ToRs Internships Streamlining Citizen Science for RTB Crop Variety EvaluationToRs Internships Streamlining Citizen Science for RTB Crop Variety Evaluation

The Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture

(CIAT) guides a unified research-for-development agenda and wide-ranging partnerships

to deliver benefits to millions of farmers and consumers. The Alliance develops and

deploys evidence-based solutions to safeguard agricultural biodiversity, produce food in

the face of climate change, and reduce the environmental footprint of agriculture,

increasing prosperity, improving health and nutrition, and sustaining the planet.

We are looking for a student with knowledge in Crop Science, Agronomy.

interest in participatory crop research with farmers, using citizen science techniques or

surveys, combined with strong interest in data science.

BsC degree - up to 6 months - 300 euros/month

Starting date: early May

Introduction of the research

The CGIAR Research Programme Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB), involving partner

research institutions, performs participatory evaluation of near-release or post-release breeding

products and landrace s for banana, cassava, potato, sweet potato and yam , but this is not

scaled and often remain in fragmented trials. On-farm variety trials form a key process in

agricultural innovation, to validate varieties for their official release, to select adapted

varieties for certain areas, and to demonstrate/diffuse the varieties to farmers

The Citizen science approach called Tricot provides an opportunity to streamline and

standardize trial design and data management practices, as the process is

digitally-supported throughout by the ClimMob platform. The Crop Ontology is a reference

standard providing semantics for crop traits and variables recorded during evaluation

experiments. It includes a selection of participatory varietal selection (PVS) traits and

variables extracted from CGIAR projects, that have been used to support the creation of

fieldbooks or surveys.

The internship is proposed to support the development of the current knowledge base - or

corpus - about the farmers’ preferences for RTB traits.

Internship Activities

● Collect the academic literature reporting participatory variety evaluation of RTB crops

● Compile existing protocols and gray literature on PVS from the RTB research


● Create an overview of by crop:

○ the number of trials (frequency) in which traits are investigated to determine

their importance

○ types of traits (agronomic, processing, sensory etc)

○ how the traits are measured/assessed (by farmers) (ranking, rating,

freelisting, etc.)

● Create an overview of:

○ how the studies deal with gender (sex-disaggregated data, task division)

○ market segmentation

○ environmental analysis

● Collect different PVS and tricot guidelines/protocols used for RTB crops, including all

phases from trial design and farmer selection, to data collection and analysis

● Compile/draft a RTB tricot proposal, including:

○ all the steps of the project cycle

○ crop-specific sections where needed

○ crop-specific traits ordered by importance

○ remaining open questions

ToRs Internships Streamlining Citizen Science for RTB Crop Variety Evaluation

● Collection of PVS publications for RTB crops and protocols (+reference list in

bibliography management software)

● Data table with traits by crop with their definitions from the publications

● Data table with trait methods from the publications

● Annotated bibliography of PVS protocols/guidelines

● Written literature synthesis of trait selection, socio-economic and environmental

characterization in PVS

● Draft protocol


Marie Angelique Laporte m.a. , Elizabeth Arnaud

Support team:

Jacob van Etten , Priscilla Marimo