ALLIUM IMPROVEMENT FOR THE TROPICS: PROBLEMS AND AVRDC STRATEGY
With the recognition of the importance of these crops in the tropics, the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC) has recently added them to its mandated crops, to work for their overall improvement.
The one objective which covers almost all activities is to develop varieties suitable for growing in the tropics, with major emphasis on the hot humid tropics.
AVRDC's major strategy, in collaboration with national agricultural research system (NARS) partners, will be to build a large germplasm base for these crops and to develop lines with higher levels of resistance to major diseases and pests and long bulb-storage life. The strategy includes the exploitation of heterosis and the development of lines tolerant to temperature and water stress. Virus elimination and indexing will be a major activity for garlic and shallots which may be used in developing technology for mass production of virus-free planting material by tissue culturing.