, Volume 176, Issue 1, pp 59–78 | Cite as

Participatory crop improvement and formal release of Jethobudho rice landrace in Nepal

  • S. Gyawali
  • B. R. Sthapit
  • B. Bhandari
  • J. Bajracharya
  • P. K. Shrestha
  • M. P. Upadhyay
  • D. I. Jarvis


Jethobudho is an aromatic rice landrace of the Pokhara valley in middle hills of Nepal. Although local consumers are willing to pay a high price for its purchase, the landrace has a problem with quality variation. Decentralized participatory population improvement for specific market-identified traits was conducted on “Jethobudho” populations collected from farmers’ fields in seven geographic regions of the valley in Nepal. The preferred post harvest quality traits, field tolerance to blast and lodging, and superior post harvest quality traits of Jethobudho were established by a consumer market survey. These traits were used for screening the materials. 338 sub-populations of Jethobudho were evaluated for yield, disease, lodging resistance, and post harvest quality traits. Significant variation was found for culm strength, neck blast tolerance, awn characteristics, panicle length, number of grains per panicle, test grain weight and post harvest quality traits, whereas no significant variation was found in grain yield, plant height, tiller number, maturity period and leaf blast. Based on these identified traits and micro-milling evaluations, 183 populations were screened in on-farm and on-station nurseries, and in succeeding years populations were further screened by plant breeders and expert farmers in research trials, resulting in the selection of 46 populations for post harvest quality traits. Six accessions with similar agronomic traits, field tolerance to blast and lodging, and superior post harvest quality traits, were bulked and evaluated on-farm using participatory variety selection (PVS). The enhanced Jethobudho accessions were also evaluated for aroma using simple sequence repeat (SSR) and found to have unique aromatic genetic constitution. Community based seed production groups were formed, linked to the Nepal District Self Seed Sufficiency Programme (DISSPRO), and trained to produce basic seeds (truthfully labeled) of Jethobudho. The National Seed Board of Nepal released the enhanced landrace in the name of “Pokhareli Jethobudho” in 2006, as the first bulk variety of traditional high quality aromatic rice improved through participatory plant breeding to be formally released in Nepal for general cultivation under the national seed certification scheme. Landrace improvement is shown as an important option for supporting programmes for in situ conservation of landraces on-farm.


Traditional variety Landrace enhancement On-farm conservation Participatory plant breeding Community based seed production Genetic diversity 



This work was carried out with the support from the NEDA, Netherlands, the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The authors express their sincere gratitude to the in situ project team members from 1998 to 2006, including farmers and their local institutions of Pokhara Valley. Thanks are due to Dr. KD Joshi, Indra Poudel, Shree Ram Subedi, Mahendra Chaudhary, and Mahesh Shrestha from LI-BIRD and Radha Krishna Tiwari, Gopal Parajuli, Bimal Baniya and Ramesh Bhandari from NARC for their technical assistance. Thanks also to Chiara Boni for her assistance in editing the references. We also thank the Department of Agriculture (DoA) and their staffs for their support in variety release and community based seed production program.


