In Ethiopia, farmers are cultivating potato under a wide range of environmental conditions. Despite its genetic potential, the productivity of potato is relatively low. Among the long list of production constraints, the absence of high yielding and disease resistant varieties in different corners of the country are the prominent ones. Its suitable edaphic and climatic conditions make the highlands of Girar Jarso Woreda suitable for potato production; however, it is scarce and dominated by local varieties. Hence, by employing its newly developed integrated agricultural technology evaluation protocol, CASCAPE program (Capacity building for scaling up of evidence-based agricultural technologies in Ethiopia) conducted a participatory potato variety evaluation trial at Girar Jarso in 2017 cropping season. Data related to tuber yield, acceptability, profitability, gender-related labor burden and environmental sustainability in terms of pesticide use were collected. Instead of selecting an adaptable variety merely on one parameter, for instance solely by considering yield of the crop, the recorded data on each parameter were normalized in a 1-5 scale and integrated to produce a single value for each variety. Therefore, in relation to the three rules of decision making, a potato variety (Belete) that had an over normalized score of 4.6 with a yield of 47.12 ton/ha, an acceptability score of 97.22 and 960% profitability was selected and recommended for the highlands of Girar Jarso Woreda and other areas with similar agro-ecological and social settings in the central highlands of the country. As a novel system of participatory technology evaluation technique, this paper demonstrates the approach to select and recommend a variety/technology by integrating its production potential, profitability, desirability, gender attributes, and with environmental considerations.
Key words: Potato, Integrated technology validation, productivity, profitability, acceptability, gender and nutrition, environmental sustainability
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