Fodder bean @ Foldscope sensitization at a farm in Punjab

Moving through the farms of Punjab we came across the fields where mixed crops were grown – wheat and leguminous crops. Indian bean with its short and flat pods was spotted. We were confused whether it was Indian bean or Lima bean as farmers termed it as Phali in their mother tongue.

The plants were bushy with white flowers and were fast growing. They said the crop was harvested after 2-3 months of sowing as the green plants were used as forage for dairy animals and the mature ones yielding seeds for human consumption.

The vines, leaves and empty pods left after the harvest were used as dry fodder, or  made into hay and silage. The bean crop was also being used for green manure and as a cover crop by the farmers of the region.

We plucked a few leaves that were having spots on them and gently teased a portion to show the infected portion to the farmers using a foldscope.

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