Assessment of Farmers’ Criteria for Common Bean Variety Selection: The case of Umbullo Watershed in Sidama Zone of the Southern Region of Ethiopia
AbstractParticipatory variety selection (PVS) trials were conducted in 2004 and 2005 inUmbullo watershed of Sidama zone in the Southern region of Ethiopia to evaluate theperformance of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) varieties and to assess farmers’ criteria forbean variety selection, and thereby identify the most important farmers’ criteria for future beanimprovement work in the region. Six varieties including the local check were used for the study.Mother and baby design was employed and the trials were replicated over farmers. Yield datawas subjected to analysis of variance and there was significant difference (p<0.01) among thevarieties. GL and GLY interaction effects were also found to be significant (p<0.05). Awash-1was the best genotype followed by Omo-95. But the farmers’ selection criteria were beyondyield and most farmers gave priority for qualitative traits. Accordingly, five qualitative traitswere ranked by farmers as the best criteria that are better than yield. These are seed color,drought tolerance, disease and pest resistance, marketability and seed size. Almost all farmers inthe study area preferred Ibado as a number one variety due to its seed color (red speckled), seedsize (large), demand in the market (high), early maturity (<90 days) and relatively good yield (>2tons ha-1). The local variety was ranked second due to its seed color (light red) and marketability.Therefore, our future bean improvement program should target at developing varieties that fulfillfarmers’ preferences especially for home consumption and local market.