Monday, November 13, 2006 - 10:15 AM

Lentil Improvement Through Farmer's Selections.

Ashutosh Sarker1, Stefania Grando1, Nawal K. Yadav2, Mohammad Jalaluddin3, Selamawit Y. Tsegay4, A. Lutf5, H. El Hassan1, M. E. Maatougui1, and Salvatore Ceccarelli1. (1) ICARDA, PO Box 5466, Aleppo, Syria, (2) NGLRP, NARC, Rampore, Nepal, (3) BARI, Ishurdi, Bangladesh, (4) NARI, Halhale, Eritrea, (5) AREA, Dhamar, Yemen

Lentil (Lens culinaris Medikus subsp. culinaris) is an important pulse crop predominantly grown in South and West Asia, North and East Africa, North America and Australia. It is a major source of protein and other nutrients in the daily diet of the poor, and its straw is a valuable animal feed. The pioneer work on Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB) at The International Center for Agricultural research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) has demonstrated that a farmer-participatory approach is more effective in exploiting specific adaptation, maintaining biodiversity, selecting according to farmer's and user's choice, promoting farmer-to-farmer seed diffusion, fast adoption and rapid impact at farm level. Farmer participatory varietal selection approach (PVS) in being implemented in Syria, Yemen, Eritrea, Nepal, Bangladesh and Jordan. In Syria, through two cycles of selection (Farmer Initial Trial & Farmer Advanced Trial), in 12 villages, farmers selected 4 small-seeded red lentils from 50 genotypes and 3 large-seeded green lentils from 30 genotypes. Medium maturity, tall and erect plant type and several seed traits were given due importance by farmers during selection, and the lines out-yielded farmer's locals by 18-59% across cycles of selection. In Yemen, in three contrasting locations, out of 50 genotypes, 5 were selected by farmers with a yield range of 1.4 to 2.2 t/ha and three of them were breeding lines. From 75 lentil lines, ILL 7978 and ILL 10013 were selected by Ertirean farmers. Nepalese farmers selected ILL 7164 and ILL 8006 for future release. A lentil line, X95S-136 with high level of resistance against rust and Stemphylium blight, wide adaptation and high yield (2.4 t/ha) selected by farmers in four contrasting environments is submitted for release. The results suggest that farmers can effectively select promising and preferred genotypes, which is the ultimate goal of formal plant breeding.