Current status of registered grapevine saplings in Lebanon

N. Tabaja, M. Siblini, L. Chalak
Grapevine is an important component of the Lebanese agricultural production system with 10609 ha of cultivated area of which 70% are occupied by table grapevines vs. 30% of industrial grape. Information about saplings is not yet available in the country. This study presents the first report on the status of grapevine saplings in Lebanon, whether they are locally produced or imported, in addition to the resulting impact on the diversity of the Lebanese fruit germplasm. The work was mainly focused on an exhaustive desk analysis of the registers of the Ministry of Agriculture over 2012-2014. Data recorded during the three years’ study reveals that both table and industrial grapes ranked first among the other fruit crops for the registered imported saplings with an estimated yearly average of 815132 saplings. The saplings import of grapevine appears as substantial with a share of industrial grapevine two times greater than the one of table grapevine. For table grapes, imported material totaled to yearly average of 291413 saplings belonging mainly to ‘Superior Seedless’, ‘Cardinal’, ‘Michele Pallieri’, ‘Italia’ and ‘Red Globe’. For industrial grapevine, imported material totaled a yearly average of 523720 saplings where the major share went mostly to ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ ‘Blanc’, ‘Syrah’, ‘Viognier’, ‘Chardonnay’ and ‘Merlot’. At the germplasm diversity level, grapevine ranked second after peach with 118 registered cultivars including 77 cultivars of industrial grapevines and 41 for table grapes. Many of these imported cultivars are newly released after a long process of genetic improvement; they are still under patency protection and should not be authorized to be propagated in Lebanon; knowing that Lebanon lack an operational system to protect new cultivars and that the country is not yet a member of the International Union for the Protection of New Cultivars. Surprisingly, none of the registered saplings circulating in the country are exclusively locally produced, while the non-registered locally produced saplings remain an important informal market for the local cultivars.
Tabaja, N., Siblini, M. and Chalak, L. (2020). Current status of registered grapevine saplings in Lebanon. Acta Hortic. 1276, 265-270
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2020.1276.38
Vitis vinifera L., saplings, import, local production, quantities, cultivars, diversity

Acta Horticulturae