Farmers' participation and breeding for durable disease resistance in the Andean region

D.L. Danial, J.E. Parlevliet, C.J.M. Almekinders, G. Thiele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


In the Andean region, the Preduza project and its partners combined breeding for durable disease resistance using locally adapted cultivars and farmer participatory methods. The approach taken resembles participatory variety selection (PVS). Farmers participated in the selection of advanced materials, rather than finished cultivars. This paper describes this approach and reports experiences with farmers¿breeders collaboration. As breeders involved farmers as participants, they learned more about the most important criteria of male and female farmers for preferred cultivars in the marginal environments of Andean cropping systems. This approach encouraged the use of locally adapted cultivars (often landraces), made the breeders less dependent on foreign materials, and has resulted in selection and development of new wheat, barley, common bean, quinoa, potato and maize cultivars. Breeding programmes based on crossing locally adapted cultivars followed by selection by the breeders in the early phases of the breeding programmes and by participatory selection with the farmers in the more advanced stages of the breeding programmes appeared successful. It became clear that breeders must be well acquainted with the farmer preferences such as the requirements for specific agronomic, storage, processing and marketing traits. Over a period of five years the centralized formal breeding approach predominantly based on material produced by the international institutes was replaced by decentralized breeding approaches based largely on local germplasm with extensive farmer participation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-396
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • crop improvement
  • varieties
  • selection
  • maize


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