Recipes for Change: Bananas with beans and split green peas

 

 

Rwanda's small farmers rely on rain fall to grow their main food crops, including sorghum, bananas, beans, sweet potato and cassava. Although the central African country has a favourable climate for agriculture, climate model scenarios show increases in average temperature of up to 3.35°C by 2100, and a change in the timing of the two cropping seasons that characterize Rwanda's traditional farming system.

Changes in the onset and intensity of rainfall are already causing problems for small farmers who must take more risks regarding when they decide to plant and harvest. At the same time, it is becoming more difficult to dry and store crops in rural communities because harvesting is now taking place at wetter times of the year– leading to high agricultural losses.

In the next episode of Recipes for Change, Kenyan Chef Ali L'artiste travels to the land of one thousand hills to try his hand at Ibitoke na Ibishimbo, a local staple of bananas and kidney beans.

Try the recipe at home: Bananas with beans and split peas

  • 200g dried split green peas, soaked over night
  • 100g kidney beans, soaked overnight (boiled and drained)
  • 4 green bananas (plantain)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons  groundnut oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic crushed
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 bunch coriander (chopped)

Cooking instructions:

  • Place peas into large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil & simmer until tender (about 90 minutes)
  • When peas done peel bananas and lay them whole on top of the peas (do not mix). Continue to cook mixture for about 10 minutes until bananas soft. Add a little water if necessary to prevent peas from sticking to base of the pot
  • Meanwhile heat palm oil in frying pan large enough to hold peas & bananas. Brown onions in oil, turn down heat.  Add crushed garlic & paprika and sweat until garlic is softened
  • Add kidney beans to onion mixture & continue to sweat until combined
  • With a slotted spoon, remove bananas & peas from  first pot and add to onion mixture. Sprinkle in salt & lemon juice, continue to cook over medium heat, stirring gently but constantly until all oil has been absorbed
  • Finish off by adding a handful of coriander leaves (more to taste). Serve immediately

Climate risks

  • Small farmers in Rwanda mainly depend on rainfed agriculture.  Climate change is affecting the onset and intensity of rainfall, thereby interrupting the two cropping seasons that characterize Rwanda's traditional farming system.
  • Climate model scenarios suggest that the eastern region will experience greater risk of drought in the future. This will severely test farmers' capacity to adapt in water scarce conditions.

 

ASAP solutions:

  • Encourage greater collaboration between the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Meteorological Services to support the development of climate information services that provide relevant and timely information to farmers.
  • Develop appropriate guidance/building codes that ensure current and future infrastructure investments are climate smart and include appropriate measures to manage excess rainwater.
  • Support improved climate resilient and low carbon post-harvesting procedures, drying, processing and value addition, storage, logistics and distribution to reduce crop losses and increase smallholder and rural labourer incomes. Promote crops that survive changing growing season lengths.