At more than 200 farms in East Timor hundreds of farmers are giving valuable feedback
on the new test varieties of corn: Sele and P07.  At the start of the wet season SoL researchers
worked with farmers to establish small plots of new varieties alongside the seed the farmer would normally plant. Now at harvest time the farmers and researchers are together measuring and judging the new varieties.


Harvesting the corn plots

There are two new varieties being tested this year. One is the released variety  called Sele, and the second is a white corn from Central Mindanao University in the southern Philippines (CMU Var 12).   As the small 5m by 5m plots are harvested the weight of each variety is recorded along with the farmer’s preference.  To involve more farmers SoL organises a field day in each subdistrict where neighbours of the testing farmers also come to see and assess the new varieties for themselves. After harvesting some cobs of each variety are threshed and cooked for tasting.


Threshing each variety, ready for cooking

The farmers are very pleased with the new white corn. The new variety not only gives 30% more grain but is also very sweet to eat as a roasted corn. The seed colour is a very clear pearly white. It also has the large seed size that farmers like.  Based on what the farmers are seeing and saying more than 80% of them want to plant the new white corn again next year.


Judging the varieties.

It is client feedback like this that enables the SoL program to release new varieties with confidence.