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Diagnostic study of farmers seed quality and variety preference in southern Mali

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2009
Dissertation
Author: Marthe Diallo
Abstract:
Mali relies on agriculture as the backbone of its economic growth because agriculture employs more than 80% of the population and constitutes the main source of food. In the Koulikoro region (the study area), sorghum and millet are subsistence crops for almost all of the population. Groundnut constitutes the main source of income for women and is critical to family nutrition. These crops are grown by almost all the farmers in this region because they are adapted to semi-arid tropical ecologies and infertile soils, as well as being preferred in the diet. Despite their importance, an understanding of seed systems for these 'orphan' crops has been neglected. To understand agricultural development in Mali, it is important to evaluate the entire seed system, including the seed quality of farmer-saved and foundation seed, seed saving methods on-farm, seed sourcing avenues, and how new varieties are accessed by small-holders. Informal and formal surveys were conducted, in conjunction with seed collection from a range of sources. Seed quality performance was tested for seed from a range of sources. To quantify seed quality, laboratory standard analytical methods and field performance were analyzed. Variety purity was also assessed for different seed sources that represented foundation seeds, and seeds maintained by farmers for different number of years. These tests were linked to farmer assessment of seed quality and variety preference conducted through surveys and farmer ranking exercises. The seed quality assessment showed that farmer produced seed is generally high quality, as high as foundation seed. The seed meets Mali national seed service standards in almost all cases. However, there were some concerns identified concerning physical purity and health status of groundnut seeds. The field trial analyses showed that there are no significant differences between the variety purity of seeds farmers had saved and produced and foundation seed. This was shown for the flowering time (beginning and end), number of off-types, and weight of panicles. Overall, farmers recycling of varieties (saving seed for several years) did not markedly alter variety traits in sorghum. Results from both the on-farm field trial evaluation and the survey indicated that yield and adaptation to the local environment were very important in farmers' variety evaluation criteria. There were some additional traits of interest to farmers from Dioila and Mande, including cooking traits (easy processing, good taste of dishes made) and drought tolerance. However the farmers in Dioila were more interested in cooking quality than in drought tolerance. Another interesting finding is that there is a cultural tradition that prohibits the purchase of seed, particularly for sorghum and groundnut, yet farmers' did express a willingness to pay for sorghum seeds of preferred, improved varieties. Farmers in both zones were ready to pay 200 FCFA/kg for seed for their preferred varieties. This is a surprisingly high price given the low income level, and the limited cultural concepts of paying for subsistence crop seed.

TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES xi LIST OF FIGURES xvii LIST OF ABREVIATIONS xviii INTRODUCTION 1 OVERVIEW OF SORGHUM, PEARL MILLET AND GROUNDNUT 6 Sorghum and Pearl millet 6 Groundnut 7 STUDY AREAS 8 ICRISAT Research Station in Samako (Mali 9 Study zones 10 Brief Overview of Agriculture in the Study Zones 11 Socio-Economic and Cultural Situation of the Research Zones 12 CHAPTER 1 QUALITY OF FARMER PRODUCED SEEDS OF SORGHUM, GROUNDNUT, AND PEARLMILLET IN DIOILA AND MANDE ZONES 15 INTRODUCTION 15 Farmers' seed sourcing in Mali 16 Farmers' local seed management for sorghum, groundnut and millet in southern Mali 19 Biological differences between cereal crops and oilseeds... Error! Bookmark not defined. Seed quality parameter assessed in this chapter ....Error! Bookmark not defined. Research Objectives 24 Research Hypotheses 24 MATERIAL AND METHODS 26 Choice of the research areas 26 Field Activities 27 Data Collection Methods Used 28 Data Documentation and Analysis 35 RESULTS 37 Surveys 37 Lab analyses 44 Farmers seed storage from survey 54 Farmers' assessment of seed quality 57 DISCUSSION 59 Cropping system characterization 59 vin

