Crop Biotech Update

High Beta Carotene Tomatoes for West Africa

March 13, 2009

The Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center - The World Vegetable Center has released the results of the evaluation of 20 tomato lines for adoption in West Africa. The testing was a part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project on Vegetable Breeding and Seed Systems for Poverty Alleviation in sub-Saharan Africa. The testing  conducted in Mali showed two tomatoes CLN2366A and CLN2366B having a yield of 23 and 28 t/ha, respectively and grown under hot-wet conditions. The fruit of both lines is orange in color, an indication of high beta carotene, which was confirmed in laboratory tests to contain 10 to 12 times more than the normal red-fruited tomato. 

The lines are adapted to the hot-wet season in the region, they  flower early and have determinate vines. Sokona Dagnoko, a vegetable breeder from the Center's Subregional Office for West and Central Africa in Bamako, Mali is optomistic that year-round production and consumption of high beta-carotene tomatoes like CLN2366 and CLN2366B would help fight vitamin A deficiency in West Africa.

For details, see press release at: