Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Back Cover


Caribbean farming
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00101460/00012
 Material Information
Title: Caribbean farming
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Mona, Jamaica
Creation Date: 1971
Copyright Date: 1969
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
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Source Institution: Florida International University: Digital Library of the Caribbean
Holding Location: Florida International University: Digital Library of the Caribbean
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Resource Identifier: oclc - 3116219
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Back Cover
        Page 29
        Page 30
Full Text

Vol. 4 No.1

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Caribbean rmilg

Published in association with the Faculty of Agriculture, University of the West Indies. Edited
by CAROL RECKORD. Caribbean Farming welcomes suggestions, articles. Address all
correspondence to CARIBBEAN FARMING, P.O. Box 174, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica, W.I.

Vol.4 No.1


The editor will be glad to hear from farmers, research workers, extension officers
and others who would like to offer articles or photographs for publication-in
Preference is given to articles of a practical nature which will help to put the
results of research and experiment into the farmer's hands. Where possible, good
S drawings or diagrams should accompany articles. Good quality photographs of not less
than 5" x 7" are welcome they should relate to farming in the region.
Payment will be made (on publication) for all material accepted.
To simplify technical terminology, com- COVER PICTURE:
mercial names may be used. This is not in-
tended as an endorsement of products A typical Mennonite farm-stead in British
named, nor as criticism of similar products Honduras has ( r to I) a marl building
not named. block-making machine, a puffed-corn oven,
a wind-operated generator, a workshop -
The opinions expressed in articles equipment shed, and a comfortable home
do not necessarily represent
the views of the publishers

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Caribbean Farming


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Volume 4 No. 1


On page 12 of this issue there is a summary of an article which appeared in TROPICAL SCIENCE
quarterly, with a footnote which says that the story is based on a paper given to the SECOND EASTERN
AFRICA HORTICULTURAL SYMPOSIUM, Addis Ababa, September, 1971. We are, of course, most
grateful to the authors of the article Jess-Mary K. Bell and D.G. Coursey as well as to the
agencies which made it possible for the story to come to our attention. As published in TROPICAL
SCIENCE, the article runs to more than twelve pages with four coloured plates, seventeen references and a
table showing imports of root crops into the United Kingdom. The table in our summary by DHR was
made up from information in the original text.

'he same issue of TROPICAL SCIENCE Volume XIII, Number 4 of 1971 carries a number of other
:atures that should be of interest to people who are concerned with the future of commercial agricul-
,iral production and processing in the Tropics. There is an article on PROTEIN PRODUCTION BY
!ICRO-FUNGI; this deals with the practicalities of factory production of protein from relatively-
expensive carbohydrates such as oil refinery wastes or cassava flour. Another article provides inform-
ion (twelve pages of it with six photographs) on THE BANANA INDUSTRY IN ISRAEL. The book
views, too, are of interest. The books reviewed include one on coconuts, another on some oil-yielding
ops castor, sesame and safflower, a third on fish culture (by Dr. C.F. Hickling, who worked in this
rt of the world) a fourth on weed control by L. Kasasian (who used to work in the Caribbean and was a
under of CARIBBEAN FARMING) and two books in French, which we hope to see translated into the
her languages of the Caribbean one on the savannahs of the Guyanas and the other on diseases of
irket crops.

lis issue of TROPICAL SCIENCE is in fact fairly typical; the magazine regularly carries stories that con-
n1 farming and farm products. The publishers The Tropical Science Institute of the United Kingdom
ave for many years carried out (on their own account or by way of assistance to governments in tropical
entries) research and development projects in many fields. One of these projects is referred to in Dr.
Ineth Magnus' article DRYING PIMENTO (page 8 ofthis.issue).

tish Honduras has several thousands of acres still in forest; there are few countries in the Caribbean in
i position. For a number of reasons, the story (page 16) of conversion of forest into farmland should
i of interest to many people in the crowded islands. DHR's story of the Mennonites makes it clear that a
) d deal of the success in their enterprise has been the result of the togetherness, the discipline and the
t ift and belief in simple living which are a feature of many religious communities.

\ have not heard much about the attitude of the Governments of the Guyanas and British Honduras in
t matter of immigrant farmers. The development of these countries will probably require increase of
t; ir working populations by immigration but today's migrants are not all prepared to take a chance
v :crever they are accepted. Some people, however, will take their chance and it is this type of bold
s, tier that generally does best under pioneer conditions.

The story of the Mennonites should serve to remind would-be migrants that groups of people have a better
chance of making the grade and where the members of groups have a number of qualities in common,
the chances of success are greater.

Volume 4 No. 1

Caribbean Farming

Miss Pimchai Apavatjrut, a lecturer in horticulture at the Chiengmai
University, Thailand, working on the problems of coconut propagation
at Wye College, Kent part of London University. She is seen examining
young coconut shoots on a germinating bench.
Discussing the problems of disease and crop variations inherent in the
propagation of coconuts from seed Miss Apavatjrut said: "The trouble
with coconut growing is that the plant is particularly prone to
yellow disease, especially in the Caribbean area, and to variations
which make crop standardisation difficult. If it proves possible
to have vegetative propagation using the plant tissue we could
build a disease-resistant strain with definite characteristics. I have
worked on this theme for a year before going to Britain and will
be continuing my research at Wye for my postgraduate degree"
The Wye College Horticulture Department has also been working
on the project for three years using coconuts supplied by the
Jamaica Coconut Board and sponsored by Britain's Overseas
Development Administration and she has had some success in propagation
using tissues and buds. Miss Apavatjruthopes that by the time she
returns to Thailand in 1974 considerable progress will have
been made.


It has long been understood that the shade trees
grown traditionally in cocoa and coffee fields have
a dual role of slowing up the growth of the crop, and
so buffering any sudden changes in availability of
water or plant food, and also maintaining the humid-
ity by keeping down air movement. Many farmers in the
Caribbean plant hibiscus or other shrubs as wind-
breakers around each field. The advantage of growing
coconuts with bananas is more than merely augmenting
the total yield of the field: the coconuts reduce
banana leaf-spot by their shade and protect the
bananas from wind damage. In other countries, wind-
breaks have been used to protect strawberries, soya-
beans, sweet potatoes, millet, cotton, peas and
beans amongst many others.
But just how far does the effect of a windbreak
extend?R. Singh in the Journal of Soil & Water
conservation, India (1957), states that trees 60 ft.
high give protection for a horizontal distance of
1,200 ft. i.e. 20 times their height. Woodruff in the
Kansas Agricultural Experimental Station Technical
Bulletin (No. 100) found reduced wind speed up to
12 tree-heights from the windbreak.

