Cabbage is an important leafy vegetable in sub-Saharan Africa, yet breeding and seed production activities take place in Europe and Asia. Participatory evaluation of varieties alongside head yield was carried out to select preferred varieties. Field experiments were conducted during the 2008 long rainy season and the 2008/09 short rainy season at AVRDC–The World Vegetable Center, Regional Center for Africa, Arusha, Tanzania. A randomized complete block design with three replications was adopted for the study. Results indicated that for each season marketable head yield differed significantly (P < 0.05) among the varieties. Performance for head yield varied in response to the biotic and abiotic environment. During the long rainy season Gloria F1 and Victoria F1 were best for head yield, while Quick Start and Rotan performed best for head yield during the short rainy season. For taste, head shape and firmness, Summer Summit F1 was best. Tropical Delight was preferred for head size, firmness, and low incidence of loose heads. Gloria F1 was identified as an early maturing variety with good head solidity. Good-tasting cabbage varieties are Summer Summit, Summer Glory and Bonus. Research on stability of performance for head yield over seasons, years and locations is important for future selection.
Key words: Cabbage, marketable head yield, farmer participatory research, sensory evaluation, Tanzania, vegetable production.
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