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Comparative evaluation of local and improved crop varieties through farmers’ participation on resource-poor farms in Afghanistan

Rizvi, S. J. H., Sharma, R. C., Srinivas, T., Manan, A. R., Osmanzai, A., Siddiqui, S., Wadan, K., Hakimi, N. H., Rahmani, A. R.
Acta agronomica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 2012 v.60 no.1 pp. 11-20
Oryza sativa, Solanum tuberosum, Triticum aestivum, Vigna radiata, cultivars, developing countries, economic analysis, farmers, farms, field experimentation, food security, grain yield, income, mung beans, potatoes, rice, wheat, Afghanistan
The introduction of new crop varieties is important to improve farm productivity and increase food security in developing countries. This study was conducted to determine the performance of improved varieties of wheat (<i>Triticum aestivum</i> L.), rice (<i>Oryza sativa</i> L.), mungbean [(<i>Vigna radiata</i> (L.) Wilczek] and potato (<i>Solanum tuberosum</i> L.) in comparison to local varieties through farmers’ participatory evaluation. The study was conducted during three years (2006 to 2008) with 948 farmers’ participatory field trials across 18 districts in three Eastern provinces (Nangarhar, Laghman and Kunar) of Afghanistan. One or more improved varieties of wheat, rice, mungbean and potato were compared to the most popular local variety. Data were recorded on the grain yield of wheat, rice and mungbean, and the tuber yield of potato. On average, the improved varieties outyielded local varieties by 69, 57, 70 and 65% for wheat, rice, mungbean, and potato, respectively. Economic analysis in terms of net benefit demonstrated that the adoption of improved varieties resulted in additional incomes of US$ 1840, 1299, 574 and 790 ha-1 for wheat, rice, mungbean and potato, respectively. These findings underline the importance of on-farm farmers’ participatory technology evaluation in developing countries to disseminate new crop varieties to improve farm productivity.