INDIGENOUS VEGETABLES AND LEGUMES IN SRI LANKA

H.P.M. Gunasena
Diverse agro-ecological regions of Sri Lanka are well suited for the cultivation of different kinds of vegetable crops. There are two main groups of vegetables grown in Sri Lanka based on the agro-ecological adoptability. The upcountry (hilly areas) vegetables constitute crops such as cabbage, carrot, beetroot, cauliflower, knolkhol, bean, tomato, and capsicum which are grown on a commercial scale with high input use. The other group constitutes the low-country (plains) vegetables, which include brinjal, bitter gourd, pumpkin, luffa, cucumber and snake gourd which are cultivated less intensively under low input systems. Additionally leafy vegetables are grown across the country, mostly in home gardens and have an important part in the Sri Lankan diet. Vegetables such as bell peppers, tomato, and salad cucumbers are also grown under intensive culture under protected agricultural systems mostly for the hotel industry and exports. The seeds of many of the temperate types of vegetables are imported, other vegetables are produced locally. These vegetables cater to the local markets and some for export to ethnic markets. Although the country is virtually self sufficient in vegetables, there is very high potential for expansion of their cultivation for domestic consumption and export. Most vegetables grown are improved local selections and imported hybrids. The extensive use of improved types has led to a situation that the indigenous types are virtually disappearing from the ecosystems creating a vacuum in vegetable biodiversity. These indigenous vegetables (IVs) include a wide array of leafy vegetables, gourds, and legumes. They are rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins; hence the diets could be diversified to meet the nutritional requirements of the people in the country. They could be used in crop diversification, thereby increase the incomes of farmers and to make them available year round. IVs should be collected, characterized and conserved for use in crop improvement programmes.
Gunasena, H.P.M. (2007). INDIGENOUS VEGETABLES AND LEGUMES IN SRI LANKA. Acta Hortic. 752, 111-114
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.752.14
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2007.752.14
Leafy vegetables, legumes, malnutrition
English

Acta Horticulturae