For too long, breeders have been guided mostly by their own views of what constitutes an improved variety, usually focused on traits such as higher yield or drought tolerance.
Unfortunately, farmers do not always adopt these new and improved crop varieties. To address this challenge, RTB has spearheaded efforts to gain a better understanding of the characteristics that farmers, processors and everyone else along the production chain value highly.
To gauge these preferences, multidisciplinary teams of social scientists, marketing experts, breeders and others can now use the G+ tools developed by the Gender and Breeding Initiative, led by RTB. Preferences may differ between men and women, and will also depend on factors such as land tenure and the tasks people perform on the crop. A comprehensive customer profile feeds into a gender-responsive product profile, giving breeders the information they need to produce more desirable varieties.