Introducing new open pollinated tomato cultivars in the Solomon Islands and Fiji for improved livelihoods and nutrition
The development of high value crops for domestic consumption and export is considered a priority for economic development and improved livelihoods for many Pacific Island countries. However, attempts to intensify production without adequate attention to research and development in areas such as identification of well-adapted cultivars may lead to gains being limited and short-lived. The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research project Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high value crop production aims to build and sustain capacity to develop integrated crop management strategies for the sustainable intensification of high value crop production for export and domestic markets. Activities include the introduction and evaluation of performance of improved solanaceous cultivars in each target country, and the testing of integrated technologies for their efficacy to increase and extend vegetable production seasons. Tomato is a high-value crop in Fiji and the Solomon Islands. It is commonly grown by farmers for household consumption and the domestic market. Eleven improved open pollinated tomato cultivars sourced from the World Vegetable Center in Taiwan were evaluated over three cropping seasons. Three cultivars ('CLN3150A-5', 'CLN2585D' and 'CLN2071D') were selected and officially released in Fiji and the Solomon Islands. The released cultivars now locally known as 'Melrose' and 'Rio Gold' in Fiji, and 'Rose's Choice' in the Solomon Islands, performed well under local growing conditions and are high yielding, producing well-shaped fruit with a taste preferred by local consumers. For farmers, these new open pollinated cultivars provide an opportunity to produce for the local market and also to save their own seeds for small-scale planting. This was a milestone achievement for project partners - local agriculture ministries, the Pacific Community, the University of Queensland, and the World Vegetable Center.
Iramu, E., Pitakia, T., Mua, M., Furlong, M., Banuve, A., Beed, F., Atumurirava, F., Gharuka, M. and Keatinge, J.D.H. (2018). Introducing new open pollinated tomato cultivars in the Solomon Islands and Fiji for improved livelihoods and nutrition. Acta Hortic. 1205, 131-136
tomato, open pollinated, livelihood, nutrition, Pacific