Evolutionary Participatory Plant Breeding

Place: jordan, Asia
Quantitative & qualitative enhancement of crop products Quantitative & qualitative enhancement of crop products
Total Budget: € 199.584,00 | Period: From June 2012 To June 2014


The main objective of this innovation; enhance food security by empowering farmers’ communities to manage genetic diversity. The following people are benefiting from the implementation of the project in the two countries; farmers (women and men) from the village community as individual and farmer cooperative or NGO, students, and the national staff of NCARE and CENESTA and other research centers. The project activities take into account the development of strategies to enhance gender-equal access to and control of seed, and to enhance the access of  women farmers to improve the quality of seed by testing and evaluating varieties also for their post-harvesting performance during the duration of the Project.


National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension - Jordan

Lead applicant

• Organize agricultural research and extension plans for sustainable development. • Adopt the latest agricultural techniques for local conditions. • Disseminate appropriate technologies to farmers through extension agents. • Enhance knowledge and improve skills of researchers and extension agents through education and training activities. • Conduct economic studies. • Evaluate the effect of economic factors on agricultural production. • Capacity building of researchers and extension agents in collaboration with local, national and international partners and provides training and cross-learning opportunities in order to better addressing agricultural development problems.

The Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development/ Al Mansorah community Development Center - Jordan

Initiative partner


Initiative partner

the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use, in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity, for sustainable agriculture and food security.

The initiative features of the evolutionary population breeding method are a broadly diversified germplasm and a prolonged subjection of the mass of the progeny to competitive natural selection in the area of contemplated use. Results showed that traits relating to reproductive capacity, such as higher seed yields, larger numbers of seeds/plant and greater spike weight, increase in populations due to natural selection over time. The populations provide the farmers with a rich source of genetic material evolving under natural conditions over the years, that will deploy on the ground a dynamic and inexpensive strategy which will enhance the adaptation of crops to climate change and hence mitigate its impact on food security

The benefits of the EPPB include both increases in the plant biodiversity and farmer empowerment in managing diversity, and will extend to the future. In countries where women have a role in agronomic management, and particularly in cases when men and women perform different agronomic activities that entail gender-differentiated skills, knowledge, needs and trait preferences, gender-balanced EPPB programs are crucial to ensure that the traits preferred by both men and women are reflected in the improved varieties.  it will be possible to develop new ways to address their needs and enhance their contributions in order to improve agricultural productivity, food security and poverty reduction while promoting a more equitable development. Farmers (women and men) start selects their varieties from the populations to establish their breeding program with national institute supporting.

Evolutionary Population field at Ramtha after four years planting and harve The picture clarfy one of the population response to the natural selection by increase the number of black spike when the fluctuation of temperature in 2011 growing season very high, but the number of black spike came lower than before in 2012 growing season.
Multiplication of Spikes selected from Evolutionary Population by farmer, M this picture from the International Farmer Conference where explain another uses of the Evolutionary population through use it as sources of farmer (women and men) varieties through select spike from the population that harmonized with his preferences.

The simplest and cheapest way of implementing evolutionary population breeding (in this case of wheat (obtained from 700 F2) and barley (obtained from1600 F2)) is for the farmers to plant and harvest the populations in the same location. However, it is also possible to plant samples in other locations affected by different stresses or different combinations of stresses by sharing the population with other farmers at an early stage. The key aspect of the method is that, while the lines are continuously extracted, the population is left evolving for an indefinite amount of time, thus becoming a unique source of continuously better-adapted genetic material directly in the hands of the farmers.  

Seven barley and three wheat populations are well adapted to different weather zone (planted under average rainfall from 150mm to 450mm) and disseminated between farmers and NGO as indirect beneficiaries; 348 stakeholders included 7 NGO and the women participation was 60%. The breeder and the farmers can superimpose artificial selection from the population with criteria that may change from location to other and with time. While the population is evolving, lines or sub-populations can be derived by collecting spikes depending on the crop. The lines or sub-populations can then and be tested as pure lines, or populations, or can be used as multi lines, or a subsample of the population can be directly used for cultivation exploiting the advantages of genetic diversity described earlier.

../file-system/small/pptx ../file-system/small/pptx Table of Spike selected by farmers Table of Spike selected by farmers

Scientists and farmers (men and women) directly involve in the EPPB program. By targeting small-scale farmers from the most marginal areas comunities this method will address the poorest sections of society therefore contributing to the MDG Goal 1 of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. Also through this project women increase participated to 60% as individual or NGO by understanding both the constraints and opportunities for women in agriculture, it will be possible to develop new ways to address their needs and enhance their contributions in order to improve agricultural productivity, food security and poverty reduction while promoting a more equitable development.
The evolutionary population guarantees that the improved material will be readily available to farmers without the bureaucratic and inefficient systems of variety release and formal seed production. 

