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Participatory plant breeding approach for identifying the superior rainfed barley genotypes in Egypt

Mahmoud Gomaa, Fathy Radwan, Naiim Moselhy, Ashraf El-Sadek, Safwat Abdelkader

Plant Production Department, Faculty of Agriculture (Saba basha) ,Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt

Plant Production Department, Ecology and Dryland Cultivation Division. Desert Research Center, Cairo, Egypt

Key words: Rainfed barley, participatory plant breeding, farmer participation, selection score, NWCZ.


plant_breeding_481_320The participatory plant breeding (PPB) approach, in which the selection process is performed in the farmers’ fields, is not a widely known strategy in Egyptian agriculture. The objective of this study is to assess the efficiency of farmers’, researchers’ and engineers’ selection in a participatory plant breeding program. Two field experiments have been conducted during 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 seasons to evaluate the performance of six genotypes under rainfed conditions in four locations (Ras El Hekma, Matrouh, El Neguilla and Barrani) in the North Western Coastal Zone of Egypt. For all of the studied locations, the selectors gave the highest score at the Matrouh location in the first season; however, two out of the three selectors (farmers and engineers) gave the highest score at the Barrani location in the second season. Overall, the ICA1 genotype was the one most liked by farmers and researchers in both of the growing seasons and by the engineers in the second season only because of its high yield potential. The results show that the farmers in all the studied locations were as efficient, or more efficient, than the researchers and the engineers in selecting high yielding genotypes. This was evident by the high positive correlation between the farmers’ score and the grain yield at all locations (r2 > 0.6). The findings illustrate the importance of farmers’ participation in the breeding programs to increase the probability and speed of the adoption of new genotypes and maintain the genetic diversity.

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