Resource-poor farmers in Uttar Pradesh, India, face a number of production constraints to rainfed rice growing, ranging from poor performance of traditional varieties and a lack of access to new ones, to unpredictable weather. A farmer participatory breeding programme begun in 1997 sought to address those problems by developing new rice genotypes. During the four years of the study, several important points were established: Farmers could visually rate for yield with high accuracy, and their visual yield ratings were the best predictor of farmer preference. Some cultivars produced very high yields under low-input management, and were highly preferred by farmers. However, some high yielding varieties were not preferred, while some farmers preferred varieties that did not give a high yield.
Addressing genetic improvement and on-farm diversity through farmer participatory breeding: A case study of rainfed rice in the Faizabad and Siddharthnagar districts, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, India