This article explores the potential of involving smallholder farmers in
hybrid development for their low-external input farming systems. The authors
developed a conceptual model of the procedures, based on five simple
assumptions,fora participatory maize breeding programme in southwest China,
from 2000 to 2012. It is shown that farmers’ early involvement in hybrid
development during the pre-breeding stage, including broadening the base
populations with farmer-maintained local landraces, supported
co-evolution of the genetic resources in farmers’ fields.