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Recognizing the significance of participatory research in promoting inclusivity and generating meaningful, sustainable outcomes, ICAR-RCER, Patna, took the lead in initiating a participatory identification process for useful lablab bean genotypes. The aim was to assist researchers in identifying trait-specific lablab bean lines with consumer acceptability. Under this project Genetic Enhancement of selected Vegetable Legumes for Eastern India, 216 lines including checks were evaluated in the field trials. Scientists from various disciplines evaluated lablab bean genotypes, considering factors such as visual acceptability, color, texture, yield, disease resistance, and pest resistance using scale of 1-5. Each scientist expressed their preferences and suggestions, with a consensus that purple podded beans were nutritionally preferable. From a pest and disease perspective, high phenol content was favored. Other considerations included seed and biomass ratio, earliness of the lines, growth habit and post-harvest life. Female farmers also participated in the evaluation process, providing valuable input, emphasized preferences for bold-seeded, desi-type beans with good taste. Cooking time was identified as a significant factor in their variety selection. Students and interns also participated in the evaluation and tended to favor green-colored varieties. Dr. Anup Das, the Director, expressed his perspective, stating that programs of this nature are highly advantageous for breeders. They enable the selection of lines for varietal choices and identification based on scientific criteria and consumer preferences. Dr. Das affirmed that such initiatives will persist in the future as well. During the program, the Heads of the division, Principal scientist, Senior scientists, Technical and Research fellows from ICAR-RCER Institute, express their views, given scores and identified important characters for varietal selection. Their presence and engagement in the program underscored a collaborative effort to explore the potential of lablab beans and contribute to their genetic enhancement for the benefit of Eastern India.

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