CCRP seeks to support innovative participatory approaches, including farmer research networks. With CCRP support (among other funders), Bioversity International’s Seeds For Needs project (https://www.bioversityinternational.org/seeds-for-needs/) has advanced new experimental methods for large-scale varietal trials in several countries. Led by Jacob van Etten of Bioversity, the Seeds For Needs team developed a sophisticated system for crowdsourcing data related to crop diversification based on testing crop germplasm with large numbers of farmers.
The approach is supported by a digital platform, ClimMob, for which an upgraded version was developed as part of their CCRP-funded project. ClimMob 3.0 is being used by other projects, such as the Gates-funded cassava breeding work conducted in Uganda and Nigeria. A publication from the project’s larger effort was published in 2019, entitled “Crop variety management for climate adaptation supported by citizen science”, showed the power of testing varieties with farmers on a large scale. The analysis of data on from >12,000 farmers’ fields revealed patterns of varietal adaptation that could help farmers cope with a changing climate.