As of 2017, around 45000 farmers around the world are taking on the role of citizen scientists in crowdsourcing trials through our Seeds for Needs Initiative:
- In Central America, our crowdsourcing approach is estimated to be up to 80% more cost-effective than conventional participatory varietal selection.
- In India alone, partnerships and word-of-mouth helped increase participation from 30 to 15,000 farmers in just three years.
- As a result of crowdsourcing trials, in 2017, the Ethiopian government approved two new wheat varieties for distribution as officially approved seeds.
"Farmers act as local scientists ... testing, observing, comparing different varieties, trying new farming techniques, and experimenting with different crop rotations to see what works for them – in terms of yield and also ... resilience, nutrition, taste and resistance to pests and diseases."
Ann Tutwiler, Director General, Bioversity International's blog: From the fields of Bihar, India.