Bioversity Crowdsources Varietal Data from Thousands of Farmers

Published on:

September 30, 2019

Community of Practice:


CCRP seeks to support innovative participatory approaches, including farmer research networks.  With CCRP support (among 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 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.