Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Development of Innovative and Healthful Marama Bean Products Targeting Niche Markets

Marama beanThe overall objective of MARAMA II which ended 31/12/2009 was to improve food safety and diversify livelihoods for poor people in Southern Africa through the development of healthful marama bean products. The products will be targeted to niche markets initially in Southern Africa as well as internationally.  

The marama bean is an underutilized legume crop native to the Kalahari Desert and neighbouring sandy regions of Botswana and Namibia and the Transvaal region of South Africa. It forms part of the diet of the indigenous population in these countries.

MARAMA II added valuable information about the potential use of marama beans due to greater knowledge of how to produce marama bean products, factors influencing the shelf life of the products, and the nutritive value and potential antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic activity of marama beans and products. Manuals for production of the marama bean products was part of the outcome.

The project created awareness amongst the stakeholders of: 
  • the agricultural value chain of the potential of marama 
  • the range of products that could be produced 
  • the quality and desirable attributes of the bean and value added products 
  • the health effects of consuming the beans and products 
  • potential target markets for the bean products
  1. University of Copenhagen, Denmark (Coordinator) 
  2. University of Botswana, Botswana
  3. University of Pretoria, South Africa
  4. University of Namibia, Namibia
  5. University of Maribor, Slovenia
  6. Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical, Portugal
  7. Market Matters Inc., South Africa  
University of Copenhagen. Marhama