Improving participatory varietal selection processes: participatory varietal selection and the role of informal seed diffusion mechanisms for upland rice in Ghana
Dorward, P., Craufurd, P., Marfo, K., Dogbe, W. and Bam, R. (2007) Improving participatory varietal selection processes: participatory varietal selection and the role of informal seed diffusion mechanisms for upland rice in Ghana. Euphytica, 155 (3). pp. 315-327. ISSN 0014-2336
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s10681-006-9333-y
This paper considers the process of Participatory Varietal Selection (PVS) and presents approaches and ideas based on PVS activities conducted on upland rice throughout Ghana between 1997 and 2003. In particular the role of informal seed systems in PVS is investigated and implications for PVS design are identified. PVS programmes were conducted in two main agroecological zones, Forest and Savannah, with 1,578 and 1,143 mm of annual rainfall, respectively, and between 40 and 100 varieties tested at each site. In the Savannah zone IR12979-24-1 was officially released and in the Forest zone IDSA 85 was widely accepted by farmers. Two surveys were conducted in an area of the Forest zone to study mechanisms of spread. Here small amounts (1-2 kg) of seed of selected varieties had been given to 94 farmers. In 2002, 37% of 2,289 farmers in communities surveyed had already grown a PVS variety and had obtained seed via informal mechanisms from other farmers, i.e. through gift, exchange or purchase. A modified approach for PVS is presented which enables important issues identified in the paper to be accommodated. These issues include: utilising existing seed spread mechanisms; facilitating formal release of acceptable varieties; assessing post-harvest traits, and; the need for PVS to be an ongoing and sustainable process.