Sugar beans can be grown throughout Zimbabwe but there are several factors that may affect production.

According to Seed Co’s 2010/11 product manual, lack of water and frost may also affect sugar beans production.

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l Choose varieties that are resistant to diseases.

l Sugar beans are prone to diseases transmitted by seed and farmers should only use good quality disease-free seed. It is not advisable to use retained seed from year to year.

l Plant well in drained fertile soils.

l Sugar beans are sensitive to acid soils and liming is important, ideal pH (acidity and alkalinity) is 5,2.

l Sugar beans respond to basal manure and fertilizer application. A light application of top dressing fertilizer of 100 kg-per hectare at flowering stage is beneficial.

l Thiram seed treatment before planting will improve plant stand.

l Dressing with insecticide will reduce seedling losses due to bean stem maggot.

l Farmers should scout for diseases such as rust, angular leaf spot and anthracnose. Beware of bacterial and viral diseases. Control with fungicides as necessary.

l Check for pests such as bean fly maggot, aphids, thrips and bollworms.

l Sugar beans do not perform well under excessive water during growing or very hot conditions when flowering.

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