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Helping farmers select varieties in Nepal

Nepal98A training program on wheat participatory variety selection (PVS) was held in Nepal during 28-29 February 2012. Organized by the National Wheat Research Program (NWRP), Bhairahawa, Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC) and CIMMYT, the event attracted 17 scientists, technical officers and seed technicians from NARC’s research stations and private seed companies. The two-day training program focused on current challenges of wheat breeding and production in Nepal, wheat diseases, and participatory selection of varieties.

The field training was held at Sukaurali Village, Rupendehi District. Participants visited three mother-baby trials of eight wheat varieties, including CIMMYT’s newly-developed Ug99 resistant varieties, and the local check, Gautam. Janmejai Tripathi, wheat coordinator, NWRP, opened the event with an explanation of the importance of new resistant varieties. Touring the wheat plots, the group observed varieties’ qualities and differences, including maturity type, yield potential, and resistance to diseases.

Nepal27NARC scientists SR Upadhyay and NR Gautam explained the steps of participatory selection and participants scored varieties in the mother trial.

In addition to the technical knowledge gained, there was an increased interest in collaboration among farmers, scientists, and development agencies. The training is also expected to improve the quality of data from research stations and of PVS trials for seed release and multiplication.