Faba bean

Vicia faba

Faba bean (Vicia faba) is the third most important legume grain after soybean (Glycine max) and pea (Pisum sativum). It is used for human consumption in the Mediterranean region, the Middle East, China, Ethiopia and Latin America.

Faba bean is considered one of the world’s oldest crops. Its cultivation probably originated in the Southern Levant around 10200 BP. From there, the crop spread to Central Europe, Russia, the Mediterranean coast, Abyssinia, China and India. The Spaniards introduced it to the New World in the 16th century. Later, during the 20th century, the crop reached Australia.

Genesys displays information for more than 11,000 faba bean accessions. The most important collection is the one held at the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) with 10,000 accessions.

A series of consultations, surveys and workshops were carried out between 2005 and 2008 to prepare the global strategy for the ex situ conservation of faba bean.

General information

Size of genebank collections

Other accepted names