New variety of beans named after Raila

Some Raila for supper?

ODM party leader Raila Odinga during a recent consultative meeting at Orange House

A new variety of beans developed by the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (Karlo) has been christened after former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Farmers attributed the name to the beans due to the close resemblance in colour between them and the special AU envoy's skin tone.

Other new variants that have been given people's names include Mwende (a Kamba girl's name) for a variant that does not require too much fuel to cook and Kendi (a Meru girl's name) for a new variety of pigeon peas.

Saitoti, Nyayo and Wairimu

Raila beans join other variants such as Saitoti (after former vice president George Saitoti), Nyayo (after President Daniel Moi's regime) and Wairimu (a Kikuyu girl's name) that are already in the market.

Karlo customarily offers farmers the opportunity to name new variety of grains that they develop.

Raila, Mwende and Kendi grains were developed over the last eight years in a project dubbed Maize-Legume Cropping Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa (SIMLESA).

According to the researchers, the bean varieties were most preferred by farmers in the coffee zones of Tharaka Nithi, Embu and Meru counties.

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