World Conference on Horticultural Research - 17-20 June 1998 in Rome, Italy
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Current state of World Horticultural Research

J. GANRY
Deputy-Director CIRAD-FLHOR (1)
FRANCE

This report was developed with the contributi This report was developed with the contribution of
Rémy HUGON - Attaché à la Direction Scientifique
CIRAD-FLHOR (1)

(1) CIRAD-FLHOR, B.P. 5035, 34032 Montpellier Cedex, FRANCE



I - OVERVIEW OF RESEARCH

1. Introduction
2. Fruits
3. Vegetables
(This file: ganry1.html)
4. Ornamentals
5. Viticulture
6. Medicinal and aromatic plants
7. Trends and discussions
8. Conclusion
(Next file: ganry2.html)

Jacky GANRY Chairman of WG2


1 - INTRODUCTION

The objective of working group 2, "Current Status of Horticultural Research", is to determine the relative importance of the major research areas and to identify the present trends in horticultural research world-wide.

The scope of the task is to include horticulture Research & Development activities, means and output by disciplines, areas of the world, groups of crops and type of institutions.

Tplines, areas of the world, groups of crops and type of institutions.

This non-exhaustive multiple approach is aimed at focusing on the most important facts and trends without intending to present a detailed portrait of the situation.

Consequently, this report is constructed around two approaches :

A geographical approach, which intends to give a global but not complete overview of the current situation and trends in horticultural research at the international level. The presentation is done separately for fruits, vegetables, viticulture, aromatic and medicinal plants.

For each crop group, the presentation framework is similar : global picture, genetic resources, plant improvement, propagation and nursery, plant protection, crop production, post-harvest, economics and marketing.

A case study approach, based on some relevant examples of

- thematic activities

- networking activities and global programmes

The geographical approach has been based on a preliminary survey through existing or potential correspondents in several locations (countries or regions). Each of them was requested to write a "country report" written around "tentative guidelines" (including crop, themes and organizations) and a questionnaire as a support to the report (quantitative information on staff, human resources, budget, scientific production, ...).

In order to have the wit, scientific production, ...).

In order to have the widest world coverage, 170 letters were sent to 86 countries or regions. 70 positive responses were received (75% of contacts).

From the 63 useful reports already received (90% of expected reports and around 70% of first contacts),we have written a synthetisizing report which tries to give a global, although incomplete, overview of current horticultural research in these locations.

We have obtained a very good coverage for Asia (78% of preliminary contact), and for Africa and West Asia (74%), but a weak coverage in Latin America (46%). Information on Western and Eastern Europe (55%) is incomplete. In North America, while a good coverage was achieved in Canada, information on the USA is rather weak.

Information on the private sector is not very consistent (see WG3), due to the fact that it would require more time and effort to penetrate this sector.

In spite of "indicative guidelines for report", responses are very heterogeneous and there has been a strong reluctance to filling in the questionnaire. In addition in many cases, in developing countries and Eastern Europe countries, it is often difficult to get specific statistical data such as budget, organization, productivity, trained manpower, facilities assigned.

Even in industrialized countries, such as the USA, France..., any quantification of funding or staff for horticultural research is difficufunding or staff for horticultural research is difficult on one hand, in some cases, because of the numerous private and public agencies and industrial companies involved, and on the other hand due to the fact that budgeting and staffing are frequently done across commodity lines, so that funding for agronomic and horticultural crops may be mixed. Therefore, it is difficult to identify funds especially dedicated and earmarked for "Horticultural research".

Nevertheless, it is possible to bring out some general highlights and trends from this first survey, based on "declarations" from country representatives and deducted from an analysis of "hard data" we have received. As previoulsly stated, we couldn't think of having an exhaustive coverage of all current research.

This global overview is completed by "case studies" of thematic activities and of networking activities and global programs.

Thematic case studies are intended to highlight some specific topics or crops in major themes, with emphasis on current and emerging challenges, on existing skills and capacities, in various countries and at international level, on fitness with the present and future needs, on networking and international cooperation.

In that way contributions are given in following areas :

Case-studies for networking and global programs are intended to present some key experiences in that field which may serve as support for new initiatives :

In such a global picture, including International Agricultural Research Centers (IARCs), Advanced Research Institutes (ARIs), and National Agricultural Research system (NARs), Italy's experience is presented as an illustration the latter. 's experience is presented as an illustration the latter.



2 - FRUITS

2.1 - Global picture

2.1.1 Fruits are generally considered as a key element of agriculture and as a source of nutritional components of major interest.

Some of them rank among the most important crops in the world such as bananas, citrus, apple.

2.1.2 In some developing or emerging countries, the fruit sector is currently receiving great investment as source of diversification and income, for local market and moreover, export trade. Such is the case in some countries such as Colombia, Guatemala, Chile, Argentine, Malaysia... More attention is increasingly paid to minor fruits because of their nutritional value, (berries, native fruits such as camu-camu, kiwi,...), and because of their added value components for agricultural diversification. Nevertheless, they are still often considered as secondary crops or luxury crops, if compared to staple food crops and grains.

2.1.3 Therefore research efforts are very scarce and heterogenous, depending on the fruit status (trade, commodity such as banana, pineapple or apple, peach,... on the one hand ; local consumption on the other hand : durian, berries,...)

A reflection of that is the absence of an International Agricultural centre specializing bsence of an International Agricultural centre specializing in fruits. One exception is banana, which has benefited from an International Organization since 1986, named INIBAP (International Network for Improvement of Bananas and Plantains). IPGRI, in the field of Genetic Resources, is paying increasing attention to fruit crops.

2.1.4 All the NARS in the northern countries are involved in commodity fruit products and research is well organized. Among the responses we received, all the subsector activities are taken into account (genetic resources, genetic improvement, propagation and nursery, integrated production systems, post harvest technologies, economics). The scientific results are notable. Inter-country partnerships are rather weak.

2.1.5 In developing countries the picture is in considerable contrast, with countries where strong attention is paid to fruit research such as Brazil, Morocco, India, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, and countries where there is a great lack of expertise, of funds and of linkages with sources of information and improved material, such as in South Pacific Islands.

