Successful adaptation

With the help of partners, high yielding, disease resistant vegetable lines from WorldVeg have a promising future in Southeast Asia

The final workshop for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) Japan-WorldVeg project “Selection of tropically adapted lines of vegetables to improve productivity of the vegetable value chain in Southeast Asia” was held on 23-24 May 2018 at the World Vegetable Center East and Southeast Asia Research and Training Station, Kasetsart University, Kamphaeng Saen, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. Four participants from Myanmar’s Department of Agriculture (DAR), four participants from the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Research Institute (FAVRI), 11 WorldVeg staff, and MAFF project coordinator Prof. Masayoshi Shigyo from Yamaguchi University met for discussions and presentations on evaluations of WorldVeg tomato, chili pepper, bitter gourd, and pumpkin field trials conducted by project partners in Myanmar and Vietnam.

“The project aimed to promote WorldVeg’s disease resistant and high yielding vegetable lines for use in breeding or for varietal release in Southeast Asia, and it seems to be fulfilled soon,” said Pepijn Schreinemachers, WorldVeg East and Southeast Asia Interim Regional Director. Peter Hanson, WorldVeg Global Plant Breeding Lead Scientist, noted that the trials were well established in both countries. “Some vegetable lines/F1 hybrids of WorldVeg will be commercialized in Myanmar and Vietnam,” he said.

WorldVeg breeders with partners in their favorite place: Out in the field!

Speakers from Myanmar (Thaingi Myint, Khin Thandar) and Vietnam (Ngo Thi Hanh, Tran Ngoc Hung, Dang Thi Van) reviewed the results obtained from various vegetable trials of WorldVeg lines/F1 hybrids and suggested the way forward to commercialize the products in their respective countries. Cucurbit Breeder and Project Manager Narinder Dhillon gave an overview of the project, highlighted significant results obtained, and noted some unique challenges faced during the trial set-up. He thanked the participants for their excellent contributions to the project. Participants also discussed the workplan of activities for the second phase of the project.

In his concluding remarks, Prof. Shigyo mentioned that the first phase of the MAFF Japan project (2015-2018) was successful; it increased the vegetable breeding knowledge and skill of partners in Myanmar and Vietnam, and the Japan Seed Trade Association (JASTA) also benefited from the outcomes of the project. “On the basis of encouraging research results obtained, the project has been extended for the second phase (2018-2021),” he said.

On the second day of the workshop, participants toured local tomato fields and met with farmers to better understand the constraints of tomato production in the region, particularly bacterial spot caused by Xanthomonas spp. The field visit offered WorldVeg tomato breeders an opportunity to reorient the tomato breeding program to include more research on emerging economic diseases of tomato in Southeast Asia.

Comparing WorldVeg tomato lines in a field trial. Promising candidates could be released in Southeast Asia.

Story: Narinder Dhillon

Photos: Sorawit Limsiriwat

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