Participatory varietal screening, selection and testing of a large number of salt tolerant varieties/genotypes of rice were conducted at Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Regional Research Station, Lucknow, India during 2001 to 2007. This is aimed to identify and develop a high yielding, adaptable and acceptable rice variety for sodic soil environment through farmers’ participatory approach. Generally plant breeders tend to develop varieties through centralized breeding method are popular among farmers at favorable rice production system and often they are not suitable for stressed environments. A large number of varieties/genotypes were screened and evaluated under researchers managed on-station trials during 2001. From 2002 to 2005, farmers became a part of the varietal selection and testing process in order to incorporate their preferences. In this direction variety CSR 36 and genotype CSR-89IR-8 not only performed better in different locations, but was also deeply appreciated and adopted by farmers in sodic areas consistently over years. It can withstand sodicity tolerance up to pH2 ~ 9.9 and gives higher grain yield performance than other varieties/genotypes tested. The selected varieties/genotypes were evaluated under farmers managed baby trials during 2006 to 2008 and compared with traditional varieties. Based on the farmer’s preference, grain yield, farmer to farmer seed dissemination and large scale adoption in the target environment, the genotype CSR-89IR-8 has emerged as the best genotype and released as a variety named CSR 43 by the State Variety Release Committee in 2011. The success of PVS in the sodic environments convinced researchers, stakeholders and partner organizations for adopting this approach for rice variety development and larger impact particularly under resource poor and salt affected conditions.
Key words: Sodic soils, salt tolerant, genotypes, rice variety.
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