Climmob, digital platform to support triadic comparisons of technologies (tricot)

ClimMob is a digital platform for designing massive participatory variety trials, using a crowdsourced citizen science approach called “triadic comparisons of technologies” (tricot)

Type of solution

ClimMob is a relatively elaborate data collection tool using mobile and the Web. It’s actually at experimental stage



What is it about ?

Tricot stands for “Triadic Comparison of Technologies”. It is a research method that allows researchers to test large sets of agricultural technologies, such as crop varieties, in collaboration with many farmers. Each farmer receives small seed quantities from three alternative varieties and plants them as a mini-trial on their personal farm. Farmers make simple observations (e.g. about pest attacks or yield) and report to the researchers which variety worked best. Researchers can use this farmer-generated data to evaluate variety performance under different conditions. The ClimMob website allows designing the trial and analyzing results. The ClimMob app can be used to collect data on site when farmers are visited.

Advantages of this ICT solution ?

The information provided after a Tricot trial supports:

  • variety release
  • creation of location-specific variety recommendations
  • analysis of unmet varietal needs.

Some advantages of Tricot:

  • reduce costs and diffuse seeds massively while evaluating suitability
  • avoid “leadership effects” in choice data
  • have sufficient statistical power to distinguish socio- economic and spatial effects on variety choice

Advantages of using the Climmob platform:

  • Helps researchers to prepare the trial packages for farmers
  • Automatized analysis of data

Tasks supported by Tricot in the breeding cycle

Example of application

In Ethiopia, farmers tested 62 different varieties of durum wheat across 3 cropping seasons. On a total of 1090 on-farm plots, farmers made triadic comparisons of random subsets of three varieties. Farmers detected different performance of varieties. These differences were related to the lowest night temperature during the vegetative period. Cold tolerance was identified as the main geographic adaptation factor for durum wheat in the Ethiopian highlands. The trials showed that the modern varieties recommended by CIMMYT for the Ethiopian highlands were actually outperformed by local farmer varieties. The tricot trial findings can improve variety recommendations for durum wheat by uncovering the importance of cold adaptation and identifying locally best-adapted varieties.


More than 15,000 farmers around the world have already participated in tricot-style variety evaluation trials using the ClimMob platform. In Honduras, farmer-generated data from tricot trials was already used for the release of a farmer-bred variety of common bean.

Is it free ?

The use of ClimMob is free for development organizations, but comes at a cost for commercial agro-companies, such as crop breeders that want to test new technologies in large-scale on-farm trials.