Euphytica

, Volume 122, Issue 3, pp 575–588 | Cite as

Increasing genetic diversity by participatory varietal selection in high potential production systems in Nepal and India

  • J.R. Witcombe
  • K.D. Joshi
  • R.B. Rana
  • D.S. Virk
Article

Abstract

On-farm varietal biodiversity was studied through household surveys in two high potential production systems in Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts of the Nepal Terai and in Lunawada sub-district, Gujarat, India. Diversity was extremely low in Chaite rice in the Nepal study area (weighted diversity 0.04) and low in main season rice in the India study area (weighted diversity 0.34). In both areas, one cultivar dominated, CH 45 in Nepal and GR11 in India. In the India study area, biodiversity varied with the socio-economic group and better-off farmers had a greater varietal diversity. Participatory varietal selection (PVS) identified new varieties that farmers preferred. Their adoption by farmers increased on-farm varietal biodiversity within the three cropping seasons studied. Despite the commonly assumed uniformity of high potential production systems, the new varieties occupied specific niches in the farming system. Farmers' preferences for different varieties – there were large differences in quality traits and maturity period among the new varieties – should help to maintain biodiversity. Overall production is expected to increase as each niche becomes occupied increasingly by the best-adapted variety. PVS is a simple and powerful method of increasing food production in the high potential production systems that produce most of the developing world's grain.

