Participatory variety selection for enhanced promotion and adoption of improved potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) varieties in Southwest Ethiopia


Participatory variety selection is an approach which provides a wide choice of varieties to farmers to evaluate in a given varieties for their own environment to increase production. It enhances farmers’ access to diverse crop varieties, increases production and ensures food security and helps faster dissemination and adoption of released varieties. It allows varietal selection in targeted areas at cost-effective and timely manner and helps promotion of community seed production and seed banks. This experiment was designed to conduct potato participatory variety evaluation and selection at southwestern Ethiopia on farmers’ farm land to overcome production problem supplying three newly released potato varieties namely; Belete, Gera and Shankala. At different locations, each variety performed differently. Accordingly, farmers selected according to their performance in their areas setting growth habit, stem thickness, maturity period and disease tolerance as main selection criteria. Therefore, a variety developed through participatory variety selection usually meets the demand of different stakeholders. Besides, from the experiment, the main bottleneck in potato production was identified to be lack of technology supply and extension besides of participatory evaluation and selection. So, it calls researchers to participate users while variety development and technologies extension.