Farmers' seed sourcing 60 Seed storage 61 Seed Quality 62 CONCLUSION 69 CHAPTER 2 IMPACT OF FARMERS' SEED RECYCLING ON UNIFORMITY OF SORGHUM VARIETIES IN SOUTHERN MALI 70 INTRODUCTION 70 Biodiversity and farmer's selection criteria 71 Seed industry requirements for uniformity 72 Sorghum 73 Objective 75 MATERIALS AND METHODS 76 Research Activities 76 Surveys 76 Assessment Varietal Purity or Homogeneity: Field Trial 77 Data documentation and analysis 81 RESULTS 83 Results from surveys 83 Field trial 84 DISCUSSION 93 Farmers' diversity management 93 Variety Mixture or Misidentification by Farmers 93 Field Uniformity Experiment 94 CONCLUSION 98 CHAPTER 3 SORGHUM VARIETY TRAIT EVALUATION WITH FARMERS IN SOUTHERN MALI 99 INTRODUCTION 99 Research Objectives 102 Hypotheses 102 MATERIALS AND METHODS 103 Participatory variety selection trials 103 Farmer evaluation 104 Samples 106 General farmers' survey 107 Data documentation and analyses 107 RESULTS 109 On-farm field trial evaluation by farmers 109 Gender considerations in varietal trait evaluation 112 Farmer survey 113 Results from farmers' survey per zone 114 IX

DISCUSSION 116 CONCLUSIONS 120 CHAPTER 4 IMPROVING FARMERS SEED PROVISION FOR SORGHUM 121 INTRODUCTION 121 Sorghum seed marketing in Mali 123 Seed fairs 124 Willingness to pay 125 Objectives 125 Hypotheses 126 MATERIAL AND METHODS 127 Seed fair survey 127 Willingness to pay survey 128 General farmers' survey 129 Data documentation and analyses 129 RESULTS 131 Results from the general survey 131 Result from farmers' willingness to pay survey 133 Evaluation of the seed fairs 136 DISCUSSION 144 Willingness to pay assessment 145 Seed fair evaluation 148 CONCLUSION 150 APPENDIX 152 Appendix 1 152 Appendix 2 153 Appendix 3: questionnaire for seed fairs survey 154 Appendix 4: Seed samples collection questionnair 156 Appendix 5: Questionnaire for variety evaluation 2007 in Dioila and Mande zones 157 Appendix 6: Heads of the household interviews 158 Appendix 7: Questionnaire individuel pour l'arachide 159 Appendix 8: Questionnaire individuel pour le sorgho et petit mil 164 Appendix 9: grouping of the farmers variety traits preferences 170 Appendix 10: List of codes 171 Appendix 11: Survey consent statement 176 REFERENCES 177 x

LIST OF TABLES Table 0-1: Socio-Agro-Ecological conditions of Dioila vs. Mande 11 Table 1 -1: Seed quality parameter characteristics based on seed certification standards used by the International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) and the "Comite Inter-etat de Lutte contre la Secheresse au Sahel" (CILSS) 23 Table 1-2: Field activities conducted in the two zones: Dioila and Mande where the research was conducted from May to December 2007 28 Table 1 -3: The seed quality measurement parameters used for the laboratory analyses conducted over the period October-December 2007 on seed samples collected from farmers in Dioila and Mande, Mali in May 2007 31 Table 1-4: General information (gender, age, information on the field) of the farmers who participated in the research in 2007 in the two zones: Dioila and Mande 39 Table 1-5: Information on the participating household cropping systems in Dioila and Mande 40 Table 1-6: Seed samples collected from farmers in Dioila and Mande on May 2007 for lab-analyses of farmers' seed quality parameters 40 Table 1-7: The number of seed samples collected in eight villages representing two zones in Mali; Dioila and Mande 41 Table 1-8: Number of seed samples collected per gender and per crop (groundnut, pearl millet, and sorghum) in Dioila and Mande for farmers' seed quality assessment study...42 Table 1-9: Number of seed samples collected per type of varieties (modern versus local) for all three crops in Dioila and Mande 42 Table 1-10: Number of seed samples collected per seed sources for all three crops (groundnut, pearl millet and sorghum) in both zones: Dioila and Mande 43 Table 1-11: Percentage of seed samples sourced in market versus farmers own produced seed per zone (Dioila and Mande) and per crop type (groundnut, pearl millet and sorghum) 43 Table 1-12: Number of seed samples collected, by seed storage method for sorghum, millet and groundnut per zone 44 XI