  1. Almekinders CJM, Elings A (2001) Collaboration of farmers and breeders: participatory crop improvement in perspective. Euphytica 122:425–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Almekinders CJM, Thiele G, Dabial L (2007) Can cultivars from participatory plant breeding improve seed provision to small scale farmers? Euphytica 153:363–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aw-Hassan A, Mazid A, Salahieh H (2008) The role of informal farmer to farmer seed distribution in diffusion of new barley varieties in Syria. Exp Agric 44:413–443CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bajracharya J, Gyawali S, Sthapit BR, Jarvis DI (2005) Jethobudho landrace enhancement V: molecular evaluation of enhanced populations for aroma by single sequence repeats (SSR). In: Sthapit BR, Upadhyay MP, Shrestha PK, Jarvis DI (eds) On-farm conservation of agricultural biodiversity in Nepal. Managing diversity and promoting its benefits. Proceedings of the second national workshop 25–27 August 2004, Nagarkot, Nepal. IPGRI/NARC/LI-BIRD, vol IIGoogle Scholar
  5. Baniya BK, Subedi A, Rana RB, Tiwari RK, Chaudhary P (2003) Finger millet seed supply system in Kaski district of Nepal. In: On-farm management of agricultural biodiversity in Nepal. Proceedings of a national workshop, April 24–26, 2001, Lumle, Nepal. NARC/LI-BIRD/IPGRI, Kathmandu, Nepal, pp 171–175Google Scholar
  6. Barry MB, Pham JL, Courtois B, Billot C, Ahmadi A (2007) Rice genetic diversity at farm and village levels and genetic structure of local varieties reveal need for in situ conservation. Genet Resour Crop Evol 54:1675–1690CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bellon MR, Berthaud J, Smale M, Aguire JA, Taba S, Aragon F, Diaz J, Castro H (2003) Participatory landrace selection for on-farm conservation: an example from the central valleys of Oaxaca, Mexico. Genet Resour Crop Evol 50:401–416CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bezancon G, Pham J, Deu M, Vigouroux Y, Sagnard F, Mariac C, Kapran I, Mamadou A, Ge′rard B, Ndjeunga J, Chantereau J (2009) Changes in the diversity, geographic distribution of cultivated millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R. Br.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) varieties in Niger between 1976 and 2003. Genet Resour Crop Evol 56:223–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brush SB (2004) Farmers’ bounty: locating crop diversity in the contemporary world. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  10. Brush S, Meng E (1998) Farmers’ valuation and conservation of crop genetic resources. Genet Resour Crop Evol 45:139–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Brush S, Kesselli R, Ortega R, Cisneros P, Zimmerer K, Quiros C (1995) Potato diversity in the Andean center of crop domestication. Conserv Biol 9:1189–1198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ceccarelli S (1994) Adaptation to low/high-input cultivation. Euphytica 92:203–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Ceccarelli S, Grando S (2007) Decentralized-participatory plant breeding: an example of demand driven research. Euphytica 155:349–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ceccarelli S, Grando S, Tutwiler R, Baha J, Martini AM, Salahieh H, Goodchild A, Michael M (2000) A methodological study on participatory barley breeding I. Selection phase. Euphytica 111:91–104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ceccarelli S, Grando S, Bailey E, Amri A, El-Felah M, Nassif F, Rezgui S, Yahyaoui A (2001) Farmer participation in barley breeding in Syria, Morocco and Tunisia. Euphytica 122:521–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ceccarelli S, Grando S, Singh M, Michael M, Shikho A, Al Issa M, Al Saleh A, Kaleonjy G, Al Ghanem SM, Al Hasan AL, Dalla H, Basha S, Basha T (2003) A methodological study on participatory barley breeding II. Response to selection. Euphytica 133:185–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chen X, Temnykh S, Xu Y, Cho YG, McCouch SR (1997) Development of a microsatellite framework map providing genome-wide coverage in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Theor Appl Genet 95:553–567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Chiffoleau Y, Desclaux D (2006) Participatory plant breeding: the best way to breed for sustainable agriculture? Int J Agric Sustain 4(2):119–130Google Scholar
  19. Cleveland DA, Soleri D (2007) Extending Darwin’s analogy: bridging differences in concepts of selection between farmers, biologists, and plant breeders. Econ Bot 61(2):121–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dawson JC, Murphy KM, Jones SS (2008) Decentralized selection and participatory approaches in plant breeding for low-input systems. Euphytica 160:143–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Devkota KP, Tripathi MP, Joshi KD, Shrestha PK, Witcombe JR (2008) Community based seed production groups in Chitwan, Nepal. In: Thijssen MH, Bishaw Z, Beshir A, de Boef WS (eds) Farmers, seeds and varieties. Supporting informal seed supply in Ethiopia. Wageningen International, The Netherlands, pp 263–270Google Scholar
  22. Dudnik NS, Thormann I, Hodgkin T (2001) The extent of use of plant genetic resources in research––a literature survey. Crop Sci 41:6–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Duvick DN (1984) Genetic diversity in major farm crops on the farm and in reserve. Econ Bot 38(2):161–178Google Scholar
  24. Eyzaguirre PB, Dennis EM (2007) The impacts of collective action and property rights on plant genetic resources. World Dev (Oxford) 35(9):1489–1498Google Scholar
  25. FAO (1998) The state of the world’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  26. FAO (2010) Second report on the world’s plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome, Italy (in press).
