Faba beans are a major pulse crop important in the Ethiopian diet. The bean is a major source of protein for urban and rural dwellers. Various traditional faba bean dishes such as ‘full’ and ‘shuro wot’ are eaten at breakfast and dinner. A common component of family diets, faba bean demand is high, potentially offering farmers a significant source of income.
Processing, undertaken mostly by women, is an inefficient, largely manual, procedure. The bean is split, roasted and milled into flour. Roasting takes place in an extremely hot, smoky and unhealthy environment. Other value-added processes, for example, sorting and roasting, are also done manually. In market surveys, large numbers of processors described roasting as the most challenging task, in terms of time and labour.
- Improved faba bean processing methods, such as mechanized roasting, increase returns to traders and smallholder producers.
- Increasing the availability of processed faba beans leads to increased consumption of faba bean products in urban and rural areas, resulting in more income for farmers and nutrition benefits for consumers.
- Faba bean roasting mechanization will improve efficiency and reduce labour expenditure, particularly benefitting women who are heavily involved in this work.