CONSERVING THE INDIGENOUS VEGETABLE GERMPLASM OF SOUTHEAST ASIA
Among food crops, indigenous vegetables (IVs) are a neglected group. They are in danger of being replaced by a few cultivated species. The indigenous knowledge associated with the cultivation, utilization, and conservation of IVs is also endangered. In recognition of the potential of IVs to contribute to poverty and malnutrition alleviation and the diversification of the agricultural environment, AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center has undertaken germplasm exploration, collecting, regeneration, characterization and preservation of germplasm of vegetables indigenous to the Southeast Asian region for more than a decade. To date AVRDC has assembled more than 55,000 accessions of seed, leafy and fruit vegetable germplasm which includes about 12,000 accessions of about 200 species originated from nine countries in Southeast Asia. Exploration and germplasm collection were undertaken in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Species and site priorities were based on a consultative process participated in by representatives from the national agricultural research system (NARS). Characterization was done using a standard set of descriptors. Accessions with potential for promotion were identified. The importance of linking conservation with utilization was recognized and activities to promote utilization among farmers, traders, women, children and consumers in general were undertaken. In situ conservation in farmers fields was done through mainstreaming conservation of agrobiodiversity in production systems, school gardens, and women training in home gardening schemes, conservation, seed production and nutrition. In-country training and special purpose training at its headquarters were provided by AVRDC to staff of NARS. AVRDC continues to be committed to the assembly and preservation of a genetically diverse vegetable germplasm collection including vegetables indigenous to South Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa and other regions where such germplasm are endangered from genetic erosion and where they can play an important role in diversification of production systems and improved nutrition.
Engle, L.M. and Faustino, F.C. (2007). CONSERVING THE INDIGENOUS VEGETABLE GERMPLASM OF SOUTHEAST ASIA. Acta Hortic. 752, 55-60
Indigenous vegetable, conservation, promotion, utilization