  27. Finckh MR (2008) Integration of breeding and technology into diversification strategies for disease control in modern agriculture. Eur J Plant Pathol 121:399–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Fowler C, Hodgkin T (2004) Plant genetic resources for food and agriculture: assessing global availability. Ann Rev Environ Res 29:143–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Frankel OH, Eennett E (1970) Genetic resources in plants-their exploitation and conservation. Blackwell Scientific Publ, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  30. Gauchan D, Smale M, Maxted N, Cole M (2006) Managing rice biodiversity on-farms: the choices of farmers and breeders in Nepal. In: Smale M (ed) Valuing crop biodiversity: on-farm genetic resources, economic change. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, pp 162–176Google Scholar
  31. Gepts P (2006) Plant genetic resources conservation and utilization: the accomplishments and future of a societal insurance policy. Crop Sci 46:2278–2292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gyawali S, Joshi KD, Tiwari RK, Sthapit BR (2003) Diversity assessment for the enhancement Jethobudho rice landraces of Kaski. In: Sthapit BR, Upadhyay MP, Baniya BK, Subedi A, Joshi BK (eds) On-farm management of agricultural biodiversity in Nepal. Proceedings of a national workshop, 24–26 April 2001, Lumle, Nepal, NARC, LI-BIRD and IPGRI, pp 262–266Google Scholar
  33. Gyawali S, Bhandari B, Bhandari R, Bajracharya J, Tripathi M, Sthapit BR (2005) Jethobudho landrace enhancement III: post-harvest quality traits. In: Sthapit BR, Upadhyay MP, Shrestha PK, Jarvis DI (eds) On-farm conservation of agricultural biodiversity in Nepal. Managing diversity and promoting its benefits. Proceedings of the second national workshop 25–27 August 2004, Nagarkot, Nepal. IPGRI, NARC, LI-BIRD, vol IIGoogle Scholar
  34. Gyawali S, Sunwar S, Subedi M, Tripathi M, Joshi KD, Witcombe JR (2007) Collaborative breeding with farmers can be effective. Field Crop Res 101:88–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Harlan JR (1975) Our vanishing genetic resources. Science 188:618–621CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Haugerud A, Collinson MP (1990) Plants, genes and people: improving the relevance of plant breeding in Africa. Exp Agric 26:341–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hawkes AG (1971) Point spectra of some mutually exciting point process. J R Stat Soc B 33:438–443Google Scholar
  38. Hodgkin T, Rana R, Tuxill J, Dibier B, Subedi A, Mar I, Karamura D, Valdivia R, Colledo L, Latournerie L et al (2007) Seed systems and crop genetic diversity in agroecosystems. In: Jarvis DI, Padoch C, Cooper D (eds) Managing biodiversity in agricultural ecosystems. Columbia University Press, New York, pp 77–116Google Scholar
  39. IRRI (1996) Standard evaluation system for rice, 4th edn. International Rice Research Institute, Los Banos, Laguna, PhilippinesGoogle Scholar
  40. Jarvis DI, Hodgkin T (2008) The maintenance of crop genetic diversity on farm: supporting the convention on biological diversity’s programme of work on agricultural biodiversity. Bioversity 9:23–38Google Scholar
  41. Jarvis DI, Brown AHD, Cuong PH, Collado-Panduro L, Latourniere-Moreno L, Gyawali S, Tanto T, Sawadogo M, Mar I, Sadiki M et al (2008) A global perspective of the richness and evenness of traditional crop variety diversity maintained by farming communities. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108:5326–5331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Johns T, Sthapit BR (2004) Biocultural diversity in the sustainability of developing country food systems. Food Nutr Bull 25:143–155PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Joshi A, Witcombe JR (1996) Farmer participatory crop improvement. II. Participatory varietal selection, a case study in India. Exp Agric 32:461–477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Joshi KD, Sthapit BR, Witcombe JR (2001) How narrowly are the products of decentralized breeding? The spread of rice varieties from a participatory plant breeding programme in Nepal. Euphytica 122:589–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Joshi KD, Sthapit BR, Subedi M, Witcombe JR (2002) Participatory plant breeding in rice in Nepal. In: Cleveland