2.1.6 In order to enhance national and international cooperation, recent initiatives have been taken during the last decade to foster networking activities.

There are many networks regarding fruit. They are based on various objectives which lead to a specialization ofrious objectives which lead to a specialization of activities :
MECINET (citrus / Mediterranean area), IACNET (citrus / America), SEANUC (Fruits / Africa), EUFRIN (Fruits / Europe), MESFIN (fruits / Mediterranean area), UTFANET (miscellaneous fruits / Asia), INIBAP (bananas), REMUFRUT (Fruits / world). Many are focus on genetic resources : TROPIGEN, REDARFIT, REMERFI (in Latin America), NESCRA for citrus in Asia.

Special mention should be made for INIBAP which is acting in the framework of CGIAR.

In the context of the Global Forum Initiative, a global program on Musa improvement has been finalized, named PROMUSA. It is considered as a first experience of 'Global Agronomic Research System' (see special paper).

International societies such as ISCN and ISC for citrus, ACORBAT for bananas, play a relevant role in this field.

International commodity bodies exist for two fruits : one intergovernmental group on bananas, and the other one on citrus and tropical fruits.


2.2 - Genetic resources

Several initiatives have been taken or are emerging from international organizations to improve fruit genetic resources, conservation and utilization.

They mostly come from FAO and IPGRI, and are detailed as case studies in the present document.

As examples :

At the country level significant activities are reported in various countries / regions.

In Europe activities are, for instance, reported :

In Mediterranean region, Turkey, which is an important center for native fruit species, is playing a great collecting role, principally at the University of Cukurova (deciduous and mediterranean fruits).

In North-America, temperate and sub-tropical fruit species are stored either in whole plant or meristem (cryopreservation) form.
In Canada, germplasm is housed at federal government sites.

In LAC region, valuable 'banana collections' are reported in Honduras (FHIA), Brazil, and in the French West Indies (CIRAD in Guadeloupe), and "pineapple collections" in French West Indies, Brazil, Venezuela.
Brazil is also strongly involved in germplasm management of cashew nut which is of high relevance in this country, Barbados cherry, citrus, papaya, passion fruit and indigenous fruit crops from the Amazon region.

In WANAus fruit crops from the Amazon region.

In WANA region, significant attention is paid to fruit genetic resources in Yemen where indigenous fruits and nuts are present and sometimes used as rootstocks (peach, almond...). Collecting works have been carried out. Recently, good conservation facilities in the Plant Genetic Resource Unit, are now available with support of IPGRI / WANANET. Interesting landraces of figs and pomegranate are reported. Farmers are involved in genetic resource preservation.

In Africa significant fruit collections are reported in Sudan (date palm, citrus), in Kenya (citrus, bananas), in Cameroon (citrus, mango, bananas...), in Côte d'Ivoire (mango, citrus). It is worth noting the outstanding Musa collection of CRBP in Cameroon. South Africa hosts significant collections of citrus, mangoes, avocados and pomegranate.
In other countries, such as Ethiopia, there is a need for strenghtening capacities in that field, where priority has given to staple and industrial crops so far.

Asia, as the origin area of several temperate and tropical fruit species, is rich in fruit collections :

2.3 - Plant improvement

Conventional breeding is still playing a major role in fruit improvement. Such is the case in temperate countries, where most of the research is focused on resistance to biotic (pests and diseases) and abiotic stresses, plant architecture, size and quality traits.

Several example are reported in Europe for pome and stone fruits, including rootstocks breeding, small Fruits and nuts : Norway, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Germany, France, U.K., Slovenia, Bulgaria.

A European Network for the improvement and the evaluation of rootstocks and interstocks for pome and stone fruits is in progress, with participation of most European countries,

Other examples are reported in :

Breeding works on Citrus are reported in the USA, France, Japan, New Zealand, Spain.

With an aim of optimization and efficiency, genetic studies and non-conventional techniques, are increasingly supporting conventional breeding :

As examples :

It is worth noting that significant works are carried out in biotechnology on tropical species such as bananas in European laboratories : in France (CIRAD, Universities), Belgium (KUL), including somatic embryogenesis and genetic transformation.

In Mediterranean countries, breeding efforts are given to citrus, olive, date palm and some deciduous fruits. As example :

In WANA countries some breeding activities are reported :

In Africa, breeding activities are reported in several countries :

In Latin America fruit improvement activities are reported in Brazil, Honduras, Costa-Rica, Panama and in the French West Indies.

In Asia the most important works on tropical species and as well as temperate species, are reported in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Taiwan.

Other fruits are considered : mango, carambola, Passion Fruit . Wax apple, Sugar apple, Indian Jujube.

Special attention is given to banana breeding in TBRI, with a "somaclonal" approach. A resistant mutant was obtained which is considered as a breakthrough in the history of banana breeding in Taiwan. Some other promising cultivars are in progress.

Fruit breeding activities are also reported in other countries such as :

2.4 - Propagation / Nursery

One of the main breakthroughs during the last decade is the achievement of in vitro propagation of several fruit crops, with a wide commercial development ; it is often associated with virus-free plantlet production, with an aim of plant certification which is a major concern.

As examples :

A special mention must be made of the outstanding system for banana certification, through INIBAP, which is based on an International Transit Centre (in Leuven/Belgium) and two indexing Centres (Montpellier/France and Brisbane/Australia).

Recent progress in somatic embryogensis has opened the way for new mass propagation techniques, for bananas (CIRAD/France, KUL/Belgium, CATIE/Costa-Rica) and for temperate fruits (e.g Italy: quince, raspberry, olive, citrus).


2.5 - Plant protection

Significant research is reported on several topics which can be grouped in four major themes.

- Integrated pest management
- Biological control
- Cross protection
- Diagnosis techniques
- Host - Cross protection
- Diagnosis techniques
- Host pathogen interactions.

Integrated pest and disease management is commonly performed and associated to warning systems, aimed at reducing perticide use.

