Experimental Agriculture

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On-station farmer participatory varietal evaluation: a strategy for client-oriented breeding


J. Baidu-Forson a1
a1 ICRISAT Sahelian Center, BP 12404, Niamey, Niger

Abstract

On-station participatory evaluation of varieties was used to identify the characteristics of pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L. Br.) preferred by farmers in western Niger. Large numbers of productive tillers, large grain size, plant height of about 250 cm and a crop cycle of 100 d or less were the main traits that motivated farmers' preference for ICMV IS 92222. High grain yield was of less concern to farmers than these factors. Small grain size, short or thin panicles, short or thin stalks and a crop cycle of 110 d or more are traits likely to be rejected by farmers. Evidence of gender-based trait preferences was significant only for short or thin panicles and thin stalks. There was no evidence of location-driven trait preferences. Farmer participation in the on-station varietal evaluation provided a means of identifying a wide range of traits that were valued by farmers and could provide guidance on farmer demand for use in varietal evaluations.

(Accepted February 28 1996)