Breeding to meet farmers` needs uri icon


  • This paper describes two techniques used in Rwanda for integrating farmer expertise into bean varietal development. Standard farmer evaluation of on-farm trials can help: 1) indicate how varieties perform under farmer conditions; 2) better identify criteria critical to farmers; 3) target varieties to agronomic regions; 4) target varieties to socio-economic groups of farmers; and 5) lead to the improvement or fine-tuning of varieties. A second, novel evaluation procedure, farmer evaluation of on-station trials, has the following further advantages; 1) integration of farmer criteria into the breeding process at an earlier stage; 2) promotion of a close breeder/farmer collaboration; and 3) enhancement of farmer influence in technology/varietal development. Both techniques are described in detail: the evaluation formats, the process, specific findings and future implications. Such methods for melding farmer and breeding expertise are neither arduous nor time-consuming; they can be integrated, at little monetary cost, into an on-going farmer-oriented research program. (AS)

publication date

  • 1989