The Tropical Products Institute in London underakes
research to help improve the utilisation of crops grown
in the tropics. The institute's technical work is
well known but it is often overlooked that the TPI also
researches potential markets for tropical agriculture.

A report recently published by the TPI which is
economic rather than technical is "The market for
dehydrated vegetable with particular reference to
selected western European countries". This grand
sounding publication is a factual booklet which
should be in the hands of anyone contemplating sell-
ing vegetables from, for example, east Africa.
The trade in fresh vegetables from east Africa and
the eastern Mediterranean countries has probably
reached a peak and it is logical that local processing,
such as dehydration, should be undertaken. The TPI
report should enable the intending processor to
assess his likely market.
Copies of the report can be obtained by organizations
and individuals quoting number G 69 and applying to
the Tropical Products Institute, 56/62 Gray's Inn
Road, London WC1X 8LU.

Because of its increasing involvement in providing
advisory and other services in developing countries
the University of Reading, in Southern England, has
created a professorship of agricultural development
Dr. A.H. Bunting, formerly professor of agricultural
botany at the university and an authority on tropical
agriculture and the problems of the developing countries,
has been appointed to the post. Professor Bunting will
work in cooperation with the chief natural resources
adviser of Britain's Overseas Development Administration,
which is supporting the establishment of the new post

Caribbean Farming

Volume 4 No. I

e two larger solar stills produce 22 gallons of distilled water per day The two white containers on the right store the distilled water. Their
;eak. capacity is 100 gallons each.

'olar Energy an under-exploited resource
Oliver Headley and Basil Springer, University of
the West Indies. St. Augustine, Trinidad, W.I.

i the sunny Caribbean where modern day technology
i apidly being introduced in an attempt to foster
d 'elopment in the chain of islands, a free source of
e ,rgy is often taken for granted, sometimes ignored and
c< tainly under-exploited. Solar energy bathes these
is nds with almost uninterrupted monotony throughout
tl year and with fierce intensity. This is manifested in
tl ease with which visitors from temperate climes get
si .burned, the reaction of drivers who enter their cars
in :he middle of the day, after parking them in the sun
fe most of the morning (the darker the car the sharper
th-b reaction), the facility of drying laundry in the open
ai l the quantity of liquids consumed by most
individuals in the tropics. Other experiences of high
energy generated by solar radiation may be had by
walking on an asphalt surface barefooted on a sunny
day, observing spontaneous combustion fires in the
hills during the dry season and feeling the warmth of
the sea water off the leeward coast of an island
during the afternoon.
Solar energy contributions to the development of the
Caribbean region are mainly in agriculture and tourism.
In agriculture, because of the large number of sunshine
hours and a narrow range of high temperatures, a
variety of crops with relatively short growth periods
may be produced perennially, and tourism is ever

present with some places and times enjoying greater
benefits than others.

We now draw attention to other less obvious applications
of solar energy which have possibilities with respect to
Caribbean development. Some of these applications
exist to a certain extent already but have not been fully
exploited. Other applications still lie dormant but with
great potential for development which could lead to
import substitution, a saving of foreign exchange and
an improvement of the standard of living. The solar
processes which we shall mention, for which no
additional power source is necessary, are as follows:
(i) distillation, (ii) drying and (iii) water heating.
There are also possibilities for the application of solar
energy to refrigeration and air conditioning but
additional power sources will be required.
The solar still is the device used in the solar
distillation process. A still may be used to produce
distilled water (usually from tap water) of a high
quality and at a cost much less than by conventional
methods. An important additional advantage of a
solar still is that it requires minimal maintenance.

Volume 4 No. I

Caribbean Farming

The distilled water produced has several uses, in-
cluding use in research laboratories, school laborator-
ies, drug formulation, steam heaters, sealed and semi-
sealed radiators, batteries and cosmetic preparation.
Solar stills may be used to produce fresh water from
sea water or river water. This desalination process is
useful where there is an abundance of sea water but no
major source of fresh water. It is also useful in
remote villages where there is sea or river water but
distribution from the main fresh water reservoir may
be a problem. The main drawback of the desalination
process at the moment is that is is expensive, but in
cases of desperate demand it is invaluable. Solar
stills may be designed to assist with an irrigation
problem where there is a salty source of water
available. The residue from a desalination process
has a high concentration of salt and this may be
left for further evaporation in salt ponds exposed
to the rays of the sun. Hence the production of
salt may be achieved. A fractionating solar still may
be built to produce, say, industrial alcohol. It may
be used, in general, for separating mixtures.
The drying process is effected by a device called a
solar drier. Of course, drying may take place by
exposing material to the sun in the natural
atmosphere. Examples of current practices of
ambient drying, in addition to fabrics, are sorrel,
nutmeg, cocoa, rice and pigeon pea.
In a solar drier higher temperatures may be
achieved and this results in a faster drying process.
For some crops, however, high temperatures may
have deleterious effects, e.g. if the dried produce is
to be used for planting material, high temperatures will
kill the seed.
There are at least three examples of the application of
solar driers as an immediate contribution to develop-
ment. Firstly, locally produced root crops may be
dried, milled and stored, as a component for
livestock feed. Other crops such as bananas,
coffee, peanuts and grass may also be dried and
stored. Secondly, many agricultural products do
not store well and even if stored some degree of
refrigeration is necessary. If however, these
products can be dried and stored, then they may
be reconstituted or used in their dried form at a
later date and hence refrigeration costs could be
saved. Solar drying therefore has very important
applications to the food processing industry. Thirdly,
in the furniture industry the drying of timber is
essential and solar driers may be designed to
accommodate this material. Like a solar still,
a solar drier requires minimal maintenance.

