Performance indicators to measure progress towards adoption and widespread use of new plant varieties
The level of engagement and emphasis placed on the views of clients on the performance and use of new varieties is much higher in demand-led breeding than in other breeding approaches. The success of a new variety and its key performance indicators are determined by the opinions, demand, and use of the new variety by farmers and clients within the crop value chains.
Successful demand-led breeding programs satisfy end-user demand and are highly dependent on assumptions formed during investigative research and collaboration with clients and stakeholders along the value chain. These assumptions form the strategic pillars for monitoring, evaluation, and learning during the development, release, and adoption of new varieties by farmers. The required engagement with clients and value chain stakeholders and the creation and delivery of a variety of development strategies and stage plan will require discussion and approval by senior management. Ultimately, a breeding project should be evaluated in terms of:
Meeting trait performance targets: How close is the performance of the new variety to the benchmark variety design/specification/targets set at the product profile/concept stage (as determined using visioning/forecasting methods, market research, and inputs from clients in the value chain)? Specifically, were the genetic improvements required for each of the traits delivered?
Satisfying clients’ needs: Does the new variety satisfy clients’ needs and market demand? Is it preferred to older varieties? Has it been adopted by the target numbers of farmers for whom it was designed?
Impact: Does the variety create the economic, social and environmental impact at the individual, household and community level that was defined in the benefits case that was used to justify the investment in the breeding project. Ex post impact can be assessed only several years after varietal release.