This case study is based on the development, evolution and achievements of a participatory plant-breeding project on barley that was implemented in Syria in 1996. Barley is the major rain-fed crop in Syria and is the main animal feed in the country. In the first phase of the project, which lasted 3 years, those involved in the project experimented with farmers in nine villages on a number of technical and methodological options, while in the second phase, which started in 2000, these individuals continued cultivation until the 2010-11 season. Although it had to be put on hold because of security issues in the countryside, it is hoped that a full-fledged participatory plant-breeding program will eventually be implemented.