SOKRAT JANI, LIRI MIHO , VALBONA HOBDARI
1Plant Genetic Resources Centre, Agricultural University of Tirana (AUT), Albania.
2Department of Agro-Environment and Ecology, Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, AUT, Albania.
The paper explores the status of the diversity of local cultivars in some vegetables and the knowledge associated with them in the communities of Korça region. Out of 10 vegetable species studied, significant number of landraces exists for onion (4), cabbage (2), melon (2), pepper (2), and others by 1 (tomato, pumpkin, lettuce, leek, garlic, and string bean). It was found that these vegetables are cultivated mainly for family consumption and with minimal inputs. But when they are cultivated for commercial purposes, it seems that there is a change in management and inputs used. Overall, it was concluded that the level of landrace diversity has inversely direction to urbanization. Contrary to this belief, the study found that the market can increase their diversity; landraces offered are successfully commercialized. Indigenous vegetable gardens, cultivated for the market, are technically assisted by specialists of the region. After analyzing the findings of the study, for on farm conservation and sustainable use of traditional cultivars, five ways are suggested: a) promote the added value of products; b)consolidation of specialized markets that efficiently utilize their organoleptic qualities; c) creation of awareness at different levels; d) restoration and reintroduction of traditional cultivars through crop improvement processes; e) subsidies on-farm conservation of vegetable landraces, because their conservation and management can be considered as a service that should be rewarded by society.
Keywords: conservation, landraces, on farm, vegetable crops