biodiversity high potential production system participatory varietal selection rice 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Brennan, J.P. & D. Byerlee, 1991. The rate of crop varietal replacement on farms: Measures andempirical results for wheat. Plant Var Seeds 4: 99–106.Google Scholar
  2. Bruntland G.H., 1993. Our Common Future. WorldCommission on Environment and Development, pp. 120–122. Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York.Google Scholar
  3. Frankel, O.H., A.D.H. Brown & J.J. Burdon, 1995. The Conservation of Plant Diversity. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  4. Frey, K.J., J.A. Browning & M.D. Simons, 1977. Management systems for host genes to controldisease loss. Ann NY Acad Sci 287: 255–274.Google Scholar
  5. Harrington, L.W., S. Fujisaka, M.L. Morris, P.R. Hobbs, H.C. Sharma, R.P. Singh, M.K. Chaudhary & S.D. Dhiman, 1993. Wheat and Rice in Karnal and Kurukshetra Districts, Haryana, India: Farmers' Practices, Problems, and an Agenda for Action. Haryana Agricultural University (HAU), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).Google Scholar
  6. Hobbs, P.R., G.P. Hettel, R.K. Singh, R.P. Singh, L.W. Harrington, V.P. Singh & K.G. Pillai,1992. Rice-Wheat Cropping Systems in Faizabad District of Uttar Pradesh, India: Exploratory Surveys of Farmers' Practices and Problems, and Needs for Further Research: Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology (NDUAT), International Maize andWheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).Google Scholar
  7. Hobbs, P.R., G.P. Hettel, R.P. Singh, Y. Singh, L. Harrington & S. Fujisaka, 1991.Rice-Wheat Cropping Systems in the Terai Areas of Nainital, Rampur, and Pilibhit Districts in Uttar Pradesh, India. Diagnostic Surveys of Farmers' Practices and Problems, and Needs for Further Research: Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, International Maize andWheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).Google Scholar
  8. Hobbs, P.R., L.W. Harrington, C. Adhikari, G.S. Giri, S.R. Upadhyay & B. Adhikari,1996. Wheat and Rice in the Nepal Terai: Farm Resources and Production Practices in Rupandehi District. Mexico, D.F., NARC and CIMMYT.Google Scholar
  9. IRRI, 1993. Rice environments. In: 1993–95 IRRI Rice Almanac, pp. 17–27.International Rice Research Institute, Manila, Philippines.Google Scholar
  10. Joshi, A. & J.R. Witcombe, 1996. Participatory cropimprovement. II. Participatory varietal selection, a case study in India. Exp Agric 32: 461–477.Google Scholar
  11. Joshi, A. & J.R. Witcombe, 1998. Farmer participatory approaches for varietal improvement. In: J.R. Witcombe, D.S. Virk & J. Farrinton (Eds.), Seeds of Choice: Making the Most of New Varieties for Small Farmers, pp. 171–190. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. New Delhi and Intermediate Technology Publications, London.Google Scholar
  12. Joshi, K.D. & B.R. Sthapit, 1990.Informal Research and Development (IRD): A New Approach to Research and Extension. LARC discussion paper 1990/4. Lumle Agricultural Research Centre, Pokhara, Nepal.Google Scholar
  13. NRRP, 1997. 25 Years of Rice Research in Nepal (1972–1997). Parwanipur, Bara Nepal: National Rice Research Programme (NRRP), Nepal Agricultural Research Council.Google Scholar
  14. Packwood, A.J., D.S. Virk & J.R. Witcombe, 1998. Trial testing sites in the All India Coordinated Projects - Howwell do they represent agro-ecological zones and farmers' fields? In: J.R. Witcombe, D.S. Virk & J. Farrington (Eds.), Seeds of Choice: Making the Most of New Varieties for Small Farmers, pp. 7–26. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. New Delhi and Intermediate Technology Publications, London.Google Scholar
  15. Pinstrup-Andersen, P., R. Pandya-Lorch & M.W. Rosegrant,1999. World Food Prospects: Critical Issues for the Early Twenty-First Century. 2020 Vision, Food Policy Report, October, 1999. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  16. Priestley, R.H. & R.A. Bayles,1980. Varietal diversification as a means of reducing the spread of cereal diseases in the United Kingdom. J Natl Inst Agric Bot 15: 205–214.Google Scholar
  17. Smith, P.D., 1999. The Indian cultivar database. Q Bull Intl Agric Inf Spec44(1/2): 32–36.Google Scholar
  18. Snedecor, G.W. & W.G. Cochran, 1991Z. Statistical Methods, 8th ed., SecondPrinting. Iowa State Univ Press, Ames.Google Scholar
  19. Souza, E., P.N. Fox, D. Byerlee & B. Skovmand, 1994. Spring wheatdiversity in irrigated areas of two developing countries. Crop Sci 34: 774–783.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. St. Martin, S.K., 1982.Effective population size for the soybean improvement program in maturity groups 00 to IV. Crop Sci 22: 151–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sthapit, B.R., K.D. Joshi & J.R. Witcombe, 1996. Farmer participatory crop improvement. III. Participatory plantbreeding, a case study for rice in Nepal. Exp Agric 32: 479–496.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Witcombe, J.R., 1998. Participatoryapproaches: Introduction. In: J.R. Witcombe, D.S. Virk & J. Farrington (Eds.), Seeds of Choice: Making the Most of New Varieties for Small Farmers, pp. 135–142. Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. New Delhi and Intermediate Technology Publications, London.Google Scholar
  23. Witcombe, J.R., 1999a. Do farmer-participatory methods apply more to high potential areas thanmarginal ones? Outl Agric 28: 43–49.Google Scholar
  24. Witcombe, J.R., 1999b. Does plant breeding lead to a loss of geneticdiversity? In: D. Wood & J.M. Lenné (Eds.), Agrobiodiversity: Characterization, Utilization and Management, pp. 245–272. CABI Publishing, Oxon, UK.Google Scholar
  25. Witcombe, J.R., R. Petre, S. Jones & A. Joshi, 1999. Farmerparticipatory crop improvement. IV. The spread and impact of a rice variety identified by participatory varietal selection. Expl Agric 35: 471–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • J.R. Witcombe
    • 1
  • K.D. Joshi
    • 2
  • R.B. Rana
    • 2
  • D.S. Virk
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Arid Zone StudiesUniversity of Wales, BangorGwyneddU.K.
  2. 2.Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD)PokharaNepal

Personalised recommendations