As examples :

It is worth noting that Phaeramularia angolensis (Citrus cercosporiosis) is a major constraint for citrus industry in Africa and a threat for citrus industry in North Africa and that, however, very little research has been conducted so far. Only a little is reported in Uganda and Cameroon.

Biological control studies, as component of IPM, are reported in various situations, with some examples :

in Belgium : microbial antagonists to control Botrytis on strawberry.
- in Greece : biological control of scale insects on olive and citrus and of white flies on subtropical plants.
- in Turkey : biological control of citrus leaf miner, of capnodis in Prunus.
- in Brazil biological control (with B.t.) of weevil borer of banana,
- in South Africa : parasitoid for Citrus Spiny Blackfly and Citrus red scale,
- in India biological control of mealy bug in mango and guava, with Bauveria bassiana
- in Ind guava, with Bauveria bassiana
- in Indian Ocean and France for fruit fly,
- in Canada : for pest management on fruit trees and for fungal control by biocontrol agents.

Cross protection, with a goal of controlling virus/viroids diseases, is the subject of research in a few areas :

- in Brazil : research is conducted on biological and molecular characterization of virus, viroids and related pathogens to be used in cross protection of citrus,
- in South Africa : citrus cross protection with mild strains of Tristeza in now commonly used in nurseries.

In relation with decline diseases (virus, viroids,...) diagnotic techniques are reported such as :

- monoclonal antibodies and DNA probes for detection of citrus diseases (tristeza, greening, stubborn) in South Africa, France, Spain, Portugal, Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea for detection of banana virus (BBTV, BBMV, CMV) in France, Australia, Philippines, USA.

Host-pathogen interactions are currently studied by several research teams ; as example in Canada, the Federal Pest Management Research Centre, etc...


2.6 - Crop production

Among the research reported in this very wide and integrated field, we have selected a few themes which are very relevant for fruit crops.

- Integrated Fruit Production
- Ecophysiological studies and phenology
- Use of growtBR> - Ecophysiological studies and phenology
- Use of growth regulators
- Intensive crop management
- Irrigation and fertilization
- Pollinisation
- Fruit quality
- Organic agriculture
- Mycorrhizae

"Integrated Fruit Production" (IFP)
This approach, which is combining Integrated Pest Management and crop environment, land and water management approaches is now well developed in Europe, in Canada, USA, and is emerging in some developing countries such as Malaysia (papaya, mangosteen, durian).
In Europe, "The IFP Guidelines for Pomefruits" were issued in 1994 and are playing a reference role in the industry.
In Canada, IFP concept is included in programs such as the "Ecological framework for Canada" and the "Environmental Farm Plan".

Ecophysiological studies include some basic studies on phenology, which are conducted in several countries but reported in very few (New Caledonia for banana, citrus, mango and in Malaysia).
Some basic studies, reported in China, in Turkey, are focused on phenological indicators of cold tolerance for citrus, apple, peach, apricot, almond.
Studies on chilling requirements of temperate fruits in mild / hot climate regions are reported in Yemen, Turkey, ...
In Morocco, Turkey, France, U.K., studies are reported onurkey
, France, U.K., studies are reported on physiological mechanisms of flowering, dormancy and fruitset in relation to fruit size, alternate bearing and final quality of the fruit.
In Belgium, the University of Gembloux is involved in ecophysiology of strawberry flowering.
Outstanding breakthroughs were in the field of architecture, growth modeling and developmental physiology of fruit trees by a few research teams around the world (France, Italy, USA, New Zealand, ...). A special paper on this subject is presented as a case study.
Research on production cycles are carried out on Victoria pineapple in Reunion Island, and on Smooth Cayenne pineapple in Hawaii (modeling).
Ecophysiological studies on tropical and subtropical fruit species, with environmental impact on fruit production, are carried out in Germany (H.U. Berlin).

Growth regulators are currently used in the fruit industry, as a result of an empirical approach in some cases, and increasingly as a result of preliminary ecophysiological studies. On going research in that field is reported for several fruit crops :
- use of ethylene for pineapple flower set (Brazil, Bangladesh, Malaysia)
- alternate bearing of mango : Kenya (use of KNO3 and ethefon), India (paclobutrazole), south Pacific Islands (Fiji), Brazil, Malaysia, Pakistan, Mexico,...
- flower set of deciduous fruits in China, (peach), Kenya (use set of deciduous fruits in China, (peach), Kenya (use of Dormex), Pakistan (cherries, apricots), Germany, Canada (blueberry), Turkey (peach, apricot, sweet cherries),
- flowering control of citrus in Morocco and Japan and several tropical fruits in Malaysia (mangosteen, durian, carambola, ...) and Pakistan,
- growth regulator effects on strawberry runner production (Canada), on strawberry flowering (U.K.), on thinning of apple and peach (Turkey).
Intensive fruit crop management is reported in several countries, as a cost effective goal for production.

Utilization of dwarf rootstocks combined with high densities and specific cultural practices such as pruning, thinning, etc... is subject to research on :
- semi intensive culture of apple in Bulgaria ; intensive culture of plum, cherries in Belgium, ultra-high density production systems for dwarf apple and pear trees in Canada,
- citrus production and deciduous fruits in South Africa, Morocco, Israel, Turkey, New Caledonia, China
- mango production in India, Israel, South Africa.

Canopy management and mechanization, linked to density and light penetration are studied in Spain (robot for citrus harvest), in Taiwan (mango, litchi), Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan (citrus)...

Protected crops are reported in various situations such as in Norway (sweet cherries and plum production), Portugal (off season production of reum production), Portugal (off season production of red raspberries), Spain (strawberry), Korea (citrus, grape, pear), Morocco (bananas, peaches, ...) with two mains objectives : protection against adverse conditions (rain, temperature) and extension of marketing period.

Irrigation and fertilization are considered as key elements of yield and quality above all. Significant research is reported in Morocco, Israel and the USA (citrus and deciduous trees), Greece (Olive, Citrus, Avocado, Kiwifruit, apple, peach), Italy (peach, quince), Spain (citrus) , South Africa (citrus, banana, mango, guava, deciduous trees), India (citrus and banana), Pakistan (mango, deciduous fruits), Reunion Island (mango), Brazil (cashew), Malaysia (durian, mango, mangosteen, carambola, banana).
Micrometric studies are carried out in France on deciduous fruits and in Reunion Island on mango in order to evaluate water requirements ; plant-water relations studies are also reported in Germany.

