Prioritization of olive breeding objectives in Spain: Analysis of a producers and researchers survey
Aim of study: Trait prioritization of potential olive (Olea europaea L.) breeding objectives has been evaluated in this work from two surveys to researchers working on olive and olive producers / orchard managers.
Area of study: Olive growing area in Andalusia (South of Spain)
Material and methods: Twenty-five breeding objectives were associated to plant growth, fructification, oil content and composition, resistance to pest and disease and tolerance to soil and climatic conditions. Two assessment methods were applied (ranking and rating), showing similar results in both the researchers and producers surveys.
Main results: Higher productivity was the objective with the highest score, followed by Verticillium wilt resistance and higher oil content. After them, tolerance to water stress and resistance to Xylella fastidiosa were among the preferred objectives. Conversely, the least preferred objectives were late harvesting, high fruit size and tolerance to water lodging and calcareous soils. In the producers’ survey, results have been consistent among the different types of orchards and farmers’ characteristics. It is also interesting to notice that more than 50% of the producers expressed their willingness to orchard enlargement or renewal in the three coming years and 25% of them would change the olive cultivar. They would be willing to pay an average 43% overprice for new cultivar fulfilling their requirements and 75% would support the use of genetic modified olives.
Research highlights: These results should be considered to analyze the scope of current breeding programs and define the main criteria to be considered for future works aiming at developing new olive cultivars.
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