DA, Soleri D (eds) Farmers, scientists, plant breeding integrating knowledge, practice. CABI Publishing, UK, pp 239–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lammerts van Bueren ET, Verhoog H, Tiemens-Hulscher M, Struik PC, Haring MA (2007) Organic agriculture requires process rather than product evaluation of novel breeding techniques. NJAS Wagen J Life Sci 54:401–412CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Mariac C, Robert T, Allinne C, Remigereau MS, Luxereau A, MSeyni O, Bezancon G, Pham JL, Sarr A (2006) Genetic diversity and gene flow among pearl millet crop/weed complex: a case study. Theor Appl Genet 113:1003–1014CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. McCouch SR, Chen X, Panaud O, Temnykh S, Xu Y, Cho YG, Huang N, Ishii T, Blair M (1997) Microsatellite marker development, mapping, and application in rice genetics and breeding. Plant Mol Biol 35:89–99CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Nagaraju J, Kathirvel M, Kumar RR, Siddiq EA, Hasnain SE (2002) Genetic analysis of traditional and evolved basmati and non-basmati rice varieties by using fluorescence-based ISSR-PCR, and SSR markers. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99:5836–5841CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Poudel D, Johnsen FH (2009) Valuation of crop genetic resources in Kaski, Nepal: farmers’ willingness to pay for rice landraces conservation. J Environ Manag 90:483–491CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Rana RB (2004) Influence of socio-economic and cultural factors on agrobiodiversity conservation on-farm in Nepal. PhD Thesis, The University of Reading, UKGoogle Scholar
  52. Rana RB, Garforth C, Sthapit BR, Jarvis DI (2007a) Influence of socio-economic and cultural factors in rice varietal diversity management on-farm in Nepal. Agric Hum Value 24:461–472CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Rana RB, Garforth C, Sthapit BR, Subedi A, Chaudhary P, Jarvis DI (2007b) On-farm management of rice genetic diversity: understanding farmers’ knowledge on rice ecosystems and variety deployment. Plant Genet Resour Newsl 155:58–64Google Scholar
  54. Rana RB, Garforth C, Sthapit BR (2008) Farmers’ management of rice varietal diversity in the mid hills of Nepal: implications for on-farm conservation and crop improvement. Plant Genet Resour Charact Util 28:1–14Google Scholar
  55. Rani NS, Pandey MK, Prasad GSV, Sudharshan I (2006) Historical significance, grain quality features and precision breeding for improvement of export quality basmati varieties in India. Indian J Crop Sci 1:29–41Google Scholar
  56. Rijal DK (2007) On-farm conservation and use of local crop diversity: adaptations of taro (Colocasia esculenta) and rice (Oryza sativa) diversity to varying ecosystems of Nepal. PhD Thesis, University of Life Science (UMB), NorwayGoogle Scholar
  57. Rijal DK, Sherchand KK, Sthapit BR, Pandey YR, Adhikari N, Kadayat KB, Gautam YP, Chaudhary P, Poudyal CL, Gupta SR, Tiwari PR (1998) Strengthening the scientific basis for in situ conservation of agrobiodiversity: findings of site selection in Kaski, Nepal. NP Working Paper 1/98.NARC/LI-BIRD, Nepal and IPGRI, Rome, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  58. Singh BK (2003) Role of Government and non government and community organizations in quality seed supply in Nepal. In: Proceeding of national workshop on quality seed production and supply in Nepal. Organized by National Seed Board, HMG, NepalGoogle Scholar
  59. Singh RK, Singh US, Khush GS, Rohilla R (2000) Genetics and biotechnology of quality traits in aromatic rices. In: Singh RK, Singh US, Khush GS (eds) Aromatic rices, pp 47–70Google Scholar
  60. Smale M (2006) Valuing crop biodiversity: on-farm genetic resources and economic change. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UKGoogle Scholar
  61. Smale M, King A (2005) Genetic resource policies: what is diversity worth to farmers? Briefs 13–18. IPGRI and IFPRIGoogle Scholar