Some research on pollination as a key factor for production is especially reported for date palm in Morocco and Pakistan, and other fruits trees in Greece (self incompatibility, pollen tubes growth).

Fruit quality is a common objective of several research activities previously reported. Specific research on 'quality elaboration' is reported in France by INRA and CIRAD (peach, citrus, banana), Greece (peaches), South Africa (decis, banana), Greece (peaches), South Africa (deciduous fruits), Taiwan (mango), New Zealand (Carbon partitionship), Canada (deciduous fruits).

Some examples of research of organic agriculture are reported in Egypt, Taiwan (guava), Slovenia, and the USA.

Special attention is paid to the use of mycorrhizaes in Canada : effect of micorrhizal population on the growth, development and yield of strawberry.


2.7 - Post harvest

The statement is frequently made that here is a lack of appropriate technologies and research in developing countries (Kenya, Uganda, Southern Africa, Cambodia, ...) facing very high post-harvest losses levels.
Two major sectors are considered : post harvest management of fresh fruits and processing, with three key words : post harvest losses, quality and human health (including the pesticide residue aspects).

Research on post harvest management of fresh fruits is widely reported including, generally, cold storage, controlled atmosphere and sometimes specific technologies such as precooling or ionization.
- Research on cold storage and controlled atmosphere are carried out in several countries : European countries, Turkey, Canada, USA, Japan, Brazil, Kenya (mainly on mango, avocado, passion fruit, papaya), South Africa (mango, litchi, papaya, pineapple and deciduous fruits), Bangladesh, Malaysia, China, Indie and deciduous fruits), Bangladesh, Malaysia, China, India ("zero energy cold chamber"). Such techniques are considered as environmentally friendly.
- Reference to "precooling technology" is done in India for mango in Turkey,
- Post-harvest fruits preservation, using non chemical treatments, is reported in Canada (ionizing radiations), in New Zealand, Australia, New Caledonia (hot water treatments), France (micro-waves treatments for dates),
- Studies on post harvest physiology and ripening are reported in Brazil (banana, papaya), Pakistan (mango, mandarin), Korea (ethylene releasing agents), China (use of growth regulators), Malaysia (fruit softening), France (deciduous fruits, mango, litchi), Belgium.

Research on the effects of pre-harvest technologies on post harvest quality is reported in South Africa for mango, pineapple, macadamia, banana, in France (FWI) for bananas, Canada for a wide range of temperate fruits. In the same way, attention is paid to harvesting time, and maturity / harvesting indices in European countries, Morocco (for citrus, date, olives...), Kenya (avocado), Sri Lanka.

INRA in France, Hort Research in New Zealand, HRI in U.K., and some other institutions in Greece, Italy or Canada for example, are paying a special attention to the ethylene biology, biosynthesis and genes expression in maturation and post harvest evoluts expression in maturation and post harvest evolution and to biochemical processes which are responsible for physiological disorders, such as enzymatic darkening of fruits, or which are responsible for starch sugar or acid levels. Biochemical and molecular markers of fruit development are identified for texture and flavor.

Improvement of harvesting and handling techniques is made in several cases : Morocco for citrus, South Africa, Sri Lanka (low cost appropriate technologies), Malaysia, Thaïland, New Zealand (Apple, Kiwifruit). Quality management is a key element of the fresh fruit industry calling for innovative approaches such as HACCP techniques and non-destructive assessment of the quality (examples are reported in France, UK, Belgium, New Zealand, Canada). Antagonist fungi are considered as a key alternative to pesticides in South Africa, Italy, ...
Improving shelf life is also a major concern in various areas such as Thaïland.
Fruit processing is a major component of the fruit industry, receiving an increasing attention from the agro-industrial sector in relation with consumer needs (healthy products). Almost every producing country is more or less involved in fruit agro-industry research : Norway (drying techniques, breakfast cereals...), France (drying and enzymatic techniques for temperate or tropical fruits), Portugal (dried fruits), Canada (microbial research in preservation and cryogenic freezing), Brch in preservation and cryogenic freezing), Brazil (cashew juice), Sudan (mango, grapefruit concentrate, lemon drying), South Africa (juice without preservatives), Bangladesh, Taiwan (heat processing concentration, fermentation, drying), India (canned mango slices and juices), Pakistan (fruit drying), Korea (fermented food), Malaysia (minimally processed products).
New processing technologies are being worked on, focusing on product quality, such as membrane techniques for juice (CIRAD France, Colombia).

Quality assurance systems for selected processed fruits are subjects of increasing attention in several countries (European countries, Malaysia...).


2.8 - Economics / Marketing

On-going research in this field is not very common. Two main aspects are considered :
- crop management
- marketing chain and trade studies

In the first category, studies are reported in Greece (Efficency of greenhouse enterprises, productivity of peaches and oranges ; costs of production and economic efficiency ; contribution of the tree-production systems to the economic and social development of semi-mountain and montain areas of Greece), France (fruit production costs, competition effects, work remuneration), Egypt and Turkey (management of citrus orchards), Sudan (socio economic studies of production and marketing for date, lemon), Banglies of production and marketing for date, lemon), Bangladesh (survey on current state of production, production costs and return, input assessment), India (expert system for technology transfer), Malaysia (agribusiness and technology management).

In the second category, major activities are reported in France and Belgium with studies related to subsector marketing and world fruit trade including the regulation of professional organization and the globalization process. Some 'trade intelligence' studies are reported in Sri Lanka.
A special mention must be done to "Urban aspects of fruit production and trading" in Germany (H.U. Berlin).
A particular attention is increasingly given to the elaboration of produce qualities, specifying the origin of the product (labelling, ...), e.g in European countries such as Greece (specification of
"Mediterranean products" as traditional Greeck products).



