Faba bean in Ethiopia – mitigating disease constraints to improve productivity and sustainability

Project code
AUD 1,972,214
Research program manager
Dr Eric Huttner
Project leader
Professor Martin Barbetti
Commissioned organisation
The University of Western Australia
DEC 2018
OCT 2024
Project status
Legally committed/Active
Share this page


This project aims to improve reliability, productivity, and profitability of faba bean production in Ethiopia.

Faba bean is the most important pulse crop in Ethiopia and has been grown there since antiquity. Farmers in the very highlands of the country focus on faba beans as it is one of the only crops that provide food, nutrition and incomes to poor small holder farmers.

The project is providing methodologies and germplasm to better manage Faba Bean Gall disease, a rapidly spreading disease causing devastating effects to crops in the designated region. Better management of the disease will result in lower production risk, reduced production losses, and a better return on labour and inputs.

This project could be the first phase of a broader longer term program supporting legumes in Ethiopia and potentially elsewhere in Africa.

Expected Project Outcomes

  • Mapping the spread of Faba Bean Gall (FBG) disease in space and time, and identifying the conditions and the practices driving its spread and its impact on women and men farmers in Ethiopia.
  • Identifying the causal agent of FBG, determining the diversity of the pathogen’s isolates, and establishing the pathogen’s life cycle, host range and spreading mechanism.
  • Designing and evaluating disease management options using fungicides and cultural practices for FBG and other relevant faba bean pathogens.
  • Identifying sources of genetic resistance to FBG and other relevant faba bean pathogens and introducing resistance into adapted faba bean lines.
  • Establishing whether the FBG disease agent is present in Australia on faba bean or alternative hosts.
Map of Ethiopia
Key partners
Debre Berhan Agricultural Research Centre, Ethiopia
Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
NSW Department of Primary Industries, Australia
The University of Western Australia
fact sheet placeholder image
Fact Sheet CIM/2017/030