Market Intelligence and Incentive-Based Trait Ranking for Plant Breeding: A Sweetpotato Pilot in Uganda

Crop breeding programs must accelerate crop improvement, spur widespread adoption
of new varieties and increase variety turnover they are to meet the diverse needs of
their clients. More comprehensive quantitative approaches are needed to better inform
breeding programs about the preferred traits among farmers and other actors. However,
the ability of current breeding programs to meet the demands of their clients is limited by
the lack of insights about value chain actor preference for individual or packages of traits.
Ranking traits based on monetary incentives, rather than subjective values, represents
a more comprehensive, consistent, and quantitative approach to inform breeding
programs. We conducted a large pilot in Uganda to assess the implementation of a
novel approach to trait ranking, using a uniquely large sample of diverse sweetpotato
value chain actors. We found meaningful differences in trait ranking and heterogeneity
among different actors using this approach. We also show our approach’s effectiveness
at uncovering unmet demand for root quality traits and at characterizing the substantial
trait demand heterogeneity among value chain players. Implementing this approach
more broadly for sweetpotato and other crops would increase the effectiveness of
breeding programs to improve food security in developing countries.

Citation: Okello, J. J.; Swanckaert, J.; Martin-Collado, D.; Santos, B.; Yada, B.; Mwanga, R. O. M.; Schurink, A.; Quinn, M.; Thiele, G.; Heck, S.; Byrne, T. J.; Hareau, G. G.; Campos, H. 2022. Market Intelligence and Incentive-Based Trait Ranking for Plant Breeding: A Sweetpotato Pilot in Uganda. Frontiers in Plant Science, 13. ISSN 1664-462X. 11 p.
2022-04-18
BREEDING, CROP AND SYSTEMS SCIENCES CSS, CROP PROTECTION, IMPACT ASSESSMENT, INCLUSIVE GROWTH, SWEETPOTATO AGRI-FOOD SYSTEMS, SWEETPOTATOES
UGANDA

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