National Agriculture Research Institute

Instituto Nacional de Innovación y Transferencia en Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA)

Objective areas

Priority setting , Genomics, Institutional capacity 

Focus crops

Sorghum, beans, sweet potato


Costa Rica

Project duration


It is considered a breeding success when farmers adopt a new crop variety, however, measuring adoption rates can be a significant challenge, especially when farmers struggle to identify the new variety in their fields. DNA fingerprinting (genome coding) methods show promise to make the identification process more inclusive for farmers, but this method remains out of reach for research programs with low institutional and technical capacity. Working closely with partners in Costa Rica at CACCIA, ILCI’s priority setting, institutional capacity, breeding informatics, cross-cutting theme and genomics teams aim to advance and assess the methodological and empirical use of DNA fingerprinting, with the ultimate goal to improve farmers’ roles in adopting new crop varieties.

With this mission in mind, the project will generate two main contributions:

  1. A new standardized and inclusive protocol to streamline fingerprinting for adoption studies that 1) adapts to the local capabilities of the Centers of Innovation; 2) is inclusive, adopting participatory and cross-cutting advancements; and 3) is cost-effective and ready to be implemented in future studies by National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs).
  2. Develop the use of DNA fingerprinting methods to ask key research questions on farmers’ knowledge, investigating why scientists report that farmers tend to be unaware of what varieties they grow, and better understand local knowledge on varieties

The field study will be performed together with CACCIA on common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) in Costa Rica. It will involve two agroecological zones (North and South), 800 farmers and 5 varieties of improved bean seeds.

Project leaders

Jose R Camacho

Roberto Camacho

Principal Investigator, CACCIA (Costa Rica)

Martina Occelli

Martina Occelli

Postdoctoral associate, Priority setting

Sergio Puerto

Ph.D. candidate in Economics

Luis Alfonso Sánchez Chacón

Agricultural economist, CACCIA (Costa Rica)

Hale Ann Tufan

Priority setting co-lead