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Tanzania: Introduction and evaluation of tomato germplasm

Tomato is an important cash crop in many developing countries. However, smallholder farmers often lack access to improved cultivars and breeding programs to develop locally adapted cultivars are limited. Participatory crop improvement (PCI) approaches can be used to increase farmer access to improved cultivars.

In this project, researchers used the mother and baby trial (MBT) design to introduce and evaluate tomato cultivars in three villages in the Morogoro Region of Tanzania. Mother trials were conducted in seven environments within the three villages, and variance partitioning revealed significant genetic effects for all traits measured with h2 ranging from 0.74 to 0.90 for yield and disease reaction, respectively.

In baby trials, farmers provided qualitative rankings of cultivars for 16 characteristics, including vigor, yield, harvest period, diseases, insect damage, fruit quality, and salability. Results from baby trials indicated that introduced cultivars were locally acceptable to farmers, except for traits related to marketability.

Outcome Mapping was used to evaluate progress in each of the three villages and results suggested that high stakeholder participation levels could predict future adoption of introduced cultivars. The findings provide a framework for evaluating, selecting, and breeding tomato and other horticultural crops in developing countries using the MBT design for PCI.

Access the full study at HortScience

Publication date: 1/6/2017

 


 

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