ARS researchers are working with Bangladeshi researchers to collect different carrot and onion varieties for new cultivar development. The goal is more food produced per plant and also more nutritious food. The ultimate vision is that with more productive and nutritious vegetables, Bangladeshi farmers and consumers will benefit in terms of food and economic security. Once the cultivars are developed, education programs will be developed to inform producers of their availability, and to instruct them on best management practices. The education programs will be designed to accommodate women producers as part of the Feed the Future initiative recognizing their significant role in the agricultural economy, and in the nutritional health of children in developing countries.
Carrots and onions are root crops, and so the roots must be put into cold storage before they can be used in seed production. The research teams collected, genotyped, and stored roots from the US and Bangladesh. Seed production is just getting started and will lay the foundation for breeding and testing different varieties and new crosses. In the meantime, information on production practices at sample sites were collected for production system impact analyses on yield and quality along with looking at the impact of plant genetics.