Participatory Crop Improvement (PCI) in high potential production systems piloting sustainable adoption of new technologies was implemented by LI-BIRD with financial and technical support from DFID, Plant Sciences Research Programme, UK and CAZS, University of Wales, Bangor. The project was implemented in Chitwan and Nawalparasi district of Nepal from 1st February 2000 - 31st January 2003 with a no cost extension from 1st February 2003 - 31st July 2003. The project activities included: validating and piloting participatory variety selection (PVS) and informal research and development (IRD) approaches, scaling up of crop varieties identified by R6746 and bred by R8071, minimum tillage in maize, wheat and lentil, scaling up of fodder and tree species preferred by the farmers in PCI I, and monitoring and evaluation of varietal spread and impact assessment of PCI II. The project activities directly involved the District Agriculture Development Offices (DADOs) of 29 districts of terai and middle hills of Nepal and covering more than 20,000 participating farmers in research and development of mandate crops. The impact assessment of PCI II suggested that PVS is efficient in identifying farmers preferred crop varieties whereas IRD is effective in scaling up preferred varieties. The mother-baby trials (PVS and IRD) were successful in providing varietal options to farmers resulting in enhanced varietal diversity on farm. The varietal diversity has increased by 20% in 2002 as compared to 1997. In Chaite season, BG 1442 has covered almost 40% of the area in Chitwan and Nawalparasi, whereas 17% of the main season rice area is occupied by the varieties identified by PCI or bred from PPB projects. PCI II deployed 13 new rice varieties in main season rice in 2003. Similarly, kidney bean has been widely adopted by the farmers of Nawalparsai covering almost 20 to 25% of the potential area for this crop. This crop has been popular as a cash crop. Flemingia congesta, Ficus roxburghii and Ficus semicordata were three popular fodder species among the dairy and livestock rearing farmers in Chitwan and Nawalparasi. More than 8000 saplings were distributed during the lifespan of the project and there is increasing demand for these species by the dairy groups. The PCI II has developed functional linkages with the 29 DADOs of terai and middle hills for scaling up main season rice in 2003. The DADOs, INGOs, CBOs and farmers from East to West and terai to hills have collaborated in conducting mother-baby trials to assess new PPB bred varieties for scaling up. The functional collaboration established by the PCI project with line (Government) agencies at different levels has influenced government extension agencies to adopt participatory approaches like mother-baby trials and IRD in their regular programmes.
Gyawali, S.; Devkota, K.; Tripathi, M. Participatory Crop Improvement (PCI) in High Potential Production System (HPPS)-piloting sustainable adoption of new technologies. Final Technical Report. (2003)