ONION BREEDING PROSPECTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE ARID TROPICS OF NORTHERN SUDAN
Breeders working at the Hudeiba Research Station (17° 34' N, at 350 m above sea level) in northern Sudan, using the local germplasm, succeeded in releasing three varieties for different purposes in 1987. Similar efforts in the Ethiopian highlands carried out at the Nazareth Horticultural Research Station (8°33' N, at 1 600 m asl), using the Sudanese germplasm during 1970s and 1980s, resulted in the development of three commercially viable seed-grown varieties which were being used locally and exported (Currah, 1985). Evaluation of a number of advanced breeding lines from Sudan at the Seiyun Research Center (15°56' N at 700 m) in the mid-altitude region (600–1 000 m) in Wadi Hadramout in Yemen proved their adaptability and suitability for commercial production in the area, and they are due to be released. In the three countries, the locally developed varieties revealed their superiority compared to introductions from Egypt, India, the USA, and from European countries.
The Sudanese local germplasm has a wide spectrum of genetic variability and needs to be collected, identified, characterized, and evaluated in order to be efficiently used in breeding programs in different tropical countries.