I am involved in chilli pepper crop improvement program for the last three
decades at ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru. The chilli crop got introduced to the Country about 500 years back and got acclimatized to Indian climatic conditions. Due to its natural cross pollination and farmers’ selection many landraces evolved in Country, of which Byadagi chilli is one among them and is mainly preferred by the Industry for its oleoresin content, colour value and aroma. Due to cultivation of commercial F1 hybrids in the major Byadagi grown belt, the variety’s genetic purity is getting deteriorated. I feel there is a strong need to purify these landrace. Further, incorporation of major disease resistance genes, without compromising the fruit quality is the major challenge for the byadigi crop breeders.