Farmer Participatory Approaches for Varietal Improvement


Participatory varietal selection (PVS) is the selection by farmers on their own fields of finished or near-finished products from plant breeding programmes. These include released cultivars, varieties in advanced stages of testing, and well characterised material such as advanced non-segregating lines in inbreeding crops, or advanced populations in outbreeding crops. In contrast, participatory plant breeding (PPB) employs the active participation of farmers in breeding programmes, and will usually involve farmers selecting genotypes from genetically variable, segregating material. The difference between PVS and PPB may not appear to be great at first sight. However, PPB requires more resources and more time than PVS, and PVS identifies material that can be supplied more rapidly by the formal seed sector.
We discuss here the work of the KRIBHCO Indo British Rainfed Farming Project, West, (KRIBP(W)) on PVS in rice, chickpea, maize, and black gram and on PPB in maize and rice. The work on PVS in rice and chickpea has been reported in the literature (Joshi and Witcombe, 1995 and 1996) so only highlights of this work are presented, whereas the work carried out so far on maize and black gram is described fully.


Seeds of Choice: Making the Most of New Varieties for Small Farmers, ITDG Publishing, 1853394475, 1-17.

Farmer Participatory Approaches for Varietal Improvement

Published 1 January 1998