Increasing the efficiency of breeding through farmer participation
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Salvatore Ceccarelli, Stefania Grando. (25/4/1997). Increasing the efficiency of breeding through farmer participation. Italy.
Participatory plant breeding (PPB) -- defined as farmers’ participation in selection of early segregating populations -- should become a component of formal plant breeding programs to exploit more efficiently specific adaptation, and therefore to mach more precisely crops to their environment, particularly in the case of marginal, difficult, stressful environments. PPB is the only possible approach to breed crops grown in unfavorable conditions and/or remote regions, in areas not sufficiently large to justify the interest of large breeding programs, and to breed for minor crops neglected by both private and public plant breeding programs. The paper describes decentralized and participatory selection and the relationships between them. A number of methodological issues -- such as the choice of participating farmers, the number of farmers doing the selection, the gender of who does the selection, the number of lines to use, and comparison between decentralization and participation -- are discussed as aspects of a true partnership between breeders and farmers. Participatory plant breeding should be linked not only with formal breeding programs -- providing a continuous flow of novel genetic variability -- but also with the informal seed supply system which can spread new varieties in the farmers’ communities without the unnecessary requirements of the formal seed system
- Agricultural Research Knowledge