3 - VEGETABLES

3.1.1 The field of vegetables is characterized by a great diversity of species and cultivars and by a great diversity of situations. In each situation only a few types are subjected to research programs with little in common from one country to another. Nevertheless, vegetables represent unique crops which are grown under all climatic conditions, from cold to equatorial climate, all climatic conditions, from cold to equatorial climate, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, etc.

3.1.2 They play a major and increasing role in basic food security. For the rural and urban population in the tropics, vegetables are considered as an important source of vitamins and minerals. They also contribute to roughage and fiber, and supplementary protein and calories. They play direct and indirect roles in diversifying dietary patterns and providing employment, especially to women, and income to purchase the components of a balanced diet. For the developed countries, vegetables are increasingly subject for attention as lowering the risk of certain diseases.
Currently, average vegetable availability per capita per day is estimated at about 100-110g in South Asia, Southeast Asia and South America, while in Sub-Saharan Africa, it is far below 100 g. These averages are only about half of the recommended 200 g that is necessary to provide adequate amounts of essential micronutrients.

3.1.3 Nevertheless, during the last decades, and despite their economic role and their importance in the human diet, they have not generally been given the research attention they deserve, particularly in Africa and some Asian countries where priority is given to staple grains and food crops, or industrial crops (Malaysia). Therefore, in several conditions, horticultural crops, including vegetables, rechorticultural crops, including vegetables, received the least attention in terms of funding as they were considered luxury crops (Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia...).

3.1.4 Increasing attention paid to these crops is rather recent, in relation to :
- their "food security" value, as in Malawi where the largest sector of the population depends on vegetables as their major sources of proteins, due to lack of "animal proteins".
- their economic value for local markets and for export, as in Argentina where increasing presence of supermarkets and new trading opportunities (global / regional market as Mercosur) are favoring these crops, in Guatemala, where export vegetables appear to be a very promising system because of their high labor intensity and expanding demand in industrialized countries, or in Korea where horticultural crops are considered to be a better source of rural income than other crops.
Vegetable production is substantially labor-intensive ; thus, it generates more income per unit of labor or land occupied per day than cereal production.

In traditional producing countries, as India or China, and new producing countries as well, the general trend is that of a shift from small scale production system (small holders) to commercial oriented production system, which generates new needs for research with key words like 'quality', 'competitivenesrch with key words like 'quality', 'competitiveness', 'human health', 'environmentally friendly production'...
In that context, urban and peri-urban horticulture needs special emphasis.

3.1.5 In the same way "food safety" and environmental aspects are becoming more and more important as research objectives. As a matter of fact, vegetable production could have certain negative effects on the environment and human health. Soil erosion, poor water quality, and pesticide residues are major issues in the tropical highlands.

3.1.6 Generally speaking, attention has been given to research needs during the last decades in some European and North American countries and in some Asian countries such as India, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Bangladesh... with the generation of various technologies :
- protected crops in northern countries
- resistance to pest and disease, and tolerance to heat in tropical countries.
- optimization of watering and plant nutrition.

For example, in the past three decades, India has made significant progress in the field of vegetable research, as it is the second largest vegetable producer in the world after China where big research efforts are also being made in that field.

3.1.7 In many developing countries, most of the vegetable seeds are imported from developed (and temperate) counble seeds are imported from developed (and temperate) countries, very expensive and unsuited to local conditions.
There is a great need for research and development in that field where many activities are relevant to the private sector.


3.2 - Genetic resources

Except for vegetatively propagated vegetables, such as garlic, shallot, potato, ... genetic resources are preserved through seed conservation.

In Europe, and Mediterranean Region, some significant germplasm collections are reported.

As examples :
- In Turkey : which is the genetic origin of several vegetables, great emphasis is given to the germplasm collection evaluation and characterization (radish, naked pumpkin, squash, leek),
- In Greece : 1 600 indigenous populations of vegetable plants are preserved in cold storage facilities in the multicrop Greek gene bank. It represents only a fraction of the existing germplasm in the geographic area of Greece, which is planned to be collected in the coming years.
- In France, a collection of several vegetables has been evaluated and is currently maintained within networks at the 'Bureau des resssources génétiques' : eggplant, mushrooms, tomato, cabbages, etc.
- In Germany, germplasm conservation is conducted on a broad scale at the "Federal Center for Breeding Research on Cultivated Plants" in GaterslebeBreeding Research on Cultivated Plants" in Gatersleben.
- Portugal has a high genetic diversity of Brassica landraces, that are the basis of a Brassica germplasm collection at Institudo Superior de Agronomia, Lisboa.
- Vegetable genebanks are also reported in Slovenia, New Zealand, and Italy (artichoke, bean, pepper),
- In Canada, a collection of potato germplasm is maintained by Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, and a tissue culture bank of potato seeds , too, in Alberta.

Significant activities on genetic resources are reported in Africa and in Asia as well.

In Africa, collection and characterization of indigenous vegetables (including leafy vegetables, cucurbits, ...) are undertaken in Uganda and Kenya, where they are called AIV (African Indigenous Vegetables). Vegetable genebanks are also reported in Sudan which is the origin of several crops including watermelon and in Ivory Coast, including 1 160 varieties as the basis of a genetic improvement program.

In Asia, great attention is paid to vegetable genetic resources. AVRDC (3)plays a leading role in that field with an impressive collection of various key vegetables (1996's datas) : Allium (985 accessions), Crucifers (1 522 accessions including 800 of Chinese cabbage), Eggplants (2 246 accessions), Pepper (6 857 acc), Eggplants (2 246 accessions), Pepper (6 857 accessions, managed in collaboration with UPLB in the Philippines), Tomatoes (6 951 accessions), Legumes (6 257 accessions of mungbean and 12759 accessions of soybean).

