Participatory Varietal Selection: A Case Study on Small Millets in Karnataka
Modern plant breeding has catered more to the needs of rich farmers who could afford high management under irrigated situations. In contrast, subsistence farmers growing millets in unfavourable environments use low levels of inputs and have not been benefited by high yielding variety (HYV) technology. In the present study, the usefulness of the participatory approach for identifying cultivars for harsh environments and acceptable to resource poor farmers has been demonstrated. In little millet five varieties, viz., CO 2, PRC 3, OLM 20, Sukshema and TNAU 98 were selected for testing on farmers fields. Trials was conducted at Jekinakatti village of Savanur taluk and Chandapur Tanda of Ranebennur Taluk during 2002; Harabagonda village of Byadagi Taluk during 2003 in Haveri district. Simillary, for foxtail millet study was carried out in Metriki, Balukundi (during 2002) and Janekunte village (during 2003) of Bellary District using five varieties, namely, HMT 100-1, RS 118, TNAU 173, Krishnadevaraya and Narashimharaya and for finger millet, varieties were GPU 26, GPU 28, MR 1, L 5 and Indaf 9. Trials was conducted at Koda (Hirekerur Taluk) and Bisanahalli (Byadagi Taluk) of Haveri District; Badeladaku (Kudligi Taluk) and Hirekolach (Hivinahadagali Taluk) of Bellary district Kharif 2002. In Pre- and post harvest Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) revealed that the variety “Sukshema” in little millet “HMT 100-1” in foxtail millet and “GPU 28” in finger millet meet the criteria of farmer's requirement. Farmers also opined that the new variety has better grain and fodder yield potential and lodging resistance and they would adopt them in future.
Little millet, Foxtail millet, Finger millet, Participatory selection.