Participatory Evaluation of Resilient Potato Varieties in Climate-Smart Villages of Lushoto in Tanzania

This three-year study conducted by the International Potato Centre (CIP) in collaboration with
Selian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) was based on demand by Lushoto farmers
through the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security
(CCAFS). This participatory action research (PAR) was aimed at developing more resilient
potato varieties that can grow in both long and short rainy seasons and give higher yields. The
approach involved training-of-trainers (ToT) and participatory varietal selection (PVS)
experiments. The ToT comprised five training events using modules. Three training events
were done in the long rainy season and two in the subsequent short rainy season. The topics
covered in the first round of training were on integrated crop management, from land
preparation to seed storage. The second round of training was participant-driven whereby topics
emerged from the first training. A total of twenty-one participants representing farmers,
extension services and local non-governmental organizations were trained. The training was
supported by field experiments using the CIP Mother and Baby Trials model. The trials were
carried out in five villages: Kwesine, Boheloi, Maringo, Kwekitui and Milungui. Experimental
materials comprised six advanced and heat tolerant clones from CIP (CIP390478.9,
CIP388767.1, CIP392797.22, CIP300055.32, CIP398208.29 and CIP397073.7), two local
varieties (Kidinya and Obama), an improved variety recently registered in Tanzania (Asante)
and a popular farmer’s variety but registered in Kenya (Shangii). A cross-analysis of field and
culinary data combining quantitative and qualitative assessments from the three seasons of field
evaluations showed a certain consistency in the high yielding ability and acceptability of four
genotypes, namely Asante, Shangii, CIP392797.22 and CIP398208.29. The two clones were
then named by farmers and proposed for official release while Shangii was proposed for
registration for commercial use.