This book presents the history of, and current approaches to, farmer-breeder collaboration in plant breeding, situating this work in the context of sustainable food systems, as well as national and international policy and law regimes.

Plant breeding is essential to food production, climate-change adaptation and sustainable development. This book brings together experienced practitioners and researchers involved in collaborative breeding programmes across a diversity of crops and agro-ecologies around the world. Case studies include collaborative sorghum and pearl millet breeding for water-stressed environments in West Africa, participatory rice breeding for intensive rice farming in the Mekong Delta, and evolutionary participatory quinoa breeding for organic agriculture in North America. While outlining the challenges, the volume also highlights the positive impacts, such as yield increases, farmers’ empowerment in the innovation and development processes, contributions to maintenance of crop genetic diversity and adaptation to climate change. This collection offers a range of perspectives on enabling conditions for farmer–breeder collaboration in plant breeding in relation to biodiversity agreements such as the Plant Treaty, trade agreements and related intellectual property rights (IPR) regimes, and national seed policies and laws.

Relevant to a wide audience, including practitioners with experience in plant breeding and management of crop genetic resources and those with a broader interest in agriculture and development, as well as students of international cooperation and development, this volume is a timely addition to the literature.

part I|2 pages


chapter 1|14 pages

New perspectives on farmer–breeder collaboration in plant breeding

ByOla Tveitereid Westengen, Tone Winge

chapter 2|10 pages

Origins and evolution of participatory approaches in plant breeding

ByTrygve Berg, Ola Tveitereid Westengen

part II|2 pages

Current approaches to farmer–breeder collaboration

chapter 3|20 pages

Long-term collaboration between farmers’ organizations and plant breeding programmes

Sorghum and pearl millet in West Africa
ByEva Weltzien, Fred Rattunde, Mamourou Sidibe, Kirsten vom Brocke, Abdoulaye Diallo, Bettina Haussmann, Bocar Diallo, Baloua Nebie, Aboubacar Toure, Anja Christinck

chapter 4|16 pages

Rice PPB in India and Nepal

Client-oriented plant breeding using few, carefully chosen crosses
ByJohn R. Witcombe, D.S. Virk, Krishna D. Joshi

chapter 5|15 pages

Twenty years of participatory varietal selection at AfricaRice

Lessons from farmer involvement in variety development
ByNicholas Tyack, Baboucarr Manneh, Abdourasmane Konate, Theodore Kessy, Seydou Alexis Traore, Moussa Sie

chapter 6|11 pages

Native maize in Mexico

Participatory breeding and connections to culinary markets
ByMartha C. Willcox, Fernando Castillo-Gonzalez, Flavio Aragón-Cuevas, F. Humberto-Castro Garcia

chapter 7|16 pages

Pushing back against bureaucracy

Farmers’ role in decentralizing plant breeding and seed production in Honduras
ByMarvin Gomez, Juan Carlos Rosas, Sally Humphries, Jose Jimenez, Merida Barahona, Carlos Avila, Paola Orellana, Fredy Sierra

chapter 8|12 pages

Participatory varietal selection in the Andes

Farmer involvement in selecting potatoes with traits from wild relatives
ByMaria Scurrah, Raul Ccanto, Merideth Bonierbale

chapter 9|16 pages

A 20-year journey

Participatory breeding of maize in South-West China
ByYiching Song, Ronnie Vernooy, Lanqiu Qin, Hexia Xie, Milin Tian, Xin Song

part III|2 pages

Overarching concerns and new perspectives

chapter 11|17 pages

Participatory plant breeding

Human development and social reform
ByRene Salazar, Gigi Manicad, Anita Dohar, Bert Visser

chapter 12|18 pages

Building collaborative advantages through long-term farmer–breeder collaboration

Practical experiences from West Africa
ByAnja Christinck, Fred Rattunde, Eva Weltzien

chapter 13|21 pages

Sourcing and deploying new crop varieties in mountain production systems

ByBhuwon Sthapit, Devendra Gauchan, Sajal Sthapit, Krishna Hari Ghimire, Bal Krishna Joshi, Paola De Santis, Devra I. Jarvis

chapter 14|14 pages

Expanding community support in genetic diversity management

The FFS approach
ByBert Visser, Hilton Mbozi, Patrick Kasasa, Anita Dohar, Rene Salazar, Andrew Mushita, Gigi Manicad

chapter 15|14 pages

From participatory to evolutionary plant breeding

BySalvatore Ceccarelli, Stefania Grando

part IV|2 pages

Collaborative approaches

chapter 17|14 pages

Funding participatory plant breeding

Outlook and future challenges
ByÁlvaro Toledo

chapter 18|17 pages

Seed laws

Bottlenecks and opportunities for participatory plant breeding
ByBram De Jonge, Gigi Manicad, Andrew Mushita, Normita G. Ignacio, Alejandro Argumedo, Bert Visser

chapter 19|13 pages

Participatory plant breeding and sui generis plant variety protection

ByDaniele Manzella, Selim Louafi

chapter 20|16 pages

The straitjacket of plant breeding

Can it be eased?
ByÅsmund Bjørnstad, Ola Tveitereid Westengen