Using a multi-location participatory varietal selection (PVS) approach we evaluate 27 promising EAHB hybrids, called NARITAs. Regional testing of the hybrids using multi-location field trials in the range of expected end-user environments provide for an ideal experimental design to understand how site conditions interact to affect the performance and adoption potential of each hybrid. Working in close collaboration with farmers in Tanzania and Uganda allows the quantification of the suitability of each cultivar to local farming conditions, while sensory evaluations with consumers provide feedback on taste and other organoleptic features, as well as processing potential. Two types of trials will be run consecutively: initially, the team will conduct on-station trials to gain accurate data on cultivar performance (mother trials); these will be followed by on-farm trials to facilitate access to and testing of the new material by the target end-users (baby trials). Besides generating data on these 27 EAHB hybrids, we will provide valuable feedback to the NARO-IITA breeding program on key criteria that farmers and consumers use for adoption or rejection of new cultivars, to guide breeding investments. In addition, standardized protocols and tools for evaluation and data sharing are being developed. It is expected that the multi-location PVS approach will provide an efficient mechanism for the evaluation of the new EAHB hybrids, lead to higher and faster adoption of the new hybrids, and thus maximize the impact of these new hybrids.
ARI-Horti Tengeru, ARI_Maruku, ARI-Uyole/Mbeya, Tanzania
Bioversity International, Belgium, Tanzania
Clark University, USA
IITA, Tanzania, Uganda
KU Leuven, Belgium