Participatory crop improvement for intercropped maize on Bari land terraces with trees
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Tiwari, T.P.; Virk, Daljit; Sinclair, Fergus L.. 2001. Participatory crop improvement for intercropped maize on Bari land terraces with trees . 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. 249-260.
Permanent link to cite or share this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10568/81898
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Maize (Zea mays L.) is the most important crop in the middle hills of Nepal and is mostly grown in association with finger millet (Eleusino coracana Gaertn) and fodder trees. Seven maize varieties have been recommended for the hills but few farmers have adopted them. As a prerequisite to designing a participatory maize-improvement program for the middle hills that could reverse declining yields, local knowledge and practice were investigated and combined with micro-meteorological measurements at three sites, each with 20 participating farmers. In a participatory maize-improvement program, both participatory varietal selection (PVS) and participatory plant breeding (PPB) were carried out side-by-side with varieties selected on the basis of criteria derived from farmers' knowledge. Four different varieties were tested (Manakamana-I, Arun-l, BA-93-2126#2, Population-22) with local varieties al were site. Participatory trials, where each farmer grew a new variety alongside local varieties, were combined with display trials of all the varieties al five locations. Questionnaires and focus-group discussions were used to assess farmers' evaluation of variet- ies. Population-22, despite its late maturity, was liked by farmers for disease tolerance, higher yield potential, white and large grains, and its slay-green characteristics. Statistical analysis of grain yield confirmed farmers' preference for Population-22, since this out-yielded the other new varieties, which were similar in yield to local varieties. A seed-multiplication program of this preferred variety has been initiated by participating farmers. As part of the PPB program, the best four local varieties (Marga local, Muga local, Madi local, and Fakchamara local) were collected from various parts of the middle hilIs and crossed with adapted exotics (Manakamana, Arun, Population-22, and Pool-21). Five composites have been created by random mating so as to offer choices to farmers in the coming seasons. Thus increasing the genetic diversity they are able to evaluate and utilize.
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