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Vegetable Research

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Gaps and Constraints in Vegetable Research and Future Research Priorities

Despite a large number of varieties and hybrids developed, the productivity of vegetable crops has not improved to the expected level. There is still need of development of varieties with longer shelf life and suitable for processing, having multiple disease resistance. Vegetable based cropping systems have not been developed so far, which puts these crops at a disadvantage for fitting them in crop rotations. The need of hour is to avoid more use of pesticides. For this, there is a need for integrated pest and disease control.

Gaps can be briefed as follows:

  • Insufficiency in  germ plasm in different vegetable crops and  the augmentation of  indigenous and exotic-collections is required.
  • Indegenous/ minor vegetables, that can be a bridge to fulfil the gap between food security and nutritional security need attention now.
  • Lack of new high yielding vegetable varieties/hybrids, carrying high degree of resistance to diseases, pests, environmental stresses etc.
  • Absence of basic/fundamental research programmes to accelerate the work on applied aspects.
  • Lack of competent scientific manpower to manage the research programmes.
  • Lack of infrastructure and fund availability for research on vegetables.

Future research priorities

While significant progress has already been made there are still several key issues to be solved and these are:

  • Breeding for resistance to biotic factors viz. diseases and insect-pests( Table1).
Table1: Biotic problems of several crops tnat needs attention
Tomato
leaf curl virus, TMV bacterial wilt,phytopthora blight, fruit borer.
Brinjal
fruit and shoot borer, bacterial wilt, little leaf.
Okra 
yellow vein mosaic and pod borer
Chillies
virus and pest complex
Onion 
purple blotch, stemphylium (moth and thrips).
Cucurbits
downy mildew, powdery, CMV, fruit fly.
Cole crops
Sclerotinia, Alternaria and soft rot.
Peas 
Powdery mildew
Beans 
Septoria, mosaic virus and bruchus

Source: tropical-seeds.com: publications & research: articles

  • Breeding for resistance to abiotic stresses eg. salinity, alkalinity, salt tolerance and stress environment e.g. hot set and cold set tomatoes.
  • Heterosis breeding in onion, tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, cucurbits, brinjal, and capsicum.
  • Breeding for nutritional and processing qualities in vegetables like tomato, onion, peas and garlic (dehydration).
  • Use of biotechnology for incorporation of resistance to disease/pests/a biotic stresses.
  • Intensification of research on seed production of temperate, tropical and sub-tropical vegetables and intensification of breeders seed production programme.
  • Export oriented research on vegetables like onion, chillies, okra, peas, tomato, brinjal, cucumber, cauliflower and cabbage.
  • Developing efficient cropping systems.
  • Research on growing vegetables in protected environments.
  • Research on off-season vegetable production and under exploited vegetables.
  • Studies on insecticidal residues.
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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.