Apart from AVRDC, but often in relation with them, several countries in the region are also paying great attention to vegetable genetic resources :

- China, with a long history of vegetable industry has rich germplasm resources, as it is the originating center or secondary originating center for many vegetables. More than 16 000 local germplasm accessions were collected and sorted out during the last 20 years, and some threatened material was saved. Many rare vegetables were discovered in areas such as Yunnan, Inner Mongolia, Xingiang and Tibet. All these achievements have laid a firm foundation for vegetable germplasm resource study in China.
- Taïwan , where active programs in the collection, conservation and characterization of vegetables have been taking place under the coordination of the National Plant Genetic Resources Center, which was established in 1993.
- Bangladesh has given priority to indigenous vegetable genetic resources and is conducting activities of germplasm collection, evaluation and characterization, conservation of seeds for medium and long term at its Plant Genetic Resources Center. They exchange germplasm both at national and international levels. - In Indonesia, some 2038 accessions of 14 vegetables crops are conserved in the form of seeds in cool seed-storage conditions.
- Malaysia as well, has given emphasis to indigenous vegetables, in close cooperation with PROSEA (Plant Resources in South East Asia), IPGRI, CIP, AVRDC and JIRCAS (Japan).
- Korea is also conducting activities in germplasm evaluation, conservation and characterization.

In the field of roots and tubers, CIP(4) is playing a major role :
- Biodiversity of potato, sweet potato and Andean root and tuber crops,
- Collection, description, maintenance, evaluation and utilization of germplasm.


3.3 - Plant improvement

A lot of work is currently conducted by seed companies and information is not easily available.

In temperate and mediterranean countries, most of the research is focused on resistance to pests and diseases, using conventional (including cytoplasmic male sterility, self incompatibility) and non conventional approaches (including haploidization and gene transfer). Such work is reported from all western European countries, USA, New Zealand, Slovenia, Turkey, Japan, Korea.

As examples :

Haploidization methods has been very successful especially in melon and shallot, in France, in onion in Slosful especially in melon and shallot, in France, in onion in Slovenia, in asparagus, onion, eggplant and pepper in Italy., in melon in Turkey,
Protoplast fusion is used in Korea,
Transgenic technology is being carried out in several countries, e.g :

Biochemical and molecular approaches are applied in several situations :

In subtropical and tropical countries, numerous work is reported.

In Asia, AVRDC is playing a major role in connection with Asian countries where improved varieties are evaluatection with Asian countries where improved varieties are evaluated (such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand...)
AVRDC priority crops, with related objectives, are :
- Tomato : fresh market, processed tomato, cherry tomato. Year round production supply in tropical countries, adaptation to high temperature and high humidity with resistance to Bacterial wilt, Late blight, viruses (TYLCV, CMV, PVY).
- Peppers : improved inbred lines for resistance to anthracnosis, CMV, CVMV, mites, thrips and tolerance to flooding.
- Eggplants : stable high yielding varieties with improved fruit quality and resistance to bacterial wilt (and leafhopper and cotton aphid)
- Alliums : onions, garlic, shallots...: long bulb storage quality of onion and garlic, heat tolerance, resistance to diseases (Stemphyllium leaf blight, anthracnose, garlic viruses) and pests (onion thrips).
- Crucifers : Chinese cabbage and common cabbage, heat tolerance, high yielding and early maturing, with resistance to diseases such as TuMV (Turnip Mosaic Virus)
- Mungbean, soybean.

Conventional methods include hybridization, clonal selection (garlic), mutation (garlic), cytoplasm male sterility (crucifers).

Molecular marker assisted breeding is increasingly used, especially for resistance to TLCV, CMV, PVY.

Biotechnological methods are used such as :
- QTL mapping of bacterial wilt resistance
- Identific QTL mapping of bacterial wilt resistance
- Identification of molecular markers linked to heat tolerance
- Transformation (agrobacterium) of tomato for resistance to fusarium wilt.

In Taiwan, the national organizations, especially TARI, are conducting activities in partnership with AVRDC and also on complementary crops :
- cucurbits : cucumber, melon, gourd, watermelon
- leafy vegetable ; spinach, amaranths,
- crucifers : broccoli, mustard
- radish
- yard longbean

Biotechnological techniques are performed such as haploidization of Brassica, linkage mapping of melon, genetic transformation of melon and watermelon for resistance to viruses.

In China a great deal of new improved varieties were released from traditional breeding (tomato, green bean, sweet pepper) and using hybrid vigour aimed at hybrid seed production technology. A major objective is disease resistance.
Non-conventional techniques were used such as radiation breeding, anther culture for haploid plants (eggplant, tomato, Chinese cabbage, hot pepper), protoplast culture of cucumber, tomato, carrot, sweet pepper.

In Bangladesh, research is conducted on traditional breeding and F1 hybrid production for resistance to pests (borer) and diseases (bacterial wilt, virus) of various vegetables (brinjal, tomato, watermelon, bottle gourd, onion, chilli)
Biotechnology watermelon, bottle gourd, onion, chilli)
Biotechnology work is being performed through somatic embryogenesis of teastle gourd, watermelon, aroids, on meristem culture of potatoes for elimination of virus and true potato seed progenies.

In India research focus is enhancing productivity through exploitation of hybrid vigor and breeding for high yielding, disease resistant varieties. Since 1971, a great number of hybrids have been developed in tomato, brinjal, squash, mushroom, cucumber, pepper, cabbage, cauliflower, watermelon, radish, onion, garlic, potatoe, ...

Emphasis was also put on breeding of cabbage and cauliflower, heat tolerant varieties adapted to the southern region of India.
Some achievements in biotechnology are reported :
- protoplasts from leaf mesophyll of capsicum and tomato
- anther culture of carrots,
- embryo rescue of triploid progenies of watermelon,
- micro propagation of triploid watermelon
- genetic transformation (Agrobacterium) of potato with CP gene and BT gene.

Breeding activities are also reported in :
- Pakistan : tomato, pepper, onion, watermelon, potato
- Sri Lanka : brinjal, tomato, capsicum, okra
- Indonesia : tomato, potato, cabbage, shallot, chilli
- Malaysia : conventional breeding and genetic transformation.

In Africa, research is conducted in West Africa, in Tanzania, in the framework of ARP/cted in West Africa, in Tanzania, in the framework of ARP/AVRDC and in South Africa.

In Indian Ocean region, research is carried out by CIRAD in Reunion Islion, research is carried out by CIRAD in Reunion Island on Allium improvement (onion, garlic, shallot) and by MSIRI in Mauritius on tomato (salad and cooking varieties) in relation with AVRDC.