Water Heating
Solar water heaters have been in existence in a few
homes in the Caribbean for some time, as a means
6 Caribbean Farming

Drying Cabinet with doors open
Trays are partly withdrawn showing the material to be dried.

of providing a domestic hot water supply. This i ea
is becoming more and more popular since additi nal
comfort may be achieved without recurrent pox -r
costs. It is possible to design high performance
solar water heaters, and with the high levels of
insolation in the Caribbean these heaters would : in
demand both in industry and in domestic circles
There are immediate applications to the provisic
of a domestic hot water supply for low cost hou ng
projects, since the installation of a solar water
heater is relatively inexpensive. In this way, low
income groups will now be able to enjoy some
luxury in the form of a domestic hot water
supply. In some high areas in the Caribbean whe
temperature drop but where there is a high degr of
solar radiation, solar water heating principles m; be
used to heat a swimming pool.
The design of high performance solar units for t
in the tropics and the research of these ideas ha'
concerned the authors over the past three and o e
half years at the University of the West Indies ii
A production model high performance solar still
has been developed and tested. A prototype me el
high performance solar drier has been tested am a
production model is now being developed. A pr ,-
totype solar water heater is currently being test d.
Patents for all these units will be applied for, as here
seems to be a great demand for such devices in lhe
developing Caribbean and, judging from the enquiries
that we have received, in other parts of the tropical
world. *

Volume 4 No. I

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Water hyacinth is one of the world's worst weeds.
It chokes rivers, drainage and irrigation systems and
clogs any field under irrigation.
The Commonwealth Institute of Biological Control in
London has undertaken a number of surveys, financed
by the UK's Overseas Development Administration, to
see if any pest of water hyacinth exist which can be
introduced into affected regions of Africa, America
and Asia. Much of the work was undertaken by F.D.
Bennett, based at the institute's station at Gordon
Street, Curepe, Trinidad.
Writing in the current quarter's issue of "Pest
Articles and News Summaries (PANS)", published in
London, he recommends the introduction of
certain species of pests into Africa for controlling
the weed. These include a bagoine weevil
(Neochetina eichorniae) and a leaf mining mite
(Orthogalumna tevebrantis). He also recommends the
introduction of the same bagoine weevil into India.
Both pests are from South America.

The Zambian Government has already introduced
the pests into the Kafue river and the associated
polder system. The bagoine weevils are being studied
at the Indian station of the institute before they are
introduced on a large scale. It does look, though, as if
these two pests may assist considerably in keeping water
hyacinth in check.
Other insects which it is hoped may help include various
stem-borers and a semi-aquatic grasshopper. Diseases
in the larvae have hindered progress on all but the
grasshopper, but it has been reported that it attacks
taro also, an important root crop in many parts of the
Until this is confirmed or refuted the grasshopper is
not being recommended.
(F.D. Bennett, Commonwealth Institute of
Biological Control, Gordon Street, Curepe,
(Mrs. S. Feaking, PANS, 56 Grays Inn Road,
London WC1X 8LU)

If COPR and Dr. Goldsworthy are on the right track
the farmer may one day hear that the locust has been
tamed and is a stay-at-home insect of no great
economic importance.
(Centre for Overseas Pest Research, College
House, Wrights Lane, London W8 5SJ)




by K.E. Magnus,
Chemistry Department,
U.W.I. Mona, Jamaica.

Jamaican pimento has been almost exclusively
the only pimento known to the spice trade for a
very long time. For the future we can however
anticipate competition, certainly from some South
and Central American countries where large acreages
are already being put into pimento.
It is not too long since the husbandry of pimento
was treated in an almost casual fashion by farmers.
For example propagation has in the past been largely
by birds but developments by the Ministry of
Agriculture have led to propagation by approach
grafting. Other improvements in husbandry have also
taken place and the main difficulties now remaining
are to be found in harvesting and drying. Sun-drying
is traditional but ,rainy spells increase the cost
because of the extra handling necessary (increased
labour costs as well as damage to the berries) and
also because of losses due to spoilage. The time
needed for sun-drying increases the chances of
pilferage. However at little cost and with no
apparent lowering of quality, the pimento berries
can be artificially dried, thus saving time and money.
The development of the artificial drying of pimento
has involved considerable experimental work in
Jamaica and in England. Successful drying of
pimento requires carefully controlled conditions -
but the outcome of this work is a simple and
robust drier which can provide high quality dried
pimento berries if the drying conditions described
below are followed.
Preliminary investigations by Ernest Brown of
the Tropical Products Institute, London (carried out in
Jamaica, at the request of the Jamaican Ministry of
Agriculture and Fisheries) showed that pimento could be
successfully dried on a small scale to the correct appear-
ance and properties, and without loss or alteration of
the flavour or odour.

Caribbean Farming

Volume 4 No. 1

,rge scale experiments carried out in England and
maica by George Breag and Frank Robinson of the
topical Products Institute allowed the exact conditions
c commercial drying to be selected. While this was
ing done the UWI group in collaboration with Mr.
orge Brinsley a grower at Buff Bay, Jamaica, deve-
)ed a prototype farm drier based on a direct-fired
:iter. The TPI workers designed a simple drying
timber and chose an indirect-fired heating unit. At
,ir request this chamber was constructed by UWI and
orge Breag carried out further drying trials, with the
distance of Ingolf Duphorn of the UWI. Further
ils of a modified drier have been carried out by
I olf Duphorn and Shirley Thomas of UWI during
t last pimento season. The Jamaican Ministry of
I riculture, through John Gayle, has been closely
a ociated with all stages of this project.

I e drying frame of the recommended small
n chine is illustrated in Fig. 1 which shows dimen-
si ns of the frame and drying trays. It is made of
p: board bolted on to angle iron supports and has an
o, ening for the hot air blower which is a Nu-Way
B. nson Portable Heater-Indirect Zeta Type 1-Z. The
m ichine requires an electrical mains supply of 220
volts, 50 cycles. Its heater burns about 8 gals. of
diesel fuel in one day's run and hot air is blown into
the frame by an electric fan. The hot air is distributed
evenly over four trays in the drying frame by an
interior baffle and a thermostat (Sunvic Controls
Ltd. Type TS) is installed on the side of the frame
This drier has been tested at Ackendown estate in
Westmoreland, Seville in St. Ann, and at the
University of the West Indies and already one
grower has a similar machine in operation.

In a typical run of 7-8 lirs. with the thermostat set
to give a temperature of 700C (1580 F) in the trays,

k '~r~-~ '~ -

Volume 4 No. I

Caribbean Farming

the moisture content was reduced to between 6 and 13%
(depending on the charge) with no change in oil
As a result of several tests to determine the best con-
ditions, it is clear that a temperature of 70 75C
(158 -168 F) is critical for pimento, to avoid loss
of oil and at the same time ensure efficient drying
of the load (about 600 lb.) within a reasonable period
of time (about 8 hours). Details of a test using a 400 lb.
charge of pimento which had fermented for 6-7 days
are shown in table 1. Final weight of dried pimento
was 165 lb .