  62. Smale M, Bellon MR, Jarvis D, Sthapit B (2004) Economic concepts for designing policies to conserve crop genetic resources on-farms. Genet Resour Crop Evol 51:121–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Smith ME, Castillo FG, Gomez F (2001) Participatory plant breeding with maize in Mexico and Honduras. Euphytica 122:551–565CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Sperling L, Ashby JAQ, Smith ME, Weltzien E, McGuire S (2001) A framework for analyzing participatory plant breeding approaches and results. Euphytica 122:439–450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Sperling L, Cooper HD, Remington T (2008) Moving towards more effective seed aid. J Dev Stud 44:586–612CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sthapit BR (1992) Cold injury of rice crop in Nepal: a review. J Inst Agric Animal Sci 13:1–32Google Scholar
  67. Sthapit BR, Rao VR (2009) Consolidating community’s role in local crop development by promoting farmer innovation to maximise the use of local crop diversity for the well-being of people. Acta Hort (ISHS) 806:669–676Google Scholar
  68. Sthapit BR, Joshi KD, Witcombe JR (1996) Farmer participatory crop improvement. III: participatory plant breeding, a case study for rice in Nepal. Exp Agric 32:479–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sthapit BR, Joshi KD, Rana RB, Upadhaya MP, Eyzaguirre P, Jarvis D (2001) Enhancing biodiversity and production through participatory plant breeding: setting breeding goals. In: An exchange of experiences from South and South East Asia. Proceedings of the International symposium on PPB and participatory plant genetic resource enhancement, Pokhara, Nepal, 1–5 May 2000, PRGA, CIAT, Cali, pp 29–54Google Scholar
  70. Sthapit B, Rana R, Eyzaguirre P, Jarvis D (2008) The value of plant genetic diversity to resource-poor farmers in Nepal and Vietnam. Int J Agric Sustain 6(2):148–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Subedi A, Chaudhary P, Baniya B, Rana R, Tiwari R, Rijal D, Jarvis D, Sthapit B (2003) Who maintains crop genetic diversity and how: implications for on-farm conservation and utilization. Cult Agric 25:41–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Teklu Y, Hammer K (2006) Farmers’ perception and genetic erosion of tetraploid wheats landraces in Ethiopia. Genet Resour Crop Evol 53:1099–1113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Teshome A, Brown AHD, Hodgkin T (2001) Diversity in landraces of cereal and legume crops. Plant Breed Rev 21:221–261Google Scholar
  74. Tripp R (2001) Seed provision and agricultural development. Overseas Development Institute, LondonGoogle Scholar
  75. Vandermeer J (1995) The ecological basis of alternative agriculture. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 26:201–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Weltzien E, vom Brocke K (2000) Seed systems and their potential for innovation: conceptual framework for analysis. In Sperling L (ed) Targeting seed aid and seed system interventions: strengthening small farmer seed systems in east and central Africa, pp 9–13. Proceedings of a workshop, June 21–24, 2000, Kampala, Uganda. CIAT, KampalaGoogle Scholar
  77. Witcombe JR, Joshi A, Joshi KD, Sthapit BR (1996) Farmer participatory crop improvement. I: varietal selection and breeding methods and their impact on biodiversity. Exp Agric 32:445–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Witcombe JR, Joshi KD, Gyawali S, Musa AM, Johansen C, Virk DS, Sthapit BR (2006a) Participatory plant breeding is better described as highly client oriented plant breeding. I. Four indicators of client orientation in plant breeding. Exp Agric 41:299–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Witcombe JR, Gyawali S, Sunwar S, Sthapit BR, Joshi KD (2006b) Participatory plant breeding is better described as highly client oriented plant breeding. II. Optional farmer collaboration in the segregating generations. Exp Agric 42:79–90. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Zeven AC (2000) Traditional maintenance breeding of landraces: 1. Data by crop. Euphytica 116:65–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Gyawali
    • 1
  • B. R. Sthapit
    • 2
  • B. Bhandari
    • 1
  • J. Bajracharya
    • 3
  • P. K. Shrestha
    • 1
  • M. P. Upadhyay
    • 3
  • D. I. Jarvis
    • 4
  1. 1.Local Initiative for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD)PokharaNepal
  2. 2.Bioversity International, Sub-Regional Office for Asia Pacific and OceanaNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC)Khumaltar, KathmanduNepal
  4. 4.Bioversity InternationalMaccareseItaly

Personalised recommendations