Vegetable Breeding Developments

Breeding vegetable varieties is truly a process. The small steps may seem insignificant, but one small step for a breeder is a giant one for a grower. Our breeding department focuses on improving quality and yield of our vegetable varieties, in particular our hybrid varieties: determinate tomato, onion, hot pepper, eggplant and carrot. Bean and pole bean are staples in our product portfolio and remain a focus for our breeding department.

Soon our product portfolio will formally expand with new cucurbit hybrids. In the past few years our focus has expanded to include breeding cucumber, squash and watermelon. For cucumber, we are breeding Beth Alpha types. With  multi-flower types for Spring and Autumn and single flower types for Winter. In Squash we will focus on Lebanese and Eskanderani types and for Watermelon Jubilee and Crimson Sweet types. This year we will be testing our first hybrids internally. We expect them to be available commercially within the next five years.

Hybrid Tomato Developments

As for our existing vegetable breeding programs, progress has been made steadily and we are excited to reveal what’s coming soon. Determinate tomato is our biggest breeding focus and has the biggest news. We’re working on introducing new hybrids within the extra large weight segment. At the moment we only have one variety available in this segment: Mountain Lion, a beef tomato weighing 280-350gr (pictured). Breeding efforts of varieties for Sub-Sahara Africa resistant to Bacterial Wilt have resulted in the commercial introduction of Morogoro, Vilaka, Vilani and Vizela. Lastly, varieties especially for winter planting are in the works.

Mountain Lion

Hybrid Carrot Developments

For carrots, we are working on Nantes-type hybrid carrots and we look forward to making more  improved hybrids available. Within our carrot portfolio our most promising  Nantes-type is Marlin (pictured). It is unique by earliness, strong vigor, tolerant to leaves diseases and very intensive orange root colour suitable for fresh market (bunching and cello pack). Lastly, we’re making significant progress within pole beans. Extremely promising new varieties of excellent quality with extraordinary high yield will be tested internally this year. 

Carrot Marlin

Team and Trial Station Expansion

One of the most significant changes within our breeding personnel this year is the adding of a team dedicated to disease resistance. The first of this team was our Molecular Markers specialist. Early this year a phytopathologist joined our department, making the dream of the team a reality. This team allows us to make selections much faster in a much earlier phase of breeding, as it will be apparent which resistances are present. As a result, our entire product development pipeline speeds up as we are able to focus on varieties where the desires resistances are present.

Not only our team saw expansion: we’re expanding our testing locations! We test our products at our trial station in Jordan, at our farm in Tanzania and now… our own trial station in Egypt! We will be focusing on testing in open field as well as in tunnels. Our first product trial is expected to be held there in September of this year. Local testing allows us to see the products in the environment we want them to excel in.