Bioversity Crowdsources Varietal Data from Thousands of Farmers

Published on:

September 30, 2019

The CCRP seeks to support innovative participatory approaches, including farmer research networks. With CCRP support and that of other funders, Bioversity International’s Seeds for Needs project ( 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 the digital platform ClimMob, for which an upgraded version was developed as part of the CCRP-funded project. ClimMob 3.0 is being used by other projects, such as the Gates-funded cassava breeding work in Uganda and Nigeria. A 2019 publication from the project’s larger effort titled “Crop variety management for climate adaptation supported by citizen science” showed the power of testing varieties with farmers on a large scale. Analysis of data from more than 12,000 farmers’ fields revealed patterns of varietal adaptation that could help farmers cope with a changing climate.