Woman Farmers and Plant Breeding: The video showed; one of the project activities to increase the women participation in plant breeding and increase their awareness about the important of genetic resources in cope the climate difficulties and enhance their income
../file-system/small/pptx ../file-system/small/pptx Schematic diagram evolutionary program Schematic diagram evolutionary program

About 10 persons of NCARE national team from six regional stations cross Jordan, three women carry BSc and MSc degree in field crop production, seven men carry BSc degree in plant production, two consultants Prof. Dr. Salvatore is the experts in participatory plant breeding and work consultant at ICARDA, and Dr. Alessandra is the experts in social and gender analysis and work at ICARDA and over head manger carry MSc degree in field crop production. Extension people women and men carry BSc degree. The project team work with different farmers as indvidual or NGO from six governates. The farmers involved in this project included farmers who retired from their work, without any cerificate, have livestok, widew woman, and girl have BSc in agriculture without any work. 

the farmers fields and farmers meeting to discus this picture is collections of project activities with main beneficiaries included farmers (farmers as individual or NGO) and scientists to address farmers needed under their environment, besides using their evaluation to improve the breeding of barley and wheat crops.
../file-system/small/pptx ../file-system/small/pptx chart of the project staff chart of the project staff

One of the main obstical was women particpate in project activities, and the project slove this through holding separate meetings for women and men with female and male facilitators was confirmed as a successful strategy to allow both women and men farmers to take part in the conversation. Discussing in detail, and possibly in front of actual varieties, the gender division of labour along the seed-to-food chain was also found an effective way of eliciting gender-based trait preferences and difficulties in sourcing the seed. The second constrain is the continuities of drought and high variability of rainfall that destroyed the seed multiplication and decreases farmers ability to harvest their fields and disseminated the good seed between them, so we keep small amount of the population per year to multiplied it in future for farmers and secintific research. 

Gender and Development concept the picture clarfy the way that suggested by the project, which is the participation method, to increase women participation in the project in plant breeding and for seed access beside highlighted farmer preferences in spike or varieties selected.
One of the farmer field The crop situation at farmer field that very short and it will be harvested by hand which it is costly method and the amount of harvested seed will be small, and this will be decreased the chance of seed sharing between the farmers

Despite the global concern for the continuous loss of biodiversity there has been no progress towards the 2010 target of “a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss”.  The major consequence of this biodiversity loss is that our main sources of food are more vulnerable than ever before. Therefore, one of today’s major challenges is to understand the best compromise between improving food production while minimizing the negative impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem services and society. This is particularly urgent because it is now unequivocal that the climate is warming and in several areas the frequency and the intensity of drought as well as the variability of the climate are increasing. The already significant challenge of producing more and better food using fewer inputs is exacerbated by the need for agriculture to adapt to climate changeEvolutionary population of the crop meet all request on the above by provide farmer with different varieties 

../file-system/small/pptx ../file-system/small/pptx Evolutionary Programme Evolutionary Programme

The EPPB covered wheat and barley in Jordan. Wheat is the major staple crop and barley is the major feed for the large and continuously increasing population of small livestock which are a key source of proteins for both the urban and the rural population and also an important export commodity at Jordan. Better and more stable production of these crops and increased agro-biodiversity are expected to enhance farmers’ food security. Given that food security is both about production, availability and accessibility, this initiative will improve the crop production directly in farmers’ fields so that the increases will be both immediately available and accessible, beside the natural selection or the evolution of the population to mitigate the climate change and farmers can select his future varieties by selecting his spike using his knowledge and agronomic preferences.

../file-system/small/docx ../file-system/small/docx Report about Jordan workshop Report about Jordan workshop

The project implemented the evolutionary population directly on farmers field side by side with Participatory Plant Breeding Program PPB. The project arranged around 26 Fields days with farmers at their fields to evaluate the crop physically to use their knowledge and experience in the climate_ plant relationship in plant breeding and to meet their using of the crop. Beside those two regional workshops hold; one to evaluate with the framers and scientists the breeding program that implemented in their field and the other about constrain face women to participate in plant breeding.  Also the methodological and conceptual aspects of the innovation are taking a global importance through the International Farmer Conference that attends scientists and farmers from sex countries. 

../file-system/small/docx ../file-system/small/docx International farmer conference International farmer conference