harvest in 58-60 days from the day of planting. Its flowering will start after 45 days. The variety produces extra fine pods with Light green straight pods

  • Excellent light straight light green pods
  • Early maturity 50-58 days
  • High yielding variety -10 tones per hectare
  • Excellent grade out
  • Resistant to Bean Common Mosaic Virus Anthracnose (Race Lambda)

Kutuless (J12)

 The Kutuless Frenchbeans variety is one of the oldest cultivars available in Kenya. It grows best in areas between 1000-1800 meters above sea level. The J12 mishiiri mature in 1.5-2 months period. You can get a grain yield of 5-7.5 tons per ha. Other good features of the Kutuless French bean seed type are;

  • Its Resistant to rust
  • Has a Good snupapability
  • Has Extra fine green pods

VENDA

The Venda green bean does best in Kirinyaga, Muranga, Loitokitok, Trans- Mara, Mulot growing areas. It matures in 67 days from planting and has a yield potential of 9-11 tons per ha of mature grains. Other reasons of why you should grow the

  • Rust & Halo Blight resistance
  • Good shelf life
  • High yield
  • Uniform pods
  • Fine Beans

TANA

The Tana French bean is good for Kirinyaga, Muranga, Loitokitok, Trans- Mara and Mulot areas. It will mature in 64 days. Under proper care management, the Tana Michiiri will give you 10-12 tons per hectare of grain yield. Other best reasons why you need to grown the TANA French bean type are;

  • Its tolerant to Halo Blight and Anthracnose
  • Has a good shelf life making it good for the fresh market
  • High yield
  • Uniform pods
  • Strong vegetative plant
  • Fine Beans

Kenya Amboseli (KSB 13- 02)

The KSB 13-20 French bean is good for the 1200-2000 meters above sea level altitude range. Its common in French growing areas in kenya such as Machakos, Kajiado, Naivasha, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Nakuru, Nyeri and Murang’a,

The Amboseli will give you 9.9 tons per hectare. The French beans variety will grow and mature for harvest in 55-60 days. Other reasons why the Successful French Beans farmer love this variety are;

  • Its resistant to angular leafspot (3); anthracnose (2); rust (3); common bacterial blight (3) and root rots (1)
  • Yields an Average of 58% extra fine; 36 % fine beans
  • Long harvesting period of upto 18 pickings are possible from the first harvest.

Kenya Safari (KSB13- 04)

Good for growing in areas Such as Machakos, Kajiado, Kericho, Trans-Nzoia, Naivasha, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Nakuru, Nyeri, Murang’a counties

  • shorter duration in warm areas; longer duration in cooler areas
  •  Resistant to angular leafspot (3); anthracnose (2); rust (3); common bacterial blight (2) and root rots (2)
  • High quality yields with an average 40% extra fine; 41 % fine pods
  • A long harvesting period of up to 15 pickings

Grading French beans pods

Green beans pods grown in Kenya are categorized into 3 classes for the export market according to quality; fine pods, extra fine pods and bobby beans. The table below gives you a summary of features for each michiri class.

PodFrench Bean Features
Fine podsPod diameter of 6 mm
Pod length of 10 cm
Soft strings
Tender Smaller seeds
Shorter
Turgid  
Extra fine podsSeedless
No strings
More tender
More turgid
Free from any defects
The pod size should be 10-12 cm
Pod diameter of 6-9 mm
Bobby beansThey are low quality French beans
They do not meet the expected specifications.
The pod is tender
The seeds are not big size.
Pod Diameter if more than 9mm
How to Grade French beans pods for export

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