Participatory crop improvement in maize in Gujarat, India
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Goyal, S.N.; Joshi, A.; Witcombe, John R.. 2001. Participatory crop improvement in maize in Gujarat, India . In: An exchange of experiences from South and South East Asia: Proceedings of the international symposium on Participatory plant breeding and participatory plant genetic resources enhancement, Pokhara, Nepal, 1-5 May 2000 . Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), Participatory Research and Gender Analysis (PRGA), Program Coordination Office, Cali, CO. p. 237-241.
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This paper describes a participatory plant-breeding (PPB) program for maize in a rural development project financed by the United Kingdom's Department of International Development (DFID) and the Government of India and executed by the Krishak Bharati Cooperative (KRIBHCO). The program was targeted at low-resource farmers of the Panchmahals district of Gujarat. Farmers were given a range of maize varieties to try in a participatory varietal-selection program. However, none of these proved to be overwhelmingly popular with farmers, although maize variety Shweta from Uttar Pradesh was adopted by some farmers for more fertile fields. Hence, in 1993 a breeding program was begun by crossing yellow- and white-endospermed maize varieties, all of which had some acceptance or positive attributes identified in participatory trials. The breeding program targeted trails identified by farmers, and in some generations, selections were carried out by farmers in the populations grown on land rented by the project. Soil-fertility management was lower than that normally used on research-station land. The breeding program has produced several successful varieties. One of them, GDRM 187, has qualified for release and yielded 18% more than the local check in research station trials, while being seven days earlier to silk. In farmers' fields, where average yields were lower, the yield advantage was 28%. Farmers perceived GDRM 187 to have better grain quality than local landraces.
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