Crop Protection

Peppers with Pest Resistance and Versatility Enable Grower Success

Quick Share

10 April 2024, Mexico: Blocky peppers – bell peppers – are grown around the world in many different environments, from high technology greenhouses to open fields. They come in a range of colors, including red, green, yellow, and orange, and provide growers and retailers opportunity as they’re used in a variety of culinary dishes in many different locations and cultures.

Mexico is a major production area for blocky peppers, using both greenhouse and open field production and much is exported. This means Syngenta breeders need to provide pepper varieties suited for greenhouse and controlled environments and for open field conditions subject to adverse climatic conditions such as drought, flooding, and more.

“Our mission is to support growers’ success by providing them the most effective tools and resources,” said Aru Sinha, Global Crop Unit Head, Peppers. “To achieve this, we are continually introducing new products that feature enhanced and broader disease resistances, better shelf life, and greater transportability with minimal damage. By promoting these features, we are not only reducing food waste, but also supporting the environment and its sustainability.”

Growers Share First-Hand Experience with Syngenta Peppers

In La Paz, Baja California Sur., Mexico, Ricardo Bojórquez of the Negocio Agricola San Enrique agricultural business grows tomatoes and peppers. Growers need access to genetics and technologies that enable them to produce the best products they can for domestic and export markets.

“We are constantly testing and looking for varieties that adapt to our conditions and the markets we participate in,” Bojórquez said. “Currently, we are testing some varieties that are resistant to soil problems. These varieties stand out, allowing us to achieve higher production with better quality.”

By reviewing local trials and visiting field days, Bojórquez and the rest of the farm company can get a first-hand look at how unique varieties perform in conditions similar to their own fields and facilities. Moreover, the testing they perform on their own fields and tunnels shows how these varieties work in their management and personal operation.

“We use [Syngenta] seeds and products, and it gives us security when using them,” Bojórquez said. “We test them, validate them in our area.”

Breeding Peppers for Climate and Disease Resistance

Creating the tastiest peppers is important, but growers also need genetics that withstand tough pests and diseases. Whether peppers are grown in protected environments or in open field conditions, diseases impact all of them.

“Our team of experts actively works closely with growers to understand what unique challenges and preferences,” Sinha said. “In addition to this, we also conduct extensive research and development to ensure that we’re bringing reliable pepper varieties that are tailed to their specific needs and are optimized for different environment and production cycles.”

Diseases can destroy fruit quality and cause severe damage, up to even 80% yield loss. Genetic resistance gives growers the option to use fewer resources, meaning season-long protection even in areas where pest control regulations are stringent.

In blocky pepper, some of the most damaging pests in pepper production include:

  • Powdery Mildew (Lt)
  • Phytophthora Blight (Pc)
  • Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV)
  • Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV)
  • Nematodes

At Syngenta, researchers work closely alongside growers to address these important pests and diseases through resistance genetics. Today, Syngenta pepper varieties feature resistances to these diseases, and are tested in local trials to give growers access to the best-fit genetic options in their area.

Also Read: ADAMA Launches New Multi-Crop, Broad Spectrum Fungicide Maxentis®

(For Latest Agriculture News & Updates, follow Krishak Jagat on Google News)

Quick Share