In WANA region, Egypt is reporting work conducted by AGERI (Agricultural Genetic Engineering Research Institution) on gene mapping of tomato and genetic transformation on squash and cantaloupe for resistance to ZYMV, on tomato for resistance to leafcurl virus, on potato for resistance to virus Y.

Finally in Latin America, Brazil (especially EMBRAPA / CNPH) is conducting breeding for Brassica oleacea (focused on resistance to diseases and adaptation to heat), supported by self incompatible parent lines, embryo rescue technique and genetic transformation approach for resistance to viruses.
In Argentina, INIFAT, is developing new cultivars (potato, sweet potato, onion, tomato, beans, paprika, sweet corn), through joint ventures with private enterprises.

In Central America, Panama is involved in breeding of processing tomato and pepper (resistance to bacterial wilt), onion, melon, watermelon, carrot, potato,...
A project on "Genetic transformation of Roots and Tubers" is conducted by University "Santa Maria la Antigua".

CIP is deeply involved in potato and sweetpotato enhancement, based on marker-aided breeding and biotechnology : - one third of potato grown in developing countries are derived from CIP material,
- one major goal is durable Late Blight resistances.


3.4 - Propagation / Nursery

In most situations, seed production is in the hands of the private sector. In most developing countries, seeds are mainly imported from the international market, due to lack of appropriate technology in these countries. Information and training are also lacking. Nevertheless, some positive evolutions are noticeable, e.g in South Pacific were seed policy guidelines are being developed for vegetables.
We have noticed some exceptions in India, Korea, Thaïland, and Kenya where seed quality enhancement is a priority.

India is self-sufficient in temperate vegetable seeds, due to "open seed policy" of India which has encouraged many private companies and joint ventures between public and private sectors. Thaïland is currently exporting seeds. In Kenya emphasis is put on vegetable seed production in high altitude (carrots, onion, cabbage) and on tropical seed of indigenous vegetables (through NGOs). Little basic seed production is reported in Africa, e.g in Mauritania, Senegal, Chad.

In several cases, emphasis is put on "virus free" production of vegetative vegetables such as potatoes and garlic :
vegetative vegetables such as potatoes and garlic :
- in Brazil, Bangladesh ("True potato seeds"), Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan, Indonesia (meristem culture of potato), Morocco (micro-tuber production),
- in AVRDC (garlic, shallot),
- in CIP (True Potato seed varieties and seed systems).

Grafting on resistant rootstocks is worked out in Morocco for resistance to nematodes (tomato, cucumber, melon) and in the Carribean for resistance to bacterial wilt.
Somatic embryogenesis is reported for asparagus micro propagation in New Zealand, and for garlic in Turkey.
It is worth noticing the "International Chili Pepper Nursery" (ICPN) in AVRDC, which is the new name of INTHOPE (International Hot Pepper Network) to conform with international standards for naming nurseries.


3.5 - Plant protection

Integrated Pests and Diseases Management of protected or open field crops is the key word for vegetable plant protection. It is a combination of genetic resistance / tolerance, pesticide applications, cultural practices, biological control, with respect to environment and human health and aiming to reduce risks of overcoming resistance.

Awareness of this important approach varies from one country to another.
In developing countries, some countries such as Thaïland are paying a strong attention to this matter.
But in numerous casesstrong attention to this matter.
But in numerous cases (Ethiopia, Vietnam, ...) due to shortage of experiencied manpower, training and facilities, achievements are very limited, generating risky stituations for environment and human health.

- Basic studies on development of diagnostic tools, on variability, on plant-host interaction and on the structures and dynamics of parasite populations are conducted in some places such as INRA in France, AVRDC in Taiwan (allium, pepper, tomato pests and diseases), CIP in Peru (potato, sweet potato), Canada (molecular approaches).

- Fungus diseases are studied in several situations, including forecasting systems in some cases (such as in Egypt for potato early blight) : late blight, fusarium wilt.

- Soil borne diseases, including nematodes, are particularly studied in France(ORSTOM and INRA), Belgium (KUL), Italy, Morocco, the Carribean, Brazil (EMBRAPA), Senegal, Uganda, Kenya. New biological pesticides are tested in several situations (such as neem in Kenya, Canada, Vietnam...).

- Virus complexes (TYLCV, Geminivirus,...) are studied in interaction with insect vectors (Liriomyza, aphids) in Cyprus, India, French West Indies, Reunion Island (virus disease of garlic and shallot), Mauritius (epidemiology of Potato Virus Y and Tomato Mosaic Virus), Peru by CIP (diagnosis and management of virus in seed and production systems of potato and sweet potato), Canada (potato leafros of potato and sweet potato), Canada (potato leafroller virus, tomato mosaïc virus, etc ...).

3.6 - Crop production

Significant research is conducted on several topics which can be grouped into five categories&nbstopics which can be grouped into five categories :
- ecophysiological studies
- year-round production
- protected culture
- urban agriculture, home garden and hydroponics
- organic culture
Ecophysiological studies are devoted to interaction between environmental factors and growth and development of the plants, especially for protected crops, with a goal of modeling (see paper by C. Gary). Such research is principally reported in France, U.K., Norway, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, New Zealand, Canada, USA, Cyprus, Japan... and also in Colombia. The quality of vegetables in relation to environmental factors and cultural techniques is a major goal in several situations, for example in Greece, in Italy, in Portugal (brassicas).

In AVRDC, emphasis is put on the effect of daylength, of temperature and flooding on growth and development of Allium. Growth regulator use is studied in Cyprus (tomato fruit set), in Bangladesh (flower / fruit set in potato / tomato, sex modification (teastle ground, cucumber). Plant-water relations are considered in Italy (tomato, artichoke).

Biochemical and molecular characterization of the growth and development of tomato is currently carried out in France by INRA, in relation to the final fruit quality. Some research teams (INRA/France, KUL/Belgium) are also paying attention to research related to the optimization of resntion to research related to the optimization of resource management such as carbon and nitrogen (in order to reduce the nitrate content).

