Farmer participation in agricultural research can improve the efficiency and impact of the research. This functional component of participatory research includes the identification of traits that guide crop breeders' work. Participatory research can also lead to farmer empowerment, although when carried out by research organizations, direct empowerment is often limited to relatively few farmers. Farmer empowerment is, therefore, best carried out by development organizations whose longer-term interaction with farmers is likely to ensure that greater numbers of farmers benefit. Hence, research organizations ought to focus on the functional components of participatory research along with the empowerment of intermediate/partner organizations rather than the direct empowerment of large numbers of farmers.