Farmers participation in the process of on-farm research does not only enrich the speed up of information gathering, but also result in large scale adoption of the product of research. A small farmer deals with a variable environment and has multiple production objectives that will affect his or her choice of crops and selection of genotypes. In areas where farmers are unfamiliar with available improved varieties, there is need of conducting effective variety evaluations with farmers. The usefulness of the participatory approach for identifying cultivars for harsh environments, which are difficult to replicate in research stations, has been recognized by the crop breeders. Participatory plant breeding/selection has shown success in identifying more number of preferred varieties by farmers in shorter time (than the conventional system), in accelerating their dissemination and increasing cultivar diversity. This paper describes how plant breeders and farmers worked together to test and selected farmers preferred pearl millet varieties; PE05684 and PE05532 from a diverse pearl millet accessions in a participatory varietal selection program conducted across some states of Northern Nigeria.
Key words: Diversity, pearl millet, participatory plant breeding, varietal selection, ranking.
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