Testing Alternative Methods of Varietal Identification Using DNA Fingerprinting: Results of Pilot Studies in Ghana and Zambia

October 3, 2016 - Author: Mywish K. Maredia, Byron A. Reyes, Joseph Manu-Aduening, Awere Dankyi, Petan Hamazakaza, Kennedy Muimui, Ismail Rabbi, Peter Kulakow, Elizabeth Parkes, Tahirou Abdoulaye, Enid Katungi, and Bodo Raatz

IDWP 149. Mywish K. Maredia, Byron A. Reyes, Joseph Manu-Aduening, Awere Dankyi, Petan Hamazakaza, Kennedy Muimui, Ismail Rabbi, Peter Kulakow, Elizabeth Parkes, Tahirou Abdoulaye, Enid Katungi, and Bodo Raatz. 2016. Testing Alternative Methods of Varietal Identification Using DNA Fingerprinting: Results of Pilot Studies in Ghana and Zambia

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Varietal adoption based on household surveys has mostly relied on farmers’ response to
varietal identification. This method can give biased estimates if farmers are unable to identify
improved varieties as a group or by name, or give names that do not match with the released
variety list. To tackle these potential problems other innovative methods have been suggested
that require time and resource intensive data collection such as including follow-up questions
in the survey instrument to gather information on varietal traits, visiting the field to observe
plant characteristics, or collecting sample materials (i.e., photos, seeds/plant tissues) from the
farmers for later verification by experts. However, the accuracy of these different methods for
identifying varieties grown by farmers to be able to estimate variety specific adoption is
unknown.

This paper reports the results of two pilot studies conducted in Ghana and Zambia to test and
validate some of these different approaches of collecting variety-specific adoption data
against the benchmark of DNA-fingerprinting to determine which method can accurately
identify released varieties used by farmers. Results suggest large variations in the estimates of
varietal adoption obtained by these different methods compared to DNA fingerprinting
results. Results also point to potential challenges of these alternative methods of varietal
identification, including DNA fingerprinting in a developing country setting. The
implications of these results on future adoption and impact studies are discussed.

Tags: cgiar, cross-country, gates foundation, ghana, idwp, zambia


Related Topic Areas

Ghana, Zambia


Authors

Mywish Maredia

Mywish Maredia
517-353-6602
maredia@msu.edu


For more information visit:

Food Security Group

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