400 Ib pimento (fermented 6-7 days) dried to 165 lb.
in 7% hours.

Drying Time (hrs.)
3 -1/3

Oil Content %
(dry wt.)

Moisture content %

Although further changes in the design are in progress
to make loading (and especially unloading) easier, the
drier is at present suitable for use by farmers. They may
need to carry out trial runs to determine the load/time
ratio which will give an appropriate moisture level and the
U.W.I. team is willing to give assistance toward this end.

The initial cost of the equipment is about J$600 for the
hot air blower and J$200 for the frame. The cost of the
frame however will depend on the materials chosen and
it can probably be built at lower cost by the farmer.
The running cost is low approximately $1.00 for a
day's run. The advantages are obvious. The product
will be cleaner, and therefore more acceptable, and
losses in time and berries are reduced considerably.

The Chemistry Department has been cooperating
with the Ministry of Agriculture, which has been
conducting tests to ascertain the usefulness of this
drier for red peas and peanuts as well as other
products so that there may be a wider range for
its application.

A continuous action drier for large estate use has
been erected for testing at Drax Hall, St. Ann.

r r


Footnote: Fermentation of pimento before drying is accompanied
by the risk of mould growth which may take place even after three days.

It is worth noting that samples which rattled (the
local criterion for acceptable dryness) were shown by
the Dean and Stark determination to have moisture
contents ranging from 5.0 to 19.5%, and since a few
percent of moisture may mean a significant sum of
money in a large batch some thought should be given
to an improved system of local pimento purchase.
Peter Giles of the Tropical Products Institute has worked
in the Jamaican Ministry of Trade and Industry on the
development of a suitable moisture meter for pimento
and on aspects of grading and storing pimento. He also
studied moisture loss in the warehouse and noted
that the berries come to equilibrium with their
surroundings with a moisture content which is
usually of the order of 11%.

Whether pimento is to be used as a spice or
ultimately converted to oil, flavour and quality
considerations depend on examination of the oil.
Our analytical comparisons show no difference
between the oil from artificially dried pimento berries
and that from sundried berries.
The drier can be easily transported in a small
pickup (Fig. 2). It is unloaded in 15 minutes by
two men and takes them about 1 hour to bolt
together (Fig. 3). The loading (Fig 4) takes only a
few minutes, each tray having a capacity of about
150 lbs. of berries. After drying, the dried pimento
can be unloaded by lifting out the trays, but since
these are rather awkward when full the berries may
be scooped out instead and this takes about V hour
for one man.

Caribbean Farming



Volume 4 No. 1



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Volume 4 No. I Caribbean Farming





Volume 4 No. 1

Caribbean Farming





The following information is abstracted from an article of the
above name by J.K. Bell and D.G. Coursey in Tropical Science,
Volume XIII, 1971.
The population of Africans, Indians and Pakistanis
in the United Kingdom now exceeds a million, more
than half of which are West Indians. In recent years,
increasing quantities of tropical vegetables and ground
provisions have been imported into Britain to
satisfy the taste of these immigrants even though the
cost of these vegetables is high.
Yams are one of the main items imported. Importation
from West Africa began in quantity in 1954. The White,
West African, or Negro yam is imported from West
Africa and Jamaica whereas the Lisbon yam is
imported mainly from Barbados. In addition,
small quantities of yellow yam and yampi or
cush-cush are received from Jamaica. The West
African type of yam is favoured by West Africans
and Jamaicans whereas the Lisbon is favoured by
other West Indians. From 1965 to 1969, the annual
importation of yam and dasheen into the United
Kingdom has averaged in excess of 7,000 tons -
almost half of this now comes from Ghana and
large quantities from Nigeria and Jamaica with
smaller quantities from Barbados and the Windward
Yams are seasonal in supply: West African exports begin
in July and continue into December, although some
which have been stored in West Africa may still be
available up to February. The Barbados crop
begins in January and lasts into May or June. There
are usually shortages of yams in Great Britain from
May to July. Prices C and F. to United Kingdom
vary from 65 to 140 per ton. The yams are now
shipped in wooden crates or cardboard cartons
since hessian sacks allow too much physical damage
during transport. Yafi slices canned in brine have
also been imported, particularly yellow yam from
Jamaica, and small quantities of yam flour from
Annual imports of sweet potatoes are about 4,000 tons,
mainly from the Canary Islands. In recent years, some
sweet potatoes have been imported from the West
Indies and Gambia. Sweet potatoes are available through-
out the year. The price paid for sweet potatoes

delivered in the United Kingdom varies between
41 and 89 per ton. They are usually packed in
wooden crates. The demand for sweet potatoes is
mainly amongst West Indians.
Cassava is very difficult to store, for which reason
only small quantities are imported, mainly in
wooden crates. In West Africa cassava is processed
into dried flour and substantial quantities of this
material, known as gari, are imported into
Britain, probably about 1,000 tons per year.
It is estimated that about 300 tons of tannias are
imported into Britain annually from Barbados,
Trinidad & Tobago, and St. Vincent. There are
also about 150 tons of eddos and varying quantities
of dasheen mainly from St. Vincent: some coco-yams
come from West Africa and from Cyprus. The
demand for coco and dasheen increases when yams
are scarce.
Over the past years, insufficient plantains have been
imported to satisfy the demand. Consequently, som :
green bananas have been sold when plantains are in
short supply. Plantains both green and ripe are
imported into Britain from West Africa, various par 3
of the West Indies, Guyana and Panama. It is estima ec
that 3,500 to 5,000 tons per annum are imported.
West African plantains are usually small and
acceptable only to West Africans. Large fruit weigh: ig
up to 12 oz. each are preferred. It is estimated that he
market could be expanded to as much as 10,000 to s
per annum.

Some breadfruit are imported mainly for West
Indians, but no definite information on quantity
is available. Breadfruit are very perishable: supplies
at present come mainly from the West Indies.
Canned breadfruit in brine are also imported.

It is estimated that almost 500 tons of squashes
are imported per annum for West Indians. These
squashes come mainly from Jamaica and mainly
from August to December. The preferred yellow-
fleshed West Indian pumpkin is imported at around
74 per ton, FOB.
The pumpkins are imported by sea usually in sacks:
individual fruit may weigh as much as 15 lb.

