Letter to the Editor

8th of october 2015
Dr. Meïssa DIOUF Dakar
Vegetable breeder
E mail1 : dioufmeissa9@gmail.com
E mail2 : meissa.diouf@tropicasem.sn

Object : Letter to the editor

Dear, The Editor-in-Chief, AJFAND

Paper title : Participatory varietal selection and agronomic evaluation of African eggplant and roselle varieties for fruit, leaf and calyx production in Mali

The research conducted in this paper is a original article which aim to increase adoption rates of new varieties of African eggplant and roselle. A participatory varietal selection process was used to identify new varieties of both plants based on fruit yield, leaf, calyx traits, and consumers’ preference. Fifteen lines and varieties of each species from several African countries were evaluated in Bamako, Mali during the 2008 hot rainy season. A randomized complete block design with four replications was used for the selection process. Twenty-two vegetable farmers and traders from Bamako rated the African eggplant and roselle varieties based on visual characteristics (fruit color, fruit shape, number of fruits per plant, fruit size, number of secondary branches per plant, leaf size, leaf shape, leaf color, number of calyxes per plant, calyx shape, and calyx color). Using a scale from 0 (least preferred) to 5 (most preferred), the varieties and the criteria were ranked. In addition, agronomics data of African eggplant (number of fruits per plant, marketable yield, fruit weight, fruits shape and fruit color) were collected. Agronomics data were also collected on roselle calyces (number of calyces per plant, fresh calyces yield, dry calyces yield, dry matter and calyces color based on stem color) and leaves production (leaf length and width, economic yield, leaf shape and stem color).

Regarding the main results, we know that African eggplant line L10, varieties Soxna and Locale Gaya were highly rated for their visual appeal and have the potential to out-yield the local Malian variety. The fruit color and fruit shape, classified top two criteria through participatory selection criteria are important in the choice of consumers. For leafy entries of roselle, leaf size was the most important trait. Samandah and line L28 were rated higher than the local check variety (Dah Rouge) for all traits. For calyx varieties of roselle, the number of calyxes per plant was the most important trait. For leafy and calyx varieties, the agronomic evaluation show that yield is not a very important criterion in the choice of participants.

I have an experience in Research-Development activities at the national agriculture research institute / horticultural center for development (ISRA-CDH) in Senegal (15 years), two (2 years) spent at The World Vegetable Center at Bamako, Mali and since 2010 working as senior breeder at Tropicasem, a private seed company based in Senegal.

I have already two papers accepted in your journal :

  1. Diouf Meïssa, Mbengue Ndèye Bouba & Kanté Aminata 2005. Characterization of accessions of 4 African leafy vegetable species in Senegal (Hibiscus sabdariffa L., Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp., Amaranthus L. spp and Moringa oleifera Lam.) in Senegal. African Journal of Food Agriculture and Nutrition (AJFAND). Nairobi, Kenya. Available online : http://www.ajfand.net/Volume7/No3/index3.html
  2. Diouf Meïssa, Lô Cheikh, Guèye Mathieu & Mbengue Ndèye Bouba 2005. Participatory breeding of new cultivars selected in 4 species of African leafy vegetables (Hibiscus sabdariffa L., Amaranthus L. spp, Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. and Moringa oleifera Lam.). African Journal of Food Agriculture and Nutrition (AJFAND). Nairobi, Kenya. Available online : http://www.ajfand.net/Volume7/No3/index3.html

Many thanks in advance
All my best wishes

Dr Meïssa Diouf
Vegetable breeder
Tropicasem Senegal