AVRDC - THE WORLD VEGETABLE CENTER TOMATO BREEDING IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: LESSONS FROM THE PAST, PRESENT WORK, AND FUTURE PROSPECTS
Tomato is a major vegetable in sub-Saharan Africa and is grown mainly as a cash crop. The crop can grow throughout the year; however, production is constrained by diseases and insect pests, and by abiotic factors including low moisture stress, heat, and low soil fertility. Although susceptible to many diseases, old cultivars like Marglobe, Rio Grande, RomaVF and Moneymaker are still widely grown in sub-Saharan Africa because of their important quality traits such as fruit color and general appearance, and also because of a lack of new improved cultivars. These open-pollinated cultivars lack Plant Variety Protection and any company can freely market the seed. Vegetable breeding research is in its infancy in sub-Saharan Africa and many national agricultural research systems lack vegetable breeders. AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center in Taiwan and its Regional Center for Africa, based in Arusha, Tanzania, collaborate with the Horticultural Research and Training Institute (HORTI-Tengeru) of Tanzania, other national programs, and private seed companies to evaluate introduced AVRDC lines and initiate breeding programs in the region on important problems such as multiple disease resistance, high yield, and fruit quality. These efforts have led to the release of new tomato cultivars in several African countries. Advanced breeding lines carrying genes for heat tolerance and resistance to late blight and disease caused by tomato yellow leaf curl virus have been developed and are being used in breeding programs at the Regional Center for Africa; the lines also are evaluated for direct release by national partners in the region. A fully-fledged tomato-breeding program has been started at the Regional Center for Africa through the Vegetable Breeding and Seed Systems project to provide public and private sector breeders with a sustainable supply of target germplasm, and to build human resources capacity in breeding. This paper highlights past and current tomato improvements and future prospects.
Fufa, F., Hanson, P., Dagnoko, S. and Dhaliwal, M. (2011). AVRDC - THE WORLD VEGETABLE CENTER TOMATO BREEDING IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA: LESSONS FROM THE PAST, PRESENT WORK, AND FUTURE PROSPECTS. Acta Hortic. 911, 87-98
tomato breeding, cultivar evaluation, sub-Saharan Africa, production constraints, target germplasm, disease resistance