Crowdsourcing crop improvement
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Crowdsourcing crop improvement. Jacob van Etten. Issue. Climate change means farmers need to make their crops and cropping systems adapt to new conditions , quicker than ever before. Farmers rely on informal and formal seed systems to get access to seeds. Photo: P. Casier (CGIAR).

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Crowdsourcing crop improvement

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Crowdsourcing crop improvement

Crowdsourcing crop improvement

Jacob van Etten


Issue

Issue

  • Climate change means farmers need to make their crops and cropping systems adapt to new conditions, quicker than ever before.

  • Farmers rely on informal and formal seed systems to get access to seeds.

Photo: P. Casier (CGIAR).


Seed system

Seed system

Almekinders et al.


Issues to consider

Issues to consider

  • 50% or more of all land is still not under modern varieties →unrealistic to change this in a few decades

  • Push models (credit+seed+other inputs) are not successful in marginal areas and can be hijacked by suppliers

  • Resilient, climate smart seed system combine the best from formal and local seed systems (more on that)

  • How do we scale up experiences in local seed systems (participatory plant breeding and variety selection, community seed banks, seed fairs, etc.)?


Resilience

Resilience

  • From “fail-safe” to “safe to fail” design.


Resilience1

Resilience

  • Tight feed-back loops

  • Dynamic reorganization

  • Built-in countermechanisms

  • Decoupling, diversity, modularity

  • Simplicity

  • Swarming

  • Clustering +

  • _________________

  • Resilience


Tight feed back loops

Tight feed-back loops


Tight feed back loops1

Tight feed-back loops

  • Is information flowing back from farmers to seed producers, breeders, and genebanks?

  • Current model is mostly supply driven, with few opportunities for feed-back loops.

  • New ICTs provide opportunities for tighter feed-back to learn about demand, challenges farmers face, while getting impact at scale.


Seeds4needs

Seeds4Needs


Crowdsourced crop improvement

Crowdsourced Crop Improvement


Social learning

Social learning

  • Crowdsourcing is cheap social learning

  • Constant circulation of information shapes opportunities to detect new demands and developments – which should be investigated using in-depth (phone) interviews, focus groups, ethnography, etc.


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