Participatory varietal selection of potato using the mother & baby trial design

potato varieties Photo: V. Atakos/CIP

A gender-responsive trainer’s guide for researchers on conducting gender-responsive participatory varietal selection (PVS) using a mother and baby trial (MBT) methodology.

Why is the guide important?

This guide provides step-by-step guidance on facilitating and documenting the participatory varietal selection dynamics using the mother and baby trial design to select, and eventually release, potato varieties preferred by end-users that suit women and men farmers’ different needs, diverse agro-systems and management practices as well as traders’ and consumers’ preferences.

Who is the guide for?

Breeders or researchers working on varietal selection with smallholder farmers, trainers and facilitators coordinating groups or networks involved in PVS, development workers, field technicians and extension workers aiming to improve rural livelihoods through the introduction of new candidate varieties.

Region and countries of focus: Latin America, Asia, Peru, Ethiopia, India and Bhutan.

How can I use the guide?

The guide provides tools to evaluate and select new potato candidate varieties using the MBT design. To achieve this, a set of experiments and evaluations should be carried out to meet specific objectives. Three participatory evaluations are proposed to identify the preferred traits that women and men farmers have regarding the vegetative development, production and post-harvest stages of the potato crop.

After the introduction, this guide is organized into the following six technical sections:

• Section 1 presents a step-by-step guide on how to conduct PVS using the MBT design and involves five topics  being planning of the MBTs, capacity building, trial characterization, general considerations on PVS and workshops for exchanging results and planning.

• Sections 2–4 explain how to conduct evaluations at the time of flowering, harvest and post harvest, respectively. Each section provides detailed steps in carrying out the specific types of evaluations.

• Section 5 discusses the statistical analysis of the experimental data. If evaluations from different environments are going to be compared, use standardized methods when gathering and analyzing data. The way additional information is collected is up to the discretion of the researchers.

• Sections 6 presents the list of acronyms and references cited.

• The guide concludes with 14 annexes (Annexes 5–12 are forms to be used to conduct PVS using the MBT design).

When and how was it developed?

The guide was produced in 2019 by the International Potato Center (CIP) with funding and technical support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), European Union/Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas

Where can I get the guide? Who can I contact?

You can read or download the guide.