Cho-chos are imported in limited quantities from the
Canary Islands and the West Indies, notably
Montserrat, between January and August. It is
thought that the annual imports may reach 20
tons. The demand appears to be limited.

Egg plant or aubergine are imported up to about 1,000
tons per annum. West Africans prefer the yellow, green
or purple round varieties whilst Indians and Pakis-
tanis prefer the black variety. Some garden eggs canned
in brine are imported from Ghana.

Caribbean Farming

Voltune 4 No. I

Total imports of chilli peppers are estimated at
around 200 tons per annum mainly from European
countries and the Canary Islands but also from West
Africa, Cyprus and the West Indies.

Okra are estimated to be imported in quantities up to
1.000 tons per annum, mainly from Cyprus, East
Africa and Ethiopia. There is also considerable
importation of canned okra, in brine or tomato
puree: these latter are mainly from Greece, Cyprus
and Rumania.

Ackees are demanded solely by Jamaicans in Britain
and are imported only canned. About 10,000 cases
24 A2 cans per case) are imported annually, but it
Thought that four or five times this quantity could
e used.

various other vegetables and greens are also imported.
"ne of the problems in the trade is the confusion over
mes, particularly since different tropical countries use
tirely different names for the same vegetable. Another
Ablem is that most tropical vegetables, particularly
eet potatoes, are damaged.from exposure to British
\ enter temperatures. Wastage of some items such as
intains could be prevented by more careful handling,
d possibly by the application of controlled temperature
i sport and simple fungicidal treatment.

Modern techniques to delay ripening might be applic-
able to plantains and perhaps to breadfuitr, squashes
and cho-chos.

Although school meals will lead immigrants into
British eating habits, traders feel that the demand in
U.K. for tropical vegetables will remain static for many
years, and for some items will increase. DHR

Yam flour
Sweet Potatoes
Tannias, eddoes
Green bananas
Breadfruit (canned)
Garden egg (W. African)



usually 6p
sometimes 12p
(wholesale 5p

Retail Price in U.K.
- 8p per Ib.
- 15p
- 12p
- 7p per Ib.)
- 8p "
- 13pperlb.
- 14p per A2 can
- per Ib.
- 15p per lb.
- 8p
- per 30 oz. can
- 20p per Ib.
- 30p per A2 can

Helping to change the way of life

of Jamaica's market vendors.

Remember the typical market vendor of a few years
ago? Stout, formidable and friendly, hands deep in
the pockets of her apron, head tied country-style
with a brightly checkered kerchief ... Probably
perched on a donkey ... or riding on top of the
mountain of produce being hauled to market by a
dray or truck ... All this is changing.
Today's market vendor might drive around to the
AMC in her car or pick-up. Her children have the
opportunity of attending secondary school. Gone are
the days of precarious ventures, of trusting to
individual farmers to supply the produce she needs,
of waiting up nights for some unreliable country truck
which might not bring the produce needed.
Take Mrs. Mavis Davis. She is a market vendor and
she has been in this kind of business for more than
twenty years.
For the past eight years she has dealt with the AMC.
And this has brought about a dramatic change in her
way of life.
Today, Mrs. Davis sees the children off to school then
drives around to the AMC at 10.00 a.m. to pick up a
variety of produce at reasonable prices. Her business
with the AMC totals as much as $1,500 weekly and
the produce she buys is supplied to a net-work of 50
Her ten children all go to good schools ... ranging
from Junior Secondary to Private. She has a home of
her own.

For Mrs. Mavis Davis ... and hundreds of market
vendors all over Jamaica ... the AMC has meant a
better life, more money, more respectability, more

This is just one of the ways in which the AMC is
changing Jamaica. The AMC's approach to modern
food crop marketing means a better life for the
farmer and the housewife ... as well as the market

188 Spanish Town Road, Kingston 11.
Phone: 923-9261

Volume 4 No. 1

Caribbean Farming


We got good

by getting dirty.

Many oil company engineers and s :es-
men love to fiddle around with slide rites,
calculators and flow-charts.
Not Esso Men.
They also like monkey wrenches, grease
guns and hammers.
In our book, that makes sense. Beci.iue
when you've got a problem, you don't need
a man with a headful of theories.
You need somebody who takes off his
jacket, rolls up his sleeves, spits on his


hands, and gets to work. All the theories in
the world won't replace that.
Certainly there's a time for slide rules.
Esso Men are handy with those, too. But
not until after they've had a good, hard,
intelligent look at the job.
And an Esso Man wouldn't dream of
recommending one of our greases or oils or
solvents or waxes unless he knew it was just
right for your problem.
When an Esso product does fix it, they're

And when an Esso product doesn't fix it,
they'll start digging to find out why.
And sooner or later they'll get an answer.
That's why they're Esso Men.
Next time you have a petroleum-product
problem, ask your Esso Man to have
a look at it.
And if the machinery hap-
pens to be at the bottom of a
mine shaft, covered withSS
muck and sludge, don't worry.
He'll probably love it.


N.A. Phadnis and K.G. Choudhari, working in India,
report in Tropical Science, Volume XIII (1971) a
colorimetric method of distinguishing between male
and female nutmeg trees. The idea came from
techniques already in use to distinguish the sex of
papaya seedlings and to identify citrus species.

The method involves boiling an extract of the nutmeg
leaves with an ammonium molybdate reagent, and
assessing the intensity of the blue-green colour. In
India, nutmegs occur as male or female plus a small
proportion of hermaphrodites. The colour test
distinguished between flowering male, female and
hermaphorodite trees. When the test was applied to
seedlings, most fell clearly into the three groups
but about 20% gave readings which fell in between
those for males and hermaphrodites.
Some 32% of the seedlings appeared to be female.
The seedlings so separated have been labelled and
planted out to see whether they are indeed of the
sex which the colour test indicated. If the test
proves to be reliable, it will be so much easier than
the present system of planting 3-4 plants at each
stake, then waiting seven years for the plants to
declare their sex.



(Phassolus vulgaris) IN JAMAICA
R.E. Pierre


31 pages illustrated
available from U.W.I.
at St. Augustine, Trinidad,
and Mona, Jamaica.


The Mennonite church building is simple but their strict religion is
also their driving force.


Chickens are kept as broilers and for eggs to convert home-grown
corn to a more valuable product.

