Participatory Plant Breeding in Iran: Report of the first five years (2006-2011), Salvatore Ceccarelli with M. Rahmanian, K. Razavi, R. Haghparast, M. Salimi and A. Taheri
Beginning in 1996, ICARDA has used Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB) as a breeding strategy which on one side serves more efficiently those areas and those farmers which already benefited from conventional, i.e. centralized and non participatory, plant breeding, and on the other side reaches the most marginal and neglected areas as well as the people living there.
Since its inception in Syria, PPB has been tested successfully in Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Algeria; in the last five countries the programs are currently active (in Syria the program was discontinued because of the situation in the country) on a number of crops (barley, bread and durum wheat, lentil, chickpea and faba bean) and they have different types of impacts ranging from
- varieties developed and the consequent economic benefit to farmers,
- farmer (men and women) empowerment,
- changes in policies (e.g. change of the variety release system in Jordan),
- institutionalization of participatory plant breeding as in Yemen, partly in Morocco, Jordan, Algeria and Eritrea), and
- capacity building of the scientists associated with the projects.
Through informal contacts with CENESTA, an Iranian NGO, and informal discussion with the AREO provincial office in Kermanshah, in 2007 we started a Participatory Breeding Program in two areas, namely Garmsar, an area with irrigated agriculture where CENESTA was already working, and Kermanshah (about 800 km south of Tehran). In this report we will refer the progresses and the achievements of the Garmsar program during its first five years.
View also our later publication: Participatory Bread Wheat Breeding in Fars Province (2015)