Year-round production is a major goal in several situations, including tropical and sub-tropical countries :
- in Asia : South East Asia, India, Taïwan,
- in Africa : e.g, enhancing onion production period through the use of precocious production technique based on small bulbs (Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Senegal).

Studies on protected crops are conducted in temperate and mediterranean countries and focused on year-round and off-season production including in some cases heating during winter period (Netherlands, Belgium, France, U.K, Norway, Switzerland, Greece, Canada, Korea, Japan, Turkey, Morocco, Arab countries) and in subtropical / tropical countries as well with a goal of rainy season off-season production : tomato in French West Indies, cauliflower and tomato in Bangladesh, onion in Northern India , vegetable forcing under tunnels in Pakistan, development of cost-effective systems including nutrients, bio-organic fertilizers, soil-less cultures in China, wool fiber substitute cultivation in Germany (TUM), types / colors of netcover for melon and asparagus in Taiwan. Attention is given to substrate and nutrient recycling by various research teams in France (INRA), Belgium (Gent),...
Substrate culture and NFT (Nutrient Fil,...
Substrate culture and NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) are being worked in Turkey.
Studies on soilless production system are reported in Italy (effect of closed and open system in tomato, melon, ...) in Turkey and in Reunion Island (prevention of bacterial wilt). INRA in France, University of Gent in Belgium, are giving particular attention to the development of hydroponic crops where water and mineral supplies need to be simultaneously regulated.

Increasing activities are carried out in the field of urban agriculture : e.g TUM (Germany), France (CIRAD), the Netherlands (DLO) and U.K. (NRI), in partnership with Asian and African countries (see case-study by W. SCHNITZLER).
For home garden and hydroponics, emphasis in these fields is mostly put in Asia, such as Bangladesh (year-round vegetable production model for home garden), Taiwan and AVRDC (hydroponics for household use ; non recycling system).
Work on organic agriculture is increasing very fast. It is reported in Egypt (biofertilization and biological control of pests and diseases) in Turkey and Taiwan (application of effective microorganisms), USA.
Many activities in that field were started in Switzerland, in the Netherlands, and have a high priority in other countries in Europe (crop rotation, organic nutrition, special ingredients for soil activity and plant health).

Irrigation and fetivity and plant health).

Irrigation and fertigation are commonly worked out in several situations, overall in Mediterranean and Sahelian climates, e.g in Morocco (assessment of irrigation systems, water requirements).


3.7 - Post harvest

Two key words are "quality" and "food safety" for fresh as well as processed or canned vegetable.

Research on fresh vegetables, post harvest treatments and storage including cold conditions and controlled atmosphere is reported in several countries. :
- Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, France, U.K., Canada, Turkey, Japan, Morocco ... : controlled atmosphere storage and packaging ;
- Argentina : post-harvest technology for prolonged shelf life of products (tomatoes, potatoes, paprika, onion and garlic, melon, strawberries) ;
- Bangladesh : cold storage, shelf life improvement
- Malaysia and Thaïland : mechanized packing house systems, controlled atmosphere and cold storage
- China : cold storage and fast-frozen conservation, Gamma-ray irradiation.
- Taiwan : cold storage of garlic bulbs, controlled atmosphere storage of cabbage ; improved shelf life of leafy vegetables by pre-cooling system and controlled atmosphere storage.
- Korea : storage methods during shipping for prolonged freshness (radish, cherry, tomato), improvement of packing methods of strawberry for expoto), improvement of packing methods of strawberry for export.
- New Zealand : harvest scheduling, handling, desinfestation, prolonging shelf life.
- Greece : storage at low temperature, post harvest handling (e.g asparagus),
- West Africa : onion storage (low cost and locally feasible techniques).

Emphasis is generally put on non destructive measuring of quality (France, Belgium, ...) and on maturity indices as well, which are a key element of post-harvest quality (Kenya, Sri Lanka, Morocco).

In the field of processing work is reported in Bangladesh (heat processing, fermentation, drying and concentration of potato, tomato, onion, cabbage), in Malaysia (fluidized drying of vegetable snacks), in Taiwan (vegetable pickles, fermented vegetables), in Korea (new processed food from melon, radish, ...), in France 'ready-to-use' products (enzymatic liquefaction of juices and purées, steam pasteurization), in New Zealand (adding value to primary vegetable products).

An increasing attention is given to minimally processed and "ready-to-eat" vegetables with appropriate packaging, e.g in France, Italy, Malaysia.
Emphasis is put on nutritional value by KARI in Kenya, by AVRDC in Taiwan, INRA in France, HRI in U.K., Food and Crop Institute in New Zealand : development of methodologies for quality assessment and for improving nutritional quality (AVRDC) effect of food processing nutritional quality (AVRDC) effect of food processing (cooking...) on presence of iron (quality)  quality evaluation of vegetables dehydrated under low temperatures and humidities) (AVRDC) role of secondary metabolites with antioxidative properties, as prevention tool for some diseases (INRA/France ; TUM/Germany, Food and Crop/New Zealand), safety of products for consumers e.g in the Netherlands, France, ...

In several situations in developing countries a lack of effort in this field is reported, which is considered as a major cause of post-harvest losses and low competitiveness. Therefore, it is generally considered as a high priority for the future, for local market and export as well. Such is the case in Brazil, in African countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia), in Sri-Lanka (low cost appropriate technology to reduce post-harvest losses), in Cambodia.


3.8 - Economics / Marketing

Very little research is reported in this field except in Taïwan by AVRDC, in European countries, e.g France, the Netherlands, ...(competitiveness in international markets, including commercial chain and management at the producers level, vegetables supply of urban areas in Africa and marketing-chain studies).

Increasing attention is paid to "Information Systems on Markets", e.g in West and Central Africa countries such as Senegal, Chad, Cape Verde, Africa countries such as Senegal, Chad, Cape Verde, Ivory Coast.


Next file


1. Olive, date palm, pistachio, walnut, ...
2. Banana, pineapple, papaya, mango, litchi, loquat, macadamia, guava.
3. AVRDC : Asian Vegetal Research and Development Center
4. "Potato International Center"


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