|Authors: ||N. Tabaja, M. Siblini, L. Chalak|
|Keywords: ||Malus pumila L., Pyrus communis L., seedlings quantities, cultivars, diversity|
Pome fruits represent an important element of the Lebanese agricultural production system while information about saplings is not yet available in the country.
This study presents the first report on the pome fruit saplings status, of whether they are locally produced or imported to Lebanon and the resulting impact on the diversity of the Lebanese fruit germplasm.
The work was mainly based on an exhaustive desk analysis of the registers of the Ministry of Agriculture over 2012-2014. Data recorded during the three years study indicate an estimated yearly average of 475,489 seedlings registered for apple and pear with around 161,484 imported saplings (34%) vs. 314,006 locally produced ones (66%). Apple had a yearly average of 95,492 imported saplings vs. 278,408 locally produced ones.
For pear 65,915 saplings are imported whereas 35,598 are locally produced.
At the germplasm diversity level, saplings of 96 cultivars are regularly registered of which 50 cultivars are strictly imported for apple and 36 cultivars are strictly imported for pear.
The remaining 10 cultivars were both imported and locally produced.
They are: ‘Red Chief’, ‘Granny Smith’, ‘Golden’, ‘Top Red’ and ‘Royal Gala’ for apple; and ‘Abate Fetel’, ‘Coscia’, ‘William’, ‘Santa Maria’ and ‘Conference’ for pear.
Surprisingly, none of the registered saplings circulating in the country are strictly locally produced while the cultivated pome fruit germplasm is restricted to foreign improved cultivars.
These data certainly reflect the high diversity level of pome fruit varieties grown in Lebanon.
Also they incite to join UPOV in order to enlarge the spectrum of propagating material to the newly released cultivars.
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