Assessment and Selection of Superior Genotypes among Elite Cassava Genotypes by Farmers and Scientists in Southern Tanzania.

A.C. Kundy, G.S. Mkamilo, R.N. Misangu


A participatory genotype/variety selection involving farmers in three agro ecological zones in Southern Tanzania and scientists from Naliendele Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) and Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) to select superior cassava genotypes is described. Initial situation analyses of the communities indicated that cassava is increasing in importance both as a food and a cash crop. Most farmers utilized landraces of cassava; improved varieties were scarcely mentioned. Nine newly improved cassava genotypes obtained from advanced yield trial at NARI were planted in each agro ecological in a randomized complete block design. During cropping season (2011/2012) the genotypes selected by farmers were almost the same as those selected by scientists after analysis.  This selection process has identified four superior genotypes from amongst nine elite genotypes; namely Kiroba, NDL 2006/487, NDL 2006/438 and Naliendele.  Farmers were relatively consistent in their selection from different stages of crop growth, and their selections corresponded with their stated selection criteria. Official variety release requires additional multilocational and inspection trials and postharvest assays but otherwise seems harmonious with a participatory breeding approach; involvement of farmers in this stage may facilitate early variety release, an important factor in cost-effectiveness. Adoption of a participatory approach, with farmers and scientists taking on new roles and decentralization of activities, implies a concomitant transfer of influence and resources.

Keywords: Participatory Variety Selection, Farmer selection criteria, Variety release.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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