Researcher Diaries: Constraints and Opportunities of Cassava Seed Systems in South India
27.08.2020 In his #ThrowbackThursday contribution to the new Researcher Diaries series, Sebastian Mengel of the HAFL Hugo P. Cecchini Institute looks back on a day in the field in South India in August 2018.
‘As part of the Indo-Swiss Collaboration in Biotechnology (ISCB), Indian and Swiss research institutes have increasingly been working together on the development of improved CMD-resistant cassava varieties. In August 2018, I was part of a project conducting qualitative in-depth interviews and group discussions in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, India with cassava farmers, breeders, agricultural extensionists, agricultural scientists, agricultural economists and representatives from the cassava processing industry.
The aim was to first identify the main constraints and bottlenecks for the dissemination of new cassava varieties to farmers and then to develop recommendations to sustainably improve the dissemination process.
The farmers were selected for interview in consultation with ICAR-CTCRI and TNAU. The fieldwork team was composed of a HAFL socio-economist who led the research, two TNAU socio-economists and an ICAR-CTCRI biotechnologist who supported data collection. On this day two years ago, I had the privilege of interviewing farmers who had already planted newly developed cassava varieties and farmers who had not previously come in contact with improved cultivars.’
The new Researcher Diaries series provides photo snapshots and testimonials from researchers and students participating in BFH-HAFL and partner projects in the field all over the world. The first in the series is a #ThrowbackThursday contribution from Sebastian Mengel, the Project Acquisition and Services Manager at the HAFL Hugo P. Cecchini Institute.