"; "a .e *., .. .i g, g,* ,** s w.. .* : ,"
A Jaragua grass pasture 6 months after sowing. Regenerating
bush is controlled by grazing and cutlassing. The young palms are cohunes.

Caribbean Farming

Volume 4 No. I


- -- -4



Iid which was high forest twelve years ago now supports a
Iductive self-sufficient farming community.
,.. -: .-, .~,,. ,'; ." .
.,";f .' .. -,- -"-" .,. -, - ,,
: ..,,:' ,. ....., . .
"..,,, -.':, -. .-,- :,. .,..'
,,, : .- ,,., ,, .,
,. ',-
"" "-- ..;" -" '-F_; "
-" ., ,,.. ,; ,,.
". .:: :; :, .,T .. ,' :j "
'."- ~ r~ "'. 2 .-.. :':
I, ;- c,, . ."' ,,, -

. -,= ,,
r Idwihwshihfrs wlv er g nwspot
I ~ ~ ~ ~ ;; dutv efsfintfrigcmuiy

; Mennonites are members of a religious sect who
c ie to British Honduras from Mexico, the United
S tes and Canada in the late 1950's. They live
*e ig&lly-by -agrielture an~d their-religion 4s a-way
o life which contributes substantially to their suc-
c< ;. The population of the country is about
1: ,000 people spread over 8,000 square miles -
le: ing plenty of virgin forest land a challenge
fo the immigrant Mennonites. Nevertheless, the
ce :uries-old "milpa" or shifting cultivation
sy em of the traditional farmers of the country -
th< Mayas is too arduous and land-demanding,
anm the Mennonites sought permanent agriculture.

Sir; e other farmers were attempting to escape from
shi ting agriculture by the use of tree crops, the
Meanonites in Cayo District tried coconuts and
citrus (cacao was not suitable in their very
calcareous soils). However, the limited soil
depth, particularly with the rainfall pattern -
very wet for 7 months and very dry for 5
months resulted in disappointing citrus
and coconuts.

Other farmers developed pastures of jaragua grass
(Hyparrhenia rufa) by first growing corn milpa-
style for one or two years then seeding grass. The
Mennonites seem to have reversed this procedure.
Forest is felled in the mid-dry season by cutlass,
axe or chain saw, allowed to dry and burnt at the
end of the dry weather. As the first rains come,

jaragua grass seed mixed with sand is broadcast in
the ashes. The fire, cattle grazing and subsequent
cutlassing gradually reduce the regenerating forest,
and stumps rot. The cohurre pa:m (Orbigna cohune)
is difficult to eradicate without 2,4,5-T.
Jaragua grass seeds in November, six months after
sowing; cattle are run through in January to March
to spread the seed. The dried grass and regowth of
bush are burnt and a dense pasture is thus
After some years of such pasture, the stumps are
sufficiently rotted that, given some final clearing,
the land can be ploughed for hybrid corn (maize).
Weed control is effected using atrazine. The corn
is normally planted in May and reaped in September,
often with a 2-row mechanical picker. Red kidney
beans are planted in November for February reaping.
Corn follows again in the following May. It is not
yet clear how long fertilizer, weed control, pest
control and cultivation can continue to grow
good crops of corn and beans.
The Mennonites' chief income appears to be from
cattle, poultry products, corn and beans. They also
grow vegetables and peanuts. They are as self-sufficient
as possible, having their own schools, mechanic
shops, dentists, corn stores and feed mills. Perhaps it
is this self-sufficiency that enables them to sustain a
successful form of agriculture where so many others
have failed. DHR



*~ a

V01unie 4 No. I

Caribbean Fanning


Caribbean Fruits
W.B. Esselen, Visiting Professor and Fulbright Lecturer in Food Technology
G.M. Sammy, Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemical Engineering,
University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad, W.I.
First article of a two-part series.

Although not available in adequate supply for
commercial processing operation there are many of the
so-called "minor" or "lesser known fruits" of the
Caribbean area which can be made into highly
acceptable fruit products such as jellies, preserves,
nectars, syrups, purees, as well as canned and
frozen items. An example of the numbers of
cultivated and wild fruits that are available is
demonstrated in Table 1.

1. Preservation by Heat-Canning
The application of heat for the sterilization and
preservation of foods by the so-called "canning" process
has been employed for many years.
the product and causing spoilage or Toxin production.
For acid foods such as fruits and fruit products, which
are readily sterilized by a relatively mild heat treatment,
such as pasteurization, the "hot fill, seal and hold"
method is widely used, particularly in commercial
operation. In this case, the fruit product or juice
is heated to 190-205 F., and filled immediately
into(preheated, if glass) containers which are then
sealed and inverted for a short time, so that
the hot acid product can sterilize the inside of the
container. The containers are then cooled as rapidly
as possible. As an alternate method and added pre-
caution the sealed containers may be processed in
boiling water for an adequate length of time. Providing
a fruit or fruit product does not undergo undue heat
damage, canning provides a simple and relatively in-
expensive method of preservation.

2. Preservation as Sugar Concentrates
A combination of sufficiently high concentration of
sugar and acid plus heat treatment provides a useful
and widely accepted method of preparing and pro-
cessing fruit products such as concentrates, jellies,
jams and preserves and syrups. Jellies and jams have
been defined as semi-solid food made from not less
than 45 parts by weight of fruit or fruit juice ingredients
to each 55 parts by weight of sugar. It is concentrated to
not less than 65% soluble solids (sugar) content.
A number of authors have indicated the suitability of
many of the "minor" tropical fruits for jelly or preserve,
making. In fact, most of the fruits listed in Table 1

could be included in this category. Personal observation
by the present writers would suggest that these fruits
could provide a significant and undeveloped potential
for such products.

3. Preservation by Refrigeration
For extended storage of heat sensitive, as well as other
fruits, freezing can be a very satisfactory method of
preservation. In the use of this method for most
fruits their enzyme systems must be destroyed or in-
activated to prevent deleterious changes in colour,
flavour and texture during storage. Freezing
would seem to be a very useful method of preserving
tropical fruit pulps, purees, and concentrates.