Table 1-13: Seed quality characteristics are presented for modern and local sorghum varieties, along with standard Error of the mean (SE) and a GLM contrast to test if modern versus local varieties are significantly different 47 Table 1-14: Seed quality characteristics for Dioila and Mande sorghum varieties, along with standard error of the mean (SE) and a GLM contrast to test if quality characteristics of seed from Dioila are significantly different from those from Mande 48 Table 1-15: Seed quality analyses results for sorghum are presented by village of production Mean, and Standard Error presented in parentheses, to identify which villages have better quality seed 48 Table 1-16: Factors contributing to high values in impurities observed among sorghum seed samples, including varieties and villages where seed were produced 49 Table 1-17: Seed quality characteristics for Dioila and Mande for pearl millet and groundnut, along with standard Error of the mean (SE) and a GLM contrast to test if seed from Dioila and Mande are significantly different 49 Table 1-18: Seed quality characteristics per storage methods commonly used by farmers for each crop, along with Standard Error (SE) and a GLM contrast to test if quality measures for seeds stored in panicles, sheaves, and grain are significantly different 50 Table 1-19: Seed quality characteristics per storage methods mainly used by farmers for groundnut and pearl millet, along with standard error of the mean (SE) and a GLM contrast to test if seeds stored by different method are significantly different 52 Table 1-20: Seed quality characteristics are for sorghum, pearl millet and groundnut seed samples along with standard error of the mean (SE) and a GLM contrast to test if seed of the three crops are significantly different from each other 52 Table 1-21: Seed quality characteristics per gender for groundnut seeds collected from farmers in Dioila and Mande zones along with standard error of the mean (SE) and a GLM contrast to test if seed from men and women are significantly different 53 Table 1-22: Seeds storage method used by farmers in Dioila and Mande, for groundnut, millet, and sorghum observed during farmers seed quality assessment study done from May to December 2007 in southern Mali 54 Tablel-23: Factors of concern for farmers during seed storage of the groundnut, millet, and sorghum in Dioila and Mande identified during the farmers seed quality assessment study done from May to December 2007 in southern Mali 55 Table 1-24: Seed treatment used by farmers in Dioila and Mande during seed storage for the groundnut, millet, and sorghum documented during farmers seed quality assessment study done in 2007 in southern Mali 56 xn

Tablel-25: Farmers' seed quality evaluation as assessed through survey questions conducted before and after planting on December 2007 in the eight villages representing Dioila and Mande zones in Mali 57 Table 1-26 shows Number of seed samples collected per village and per crop type for the seed quality analyses in the laboratory on 2007 in Dioila and Mande zones 152 Table 1-27 shows the sample size of head of household interviewed during the survey for seed quality assessment on 2007 study per zone 153 Table 2-1 : Places and approximate dates of the different activities undertaken to conduct the field trial assessing the impact of farmers' seed recycling on sorghum variety trait uniformity from May to December 2007 in ICRISAT-Mali research station 76 Table 2-2: Description of the four sorghum varieties used for the field trial from the catalog of sorghum varieties in Mali obtained with ICRIS AT research technician 79 Table 2-3: Number of seed samples (recycling categories and seed categories according to the source) used in the field for each of the four varieties. Field trial conducted on ICRISAT-Mali research station on 2007 80 Table 2-4: Description of the GLIMMEX model the statistical model used to analyze the field trial data 82 Table 2-5: Number of seed samples collected from farmers in Dioila and Mande zone for the field trial conducted on the ICRISAT research station from July to December 2007 in Mali 83 Table 2-6: Number of sorghum varieties grown by farmers from fanners' survey conducted on December 2007 84 Table 2-7: Results of GLIMMIX Procedure for flowering characteristics of the field trial data, including the fixed effects of varieties, recycling categories and recycling categories within variety and LSM comparisons among varieties and recycling categories, presented as Julian days 85 Table 2-8: Results of LSM comparisons of recycling categories within varieties for flowering response variables (means, with standard errors in parentheses) 86 Table 2-9: Results of GLIMMIX Procedure for plant phenotypic traits (plant height (cm) and number of off-type plants for varieties, recycling categories alone and recycling categories within variety and LS mean comparisons among varieties and recycling categories 87 xm

