Working Paper

The tricot citizen science approach applied to on-farm variety evaluation: methodological progress and perspectives

Tricot (triadic comparisons of technologies) is a citizen science approach for testing technology options in their
use environments, which is being applied to on-farm testing of crop varieties. Over the last years, important
progress has been made on the tricot methodology of which an overview is given. Trial dimensions depend on
several factors but tricot implies that plot size is as small as possible to include farmers with small plots (yet
avoiding excessive interplot competition) while many locations are included to ensure representativeness of
trials. Gender and socio-economic work is focused on better household characterization and recruitment
strategies that move beyond sex-aggregation to address aspects of intersectionality. Ethics, privacy and
traditional knowledge aspects will be addressed through expanding digital support in this direction. Genetic gain
estimates need to be addressed by yield measurements, which can be generated by farmers themselves. There
is conceptual clarity about the needs for documentation of trials and publishing data but this aspect requires
further digital development. Much progress has been made on the ClimMob digital platform already, which is
user friendly and supports trials in the main steps and includes open-source data analytics packages. Further
improvements need to be made to ensure better integration with other tools. A next step will be the
development of scaling strategies that involve business development. An important input into these strategies
are economic studies, which are ongoing.