Ten malt barley genotypes were evaluated in randomized complete block design with three replications under farmers’ participatory selection scheme at four locations in western Shoa, Central Ethiopia during 2019 main cropping season. The objectives of this experiment were to select superior malt barley varieties in the study area and to identify farmers’ preference and selection criteria. Farmers’ set; number of kernels per spike, tillers per plant and plumpness as selection criteria at maturity stage of the crop. The results of the combined analysis of variance indicated highly significant differences among genotypes for all traits tested at 1% probability level. The GXE interaction also showed highly significant differences for all characters at 1% probability level, except grain yield which was significant at 5% probability level. The highest mean grain yield was obtained from the genotype HB-1963 (3528 Kg ha-1) whereas the lowest from the variety Sabini (2057 Kg ha-1). Farmers’ evaluation of direct matrix ranking showed HB-1963 (score 40) and IBON-174/03 (score 32) were the most preferred genotypes and Traveller (score 16) the least one. Therefore, the genotypes HB-1963 and IBON-174/03 were chosen for their performance in the experimental field and also acceptable from farmers' participatory evaluation. Thus, based on the results of this study and previous information from the evaluation of the varieties, the selected varieties need to be popularized, multiplied and distributed to farmers.
participatory, malt barley, tillers per plant, kernels per spike
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