4. Preservation by Fermentation
In brief the alcoholic or wine fermentation of fruit
consists of the conversion of the fruit sugar to
alcohol by yeast fermentation. Depending upon the
nature of the fruit concerned it might be necessary to
"condition" the fruit mass such as by diluting the pul ,
adding sugar to make up for a lack of natural sugar or
adjusting the acidity or astrigency of the products. A
fruit vinegar in turn is essentially a dilute solution of
acetic acid, generally used as a condiment. It is made y
the conversion or oxidation of alcohol in a fruit wine o
acetic acid by the action of "acetic acid bacteria" in
the presence of oxygen from the air.
As an example of a locally produced tropical fruit
wine, one might mention cashew "apple" wine. It
has an interesting and pleasing flavour and provides
a good example of such products.

Evaluation of Fruits for Processing

If a small amount of fruit (one or two pounds each ol
fruit and water is usually adequate) is cooked in wate
for a short time or until the flesh becomes soft, tests f
acid and pectin can be made to determine if it is suit-
able for making ajelly. If it does not appear to be
suitable for this purpose it may be a good material for
a jam, fruit butter, syrup, juice or a base for nectar. A
a rule acid fruits of high juice content usually make ge .d
juices or syrups.
As previously mentioned, jellies and jams are producei1
by cooking fruit juices or fruits and sugar together
until a soluble solid or sugar content of approximately
67% is reached. For a good gel formation, in addition to
the proper proportion of fruit component and sugar,
the fruit must contain the right amount of acid and
pectin. In using low acid fruits, lime or lemon juice
may be added as a source of acid (the amount added
should be sufficient to impart a definite acid taste). If
the citrus flavour is objectionable a small amount of
tartaric acid may be used.

Volume 4 No. 1

Caribbean Farming


A crop protection chemical could be obtained from the
neem tree which grows in tropical and sub tropical
Dr. Colin N.E. Ruscoe of the British firm ICI Plant
Protection Ltd has confirmed that an extract in water
of the seeds and leaves of the neem will reduce the
feeding of caterpillars of the diamond back moth, the
tobacco budworm and nymphs of the cotton stainer.
In addition to reducing the amount of the crop leaf
that the caterpillars eat, Dr.Ruscoe has found that
those that do continue to eat leaves sprayed with the
extract become deformed, fail to develop and die.
Caterpillars of the cabbage white, which did continue
to eat leaves after spraying with the extract, were
particularly affected. He assumes that the extract is
responsible for their death.

rhe principal constituent of the extract is azadirachtin
ind it is this which reduces the feeding of pests and kills
others The chemical appears to work successfully as a
;ystemic that is, it can be fed to the crop plant, which
akes it up into its system. It is then taken in by the pest
vhen it starts feeding.
"he plants used in Dr. Ruscoe's experiments were
tobacco, cotton and cabbage, but there is no reason
o think it would not work successfully with others.

Part of the ICI Plant Protection premises at Jealott's Hill,
Berkshire, southern England, where Dr. Colin Ruscoe is working
on a novel approach to pesticides.

The use of neem extracts for insect control is not
entirely new, as meliantriol, obtained from the
fruit of the neem, is known to reduce the feeding
of the desert locust. Azadiraditin is made from
If Dr. Ruscoe is right the neem tree could be an
effective local source of a useful chemical against a
variety of crop pests which trouble the tropical
(Dr. Colin N.E. Ruscoe, ICI Plant Protection Ltd,
Jealott's Hill Research Station, Bracknell,
Berkshire RG12 6EY).






Broomwade makers of world famous
portable compressors
Lincoln Welders the welders that let
you select the features you need
Aveling Barford Dumpers, Road Rollers,
Coventry Climax Forklift Trucks
Clayton Steam Cleaners
Marshall Bolts & Nuts screws, wash-
ers, waterproof rivets, etc. in high tensile
steel, stainless steel, brass, chrome and
mild steel

* Ford Tractors the widest range of
Tractors to meet your every need.
* Thor Electric Air Tool designed to
match customer reMirements
* Gorman Rupp Pumps all types of
contractors and irrigation pumps avail-
* Black Hawk Roto Challenger The
widest range of hand-tools to suit every
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381 SpManh Town Road, Kingson 11. Tel:37121 rmnch Offic: 1 Omen SL Ser-L* r. Tel: 560

Volume 4 No. 1 Caribbean Farming

FORD 5000

Volume 4 No. I

Caribbean Farming


Be on target

for the control of broad leaved weeds
The stunning power of a single application gives rapid knockdown
of even the toughest broad-leaved weeds.
Effective both pre- and post-emergence.

for the control of tough grass weeds.
The new hard-hitting liquid grass killer for pre- and post-emergence use.
Gives long-term residual effect.

the big guns against weeds

in sugar cane
Actrll' and Asulox' are trade marks of
S MAY & BAKER LTD Dagenham Essex RM10 7XS England
Obtain full details from:
M & B brand products

Caribbean Farming

Volume 4 No. 1

~~L_ -~F
.h~ (

Fruits vary considerably in pectin content. Partly
ripe fruits contain a higher percentage of pectin
than do fully ripe one; as the fruit matures the
pectin may be broken down into other compounds.
A simple alcohol test for pectin, while not al-
together accurate has considerable practical value
when used with good judgement. Either pure or
denatured ethyl alcohol may be used. Numerous
authors have suggested that the following procedure
be followed in making a pectin test: Place approxi-
mately one tablespoon of the jelly stock or con-
centrated fruit juice in a small glass or cup. Slowly
add one tablespoon of alcohol and mix gently by
turning the cup from side to side. After one half
minute observe the mixture. According to Thursby
( 950). . "If the pectin forms a single large lump of
j] ly-like material, it is safe to add an equal amount of
s :ar to stock. If the pectin "precipitates" or is
s ,htly broken, use only one-half to three quarter
a ount of sugar to one of stock. If the pectin is in
s all flakes, the stock has not sufficient pectin to make
a ood jelly. Watch carefully as there may be a ten-
d icy for the pectin to go back into solution in
a short time.
I asing low acid or low pectin content fruits it may
b feasible and practical to blend them with some fruit
o higher acid or pectin content. Green or partially
r: papaya fruits are a good source of pectin.
S rrock (1959), for example, has suggested that
h Fi acid fruits, of low pectin content, may be cooked
v ii an equal volume of full-grown green papaya, to
rn ace the acid and increase the jellying properties.

