Global Partnership Initiative for Plant Breeding Capacity Building (test)

Plant breeding programs in El Salvador

Geographical situation of El SalvadorEl Salvador has a tropical climate with pronounced wet and dry seasons. Arable land in El Salvador accounts for more than 40% of the total area. Coffee and sugar cane are the most important crops of the country in terms of both surface area and employment.

In El Salvador, there are four public and private centres devoted to plant breeding. The work on plant breeding has been done since 1950 while biotechnology began in 1990. The work of improving crops has been conducted mostly in basic grains, coffee and sugar cane. These research centers have been supported with germplasm from other international centers of research such as: ICRISAT, CIAT, CIMMYT, CIRAD, CIFC and CANAL POINT.

Up to 2005, the allocations to the different research areas gave priority to line evaluation and development while lower allocations were given to germplasm enhancement. Current work is breeding for favorable environments and for improving resistance/tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses and quality traits.

The major constraints that face El Salvador plant breeding programmes are the inadequate number of breeders for each crop and the lack of support from the international community.

Research and education institutes with activities in plant breeding

Public Institutes


National Center for Agricultural Technolog - Centro Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria y Forestal (CENTA)
Website available in Spanish

CENTA is a public organization devoted mainly to research in basic grains, vegetables and fruits. The main emphasis on plant breeding has been for corn, beans, rice and sorghum. Plant breeding is also carried out to a lesser extent to the improvement of vegetables, roots and tubers, oil seeds and agro-industrial species such as sugar-cane. It has worked in plant breeding since 1950 and in plant biotechnology since 1993.

Private Institutes


PROCAFE Foundation
Website available in Spanish and English

PROCAFE Foundation is a private company dedicated to coffee research. It has carried out plant breeding since 1950 and plant biotechnology since 1990. The main activities in plant breeding are: making crosses, evaluating segregating populations, evaluating fixed line introductions from other breeding programmes.


Sugar Cane Company of El Salvador - Compañia Azucarera Salvadoreña S.A.
Website available in Spanish

This company has worked in sugar cane breeding since 1982 and has released several varieties.

no website

Ingenio El Angel S.A.
No Website available

This company is also dedicated to the research on sugar cane. It worked in plant breeding since 1991 and focused on the evaluation of fixed lines introduced from other programs.


Information by Lauro Antonio Del Cid (2008) - Information based on the El Salvador's full report from the PBBC survey. Last revised 27-07-2009, Lauro Antonio Del Cid