Table 2-10: Results of LSM comparisons of recycling categories within varieties for plant phenotypic response variables (plant height and number of off-type plants) (Means, with standard errors in parentheses) 88 Table 2-11: Results of GLIMMIX Procedure for plant yield components (panicle yield and grain yield (fixed effects) of varieties, recycling categories alone and recycling categories within variety and LS mean comparisons among varieties and recycling categories 89 Table 2-12: Results of LSM comparisons of recycling categories within varieties for plant yield response variables (panicle yield and grain yield) (Means, with standard errors in parentheses) 91 Table 2-13: Farmers genetic diversity management for sorghum assessed by recording the duration of farmer growing the same variety and the percentage of farmers who reported of having change their preferred dominant variety at least one time during farmer general surveys conducted in Dioila and Mande zones 91 Table 3-1: Name of the 32 varieties that farmers evaluated to assess farmers variety trait preference in December 2007 in the Dioila and Mande zones 104 Table 3-2: Number of farmers by gender who participated in the on-farm farmers' sorghum evaluation exercise aimed to assess farmers' variety preferences in the Dioila and Mande zones in December, 2007 107 Table 3-3: Farmers' preferences expressed in percentage for the 32 varieties in the on- farm trials by gender, variety type (short versus tall types) and by zone (Dioila and Mande) from the ICRISAT/ IER in December 2007 110 Table 3-4: The results of reasons why farmers from Dioila and Mande zones (n=230) rated the sorghum varieties as their three top choices from the on-farm field trials in December 2007 110 Table 3-5: Results of farmers' variety traits evaluation done on December 2007 by zone of the on-farm trials, expressed as the number of farmers and percentage of the sample citing different reasons for their variety preferences, per zone in southern Mali I l l Table 3-6: Results of farmers' variety traits evaluation done in December 2007, by gender 112 Table 3-7: Results of farmers' variety traits evaluation done in December 2007, by gender and by zone 112 Table 3-8: The name of dominant preferred sorghum varieties (varieties grown in large space by farmers encountered in Dioila and Mande. The table also shows the frequency xiv

(%) (the number of time a variety was cited as dominant by farmers). The data to make this was from farmers' general survey conducted in December 2007 113 Table 3-9: Results of farmers' variety traits preference evaluation of their preferred dominant varieties expressed in percentage, from the farmers' general survey conducted in December 2007 in the Dioila and Mande zones in southern Mali 114 Table 3-10: Results of farmers' variety traits preference evaluation of their preferred dominant varieties, expressed in percentage per zone from the farmers' general survey conducted in December 2007 in Dioila and Mande zones 114 Table 4-1: The main sources of sorghum seed, villages where seeds were obtained, and the time of its acquisition by zone (Dioila and Mande), from the farmer general survey done on December 2007 131 Table 4-2: Information on sorghum purchased seeds in Dioila and Mande, from farmer general survey conducted on December 2007 to document market sourced seed in both zones 132 Table 4-3: Prices (in F CFA) that farmers are willingness to pay for seeds of their three most preferred varieties, for the entire sample (n=230) 133 Table 4-4: Farmers' willingness to pay for their preferred varieties survey per zone.... 134 Table 4-5: Results of farmers' mean willingness to pay for their preferred sorghum varieties in relationship to the most popular variety traits studied in chapter 3. Mean price in CFA for a kg of seed in relationship to varietal traits (the standard deviations are in parentheses) 135 Table 4-6: The numbers of participants interviewed at the fairs held in Bancoumana and Siby in May 2007 in Mande zone to test the appropriateness of seed fairs as tool to improve farmers' access to good quality seed of their preferred varieties 136 Table 4-7: Numbers of crops species presented at the seed fairs held in May 2007 in Bancoumana and Siby in the Mande zone 136 Table 4-8: Information on crop types (number of varieties, variety names, variety types and reasons of selling it) presented on the seed fairs held in Bancounama and Siby in May 2007 137 Table 4-9: Information collected from seed fair vendors about their experience as seed sellers and membership in farmers' organizations 138 Table 4-10: Information collected from seed fairs seed buyers about their experience in buying seed and the reason why they chose to buy seed at the fairs 139 xv

Table 4-11: Information collected from seed fairs visitors about their experience in visiting the fairs held in Siby and Bancoumana on May 2007 in Mande Zone 140 Table 4-12: Quantity of sorghum seed purchased at the seed fairs held in Bancoumana and Siby in May 2007 during the time the surveys were conducted 141 Table 4-13: Buyers' impressions on seed quality, prices and seed presentation in the seed fairs 142 Table 4-14: Suggestions made by the interviewed seed fair participant in Bancoumana and Siby for future improvement of seed fairs in the Mande zone 143 Table 4-15 Estimate cost of production of 1 kg of improved sorghum seeds 146 Table4-16: Estimated revenue for sorghum seed production and distribution per zone when research costs are not paid for through market receipts 147 xvi

