The challenges of Participatory Plant Breeding
Plant improvement was born at the same as agriculture, beginning with the domestication of cultivated species followed by their dissemination and acclimatisation. Plant breeding progressed hand in hand with the advancement of scientific knowledge, notably in biology, but did not become a true profession until the 18th century.
The failures of the “green revolution” are partly due to a lack of consultation between breeders and users (farmers). Participatory Plant Breeding was developed as a response to these failures which have been criticised. PPB involves small-scale farmers of marginalised regions more intimately in the development of genetic material which is suitable for local conditions.
But we also believe that the PPB way has the potential for broader challenges in the developing South, such as the development of certain production networks; and for greater challenges in the industrialised North (niche agriculture, organic farming). For the PPB approach encompasses concepts, tools and methods which are equally useful for researching organisational structures as for encouraging innovation and partnerships between researchers and farmer-users.
Dans cette vision, la sélection participative relève d'une vision élargie de l'agronomie et de la recherche agronomique. Elle contribue à construire les fondements d'une agronomie globale pour le 21ème siècle.