Laxmi Thapa, Jimba Rabgyal, Tashi Gyalmo & Thinley Pem
Lack of high-yielding climate-resilient varieties and, frequent pest and disease incidences are the major issues in tomato production in Bhutan. The National Centre of Organic Agriculture, Yusipang, introduced 40 open-pollinated entries between 2020 and 2021. With an objective to evaluate and select the most desired tomato varieties for commercial cultivation in Bhutan, seven tomato entries were prescreened and selected using combined scoring of the total votes from the Participatory Varietal Selection and yield of entries in 2021. The Randomized Block Design with eight entry treatments and three replications with Ratan as standard check was employed to evaluate their yield and yield parameters; fruit quality; and tolerance to pests and diseases in 2022. ANOVA followed by Tukey HSD test for mean separation was employed at p-value at P<0.05. The result showed that AVTO1954 produced a significantly higher yield (29.8 tons/acre) compared to AVTO1910 but not significantly different from AVTO1702 (28.5 tons/acre) and AVTO1907 (28.4tons /acre). Although Roma (check) produced the highest total number of fruits per plant (110), it produced the lowest number of marketable fruits per plant (7) compared to all other entries, while the plant height did not show any statistically significant differences between different treatment entries. Two entries with the lowest disease incidence were AVTO1702 and AVTO1954, while Roma was infested with blight and powdery mildew at 27% and 45% respectively. The study recommends the release of three entries viz-a-viz AVTO1954, AVTO1907 and AVTO1702 and similar research in other agroecological zones of Bhutan to identify appropriate varieties in their zones.
Keywords: Tomato; Germplasms; Selection; Participatory Varietal Selection