LIST OF FIGURES Figure 0-1: Map of part of Mali indicating the study zones 5 Figure 0-2: Map of Mali Republic and surrounding countries 8 Figure 1 -1: Key terms definition 16 Figure 1-2. Farmers' and institutional system of management of plant genetic resources (copied from Almekinders & Louwaars, 1999) 17 Figure 1-3: Percentage of seed impurities weight by crop for market versus farmers own produced seeds of seed samples collected in Dioila and Mande. The bars represent the average weight (means) and lines above the bars represent the standard deviation from the mean 45 Figure 1-4: Percentage of germination by crop for market-sourced versus farmers' own- produced seeds of seed samples collected from farmers in Dioila and Mande. The bars represent the average weight (means) and lines above the bars represent the standard deviation from the mean 46 Figure 1-5: The percentage of infected seedlings for each of three crops for market- sourced versus farmers' own-produced seed of seed samples collected from farmers in Dioila and Mande. The bars represent the average weight (means) and lines above the bars represent the standard deviation from the mean 46 Figure4-1: Farmers willingness to pay evaluated by gender in Dioila and Mande zones through the survey done along with on-farm variety evaluation in the two zones in December 2007 134 xvii

KEY TO SYMBOLS OR ABBREVIATION ACOD : Association Conseil pour le Developpement (Local NGO) AOPP : Association des Organisations Paysannes des Producteurs APCAM : Assemblee Permanente des Chambre d'Agricultures Maliennes APROFA : Agence de Promotion de Filieres Agricoles. AV : Association villageoise BNDA : Banque Nationale pour le Developpement Agricole COPROSEM : Cooperative des producteurs de semences CFC : Common Fund for Commodities CILSS : Comite Inter-etat de Lutte contre la Secheresse au Sahel CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center CMDT: Compagnie Malienne pour le Developpement Textile (Cotton Company in Mali) CIRAD: Centre International de Recherche Agronomique et de Developpement COPROSEM : Cooperative pour la Promotion de la Filiere semence DGRC : Direction Generale de Regulation et Controle Diff: difference DNSI: Direction Nationale de la Statistique et d'Information DNAMER : Direction Nationale d'Appuis au Monde Rural, ECOFIL : Economie des filieres Agricoles EDS: Enquete Demographique et de Sante FAO: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nation Fcfa : Franc Communaute Financiere d'Afrique FPVS : Farmers Participatory Variety Selection FV : Farmer variety GDP : Gross Domestic Product GIE : Groupement d'Interet Economique GLM : Generalized Linear Model gr = Gram ICRISAT : International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics xvm

IDRC : International Development Research Center IER: Institut D'Economie Rural IPR /IFRA : Institut Polytechnique Rural/Institut de Formation et de Recherche Appliquees ISTA : International Seed Testing Association Kg : Kilogram LCV: Local control variety LSM: Least Square Means MV: Modern varieties m = meter square NGO: Non Governmental Organization n: Total number (Sample) OHVN : Office de la Haute Vallee du Niger OMA : Office des Marches Agricoles OPC : Organisation des producteurs de cereales. R Var : response variable PVP : Plant Variety Protection PPB : Participatory Plant Breeding ULPC : Union Locales des Producteurs de Cereales (local farmers' association) SAS : Statistical Analysis Software SSA: Sub-Saharian Africa SSN : Service Semencier National SD : standard deviation SE : Standard Error WOI: Weight of Impurities xix

INTRODUCTION Mali, as most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) relies on agriculture as the backbone of its economic and social development because it employs about 80% of the population, constitutes the main source of domestic food supply and produces about 45 GDP (Coulibaly, 2004 ). Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and millet (Pennisetum glaucum) constitute the main cereal crops in the Koulikoro region (the study area in Mali). They account for more than 40% of the total food grain production in the region, with small holder farmers responsible for almost all the production (Tefft, 2004). In Mali, sorghum and millet are subsistence crops for almost all of the population and the total area that they occupy are bigger than that of all other crops. This is due to the fact that these crops can grow well in drier regions and on poor soils than other crops (Byth, 1993). Groundnut on the other hand, constitutes the main source of income for women and source of food and condiments for the households in most of the study areas. Groundnut more than sorghum and millet can grow well in dry regions and on poor soils which are most of the time given to women (Weltzien et al. 2006). Another important point about groundnut is the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen which helps in restoring soils fertility. These three crops are grown by almost all the farmers in this region. Despite their importance in Mali, all these crops share constraints related to seed quality and access. To understand agricultural development in such an area, it is essential to look at crops that are grown by both men and women, especially the small-holders. Thus to assess seed quality at farmer's level in a participative way (involving all farmers: men and women), looking at seed of these three crops can give a good insight. 1

