Experimental Agriculture

Research Article

Farmer Participatory Crop Improvement. III. Participatory Plant Breeding, a Case Study for Rice in Nepal

B. R. Sthapita1, K. D. Joshia1 and J. R. Witcombea2 c1

a1 Lumle Agricultural Research Centre, Kaski District, PO Box 1, Pokhara, Nepal

a2 Centre for Arid Zone Studies, University of Wales Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW, UK


A participatory plant breeding (PPB) programme was conducted for the high altitude areas of Nepal. The aim was to breed acceptable varieties with minimum use of resources and to utilize farmers' knowledge in the PPB programme. Farmer participation began at the F5 stage and progress was followed over two seasons in two villages. Farmers proved to be willing participants and made selections in the segregating material, often with great success. Large differences in farmers' preferences between the F5 bulks were found and the most preferred were adopted rapidly. The most adopted variety, Machhapuchhre-3, performed well in the formal trials system, and much better than the products from conventional centralized breeding. The PPB programme increased biodiversity in the two participating villages.

(Accepted April 17 1996)


c1 Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.