Seeds are the most important input in all crop-based agriculture and a prerequisite for the majority of the world's food production (Badstrue, 2007). They provide the basis of factors influencing crops' yield because they contain all the genetic information of varietal traits that determine yield potential, adaptation to environmental conditions, and resistance to pests and disease (Maredia et al .1999). Research has shown that healthy seed is one of the important factors in improving agricultural production (Gupta, 1999). Therefore, a farmer's most critical management decision is the selection of seed sources and varieties. In Mali as in many SSA, farmers use seeds from informal sector (about 80%) (Siart, 2008), constituted of seeds produced by farmers without quality control and from local varieties. These seeds, even though inexpensive, are thought by some researchers to have some limitations, such as low germination rates, varieties with low yield and weak resistance to climatic stress, poor pest resistance, etc... That is why some argue that the agricultural productivity growth in SSA has not been as strong as compared to Asia, where the development, distribution (marketing) and use of improved seeds of new varieties were important components of the Green revolution (Maredia et al. 1999). In SSA, the existence of efficient seed systems including all source of seeds, e.g., a system where all farmers can access good quality of seeds (improved seed1, high-yielding, disease-free) of locally adapted varieties ( socio-economic and agro-ecological adapted varieties) on time is a primary determinant of productivity (Cromwell and Tripp, 1994). The wide use of local seeds in Mali is due in part to the fact that most farmers are poor and therefore cannot afford new improved inputs particularly seeds Improved seed refers in this paper to seed produced under quality supervision by the national seed service 2

Full document contains 205 pages
Abstract: Mali relies on agriculture as the backbone of its economic growth because agriculture employs more than 80% of the population and constitutes the main source of food. In the Koulikoro region (the study area), sorghum and millet are subsistence crops for almost all of the population. Groundnut constitutes the main source of income for women and is critical to family nutrition. These crops are grown by almost all the farmers in this region because they are adapted to semi-arid tropical ecologies and infertile soils, as well as being preferred in the diet. Despite their importance, an understanding of seed systems for these 'orphan' crops has been neglected. To understand agricultural development in Mali, it is important to evaluate the entire seed system, including the seed quality of farmer-saved and foundation seed, seed saving methods on-farm, seed sourcing avenues, and how new varieties are accessed by small-holders. Informal and formal surveys were conducted, in conjunction with seed collection from a range of sources. Seed quality performance was tested for seed from a range of sources. To quantify seed quality, laboratory standard analytical methods and field performance were analyzed. Variety purity was also assessed for different seed sources that represented foundation seeds, and seeds maintained by farmers for different number of years. These tests were linked to farmer assessment of seed quality and variety preference conducted through surveys and farmer ranking exercises. The seed quality assessment showed that farmer produced seed is generally high quality, as high as foundation seed. The seed meets Mali national seed service standards in almost all cases. However, there were some concerns identified concerning physical purity and health status of groundnut seeds. The field trial analyses showed that there are no significant differences between the variety purity of seeds farmers had saved and produced and foundation seed. This was shown for the flowering time (beginning and end), number of off-types, and weight of panicles. Overall, farmers recycling of varieties (saving seed for several years) did not markedly alter variety traits in sorghum. Results from both the on-farm field trial evaluation and the survey indicated that yield and adaptation to the local environment were very important in farmers' variety evaluation criteria. There were some additional traits of interest to farmers from Dioila and Mande, including cooking traits (easy processing, good taste of dishes made) and drought tolerance. However the farmers in Dioila were more interested in cooking quality than in drought tolerance. Another interesting finding is that there is a cultural tradition that prohibits the purchase of seed, particularly for sorghum and groundnut, yet farmers' did express a willingness to pay for sorghum seeds of preferred, improved varieties. Farmers in both zones were ready to pay 200 FCFA/kg for seed for their preferred varieties. This is a surprisingly high price given the low income level, and the limited cultural concepts of paying for subsistence crop seed.