The papaya should be ground fine and mixed with the
acid fruit in cooking. In some areas a commercial
source of pectin (usually prepared from citrus peel)
may be available and used to provide additional pectin.
Such simple tests and evaluation can provide consider-
able useful information on a fruit or new fruit variety
which can serve as a guide as to how it might best be
used. Examples of such information include:
1. General acceptability of colour, flavour,
texture and other quality attributes.
2. Stability of natural fresh colour and flavour
to heat and cooking procedures.
3. Volatility of flavour and its tendency to be
lost during heating.
4. Tendency for a new, different or changed
(either good or bad) colour, flavour and
texture to be developed during heating.
5. Contribution of colour, flavour and texture
(either good or bad) of peel and pits or seeds to
overall acceptance and quality.
6. Acid and pectin requirements for jelly, jam or
preserve production.
7. Suggestions as to how fruit might best be
handled and processed.

Minor and Lesser Known Fruits of Trinidad and Tobago
with Indicated Potential for Processed Products

At ras zapota
At !e marmelor
At cardium occidental
At ona reticulata
An ona squamosa
An ona muricata
Av: rhoa bilimbi
Av rrhoa carambola
Cal ocarpum sapota
(or mammosum)

Carica papaya
Casimiroa edulis
Chrysobalanus icaco
Citrus maxima
Citrus medical
Eugenia uniflora
Eugenia jambolana
Eugenia malaccensis
Eugenia jambos
Flacourtia ramontchi
Volume 4 No. 1

Bael Fruit
Cashew Apple
Custard Apple
Sugar Apple

Mamae or Mamey Sapota

Pawpaw, Papaya
White Sapote
Cocoa Plum, Fat Pork
Surinam Cherry
Java Plum
Pomerac, Ohia, Malay Apple
Rose Apple, Pomme Rose
Governor's Plum

Hibiscus sabdaruffa
Mammea americana
Magnifera indica
Malpighia glabra
Myristica fragrans
Passiflora edulis var.

Pereskia acuelata
Phyllanthus acidus

Physalis peruvian
Psidium guajava
Spondias cytherea, sonn.
(S. dulcis, Forst.)
Spondias mombin

Tamarindus indica
Zizyphus mauritiana

Roselle, Sorrel
Mammee Apple or Mamey
Acerola, Barbados Cherry
Granadilla, Passion Fruit
(Purple or Yellow)

Barbados Gooseberry
Cape Gooseberry
Othaheite Apple, golden
Apple, Pommecythere
Hog Plum, Yellow Monbin,

Dunks, Indian or
Malay Jubube

Caribbean Farming

Healthy crops-healthy profits

Shell Agricultural Chemicals keep your
crops healthy and free from disease.
The wise farmer takes no chances with his
crops. He cannot afford to waste his time,
money and effort. He has to make a
living, so his crops must be profitable. That's
why the successful farmer always uses Shell
Chemicals for a healthy, bountiful harvest.
Shell Pesticides offer protection against
nematodes and insect pests, including
fiddler beetles, banana root borers, bugs,
foliage pests, vegetable pests and termites.
Shell Herbicides are selective in destroying

weeds and grass quickly, without harming
your crops.
Albatros Fertilizers provide the soil with the
vital elements essential for healthy growth
of crops.
A good harvest means a healthy profit.
Successful farmers rely on Shell
Agricultural Chemicals to make every
harvest a good harvest.

Shell Pesticides
* Aldrin Dieldrin 50% W.P. Dieldrex 15
* Nemagon Vapona Malathion D.D. Soil

Fumigant Gardona Azodrin Phosdrin Shell
White Oil Shell Maneb Fungicide Shell Zineb
Shell Fertilizers
* Albatros Compounds Sulphate of Ammonia
* Urea Muriate of Potash Single & Triple
Shell Herbicides
* Brush-killers Gramevin Herbishell 2, 4 Ds
* Bladex Planavin Prefix Industrial
Weed- killers
Shell Animal Health Products
* Atgard V Task Equigard Supona
* Purina Feeds.


Citrus Fertilizers

More Effective

by C.C. Weir,
Research Dept.,
'itrus Growers Association, Jamaica

In the West Indies the present method of apply-
lg fertilizers to citrus trees is by surface broadcast-
Ig usually by hand under the "drip-circle"
ea of the trees. Under our humid environmental
mnditions the efficiency of use by citrus trees of
)plied fertilizers is usually quite low, about 20 to
) per cent; that is, for every hundred pounds of
rtilizer materials applied to the soil, only 20 to 30
)unds are actually absorbed by the plant. The re-
ainder is lost through leaching, run-off, volatilisa-
)n, fixation by biological and microbiological
:chanisms, and also fixation through chemical re-
cions of the fertilizers with soil constituents.
As far as the individual nutrients are concerned,
.sphorus has the lowest efficiency of utilisation,
ng as low as 15% on the average while the figure
nitrogenous fertilizers is somewhat higher -
Sroximately 25 to 30 per cent. The efficiency of
S of the other nutrients lie somewhere between 15
a i 30%, although it must be mentioned that plant-
u isation of some trace elements, (in particular
ii i), is rather low and values as low as 5 per cent
e Iciency have been recorded.
'here are many reasons why the problem of
ft ilizer losses should be of special relevance to West
Ir ian agriculture. In the first place a large propor-
ti 1 of the farms in the West Indies are situated on
hi: sides, making run-off and erosion losses of applied
fe, ilizers of major significance. Secondly, in many
of the territories, (for example Dominica), rainfall is
exceedingly abundant resulting in heavy leaching
losses of fertilizers. A third factor is concerned with
a high fixing and immobilizing capacities of many
of the soils in this region resulting in relatively
low utilisation of applied fertilizers. Finally, because
of the high labour costs of frequent fertilizer appli-
cations, any technique which will significantly
reduce the costs involved in this operation, will
ultimately mean more profit to the farmer. These
and other reasons have prompted us in the Citrus
Research Department to undertake investigations
aimed at trying to increase the utilisation of applied
fertilizers by citrus trees.

Slow Release Fertilizers
Broadly speaking there are two general ways of in-
creasing fertilizer efficiency. In the first place, some
special kinds of fertilizers could be used, which are
specifically made with the objectives of minimising
leaching and fixation losses. These fertilizers would
release an adequate amount of plant food at a rate
to meet the demands of the growing plants. Such
kinds of fertilizers are available in North America
and Europe and are called Slow Release Fertilizers.
Research conducted in Trinidad on young citrus
trees using some of these Slow Release Fertilizers
showed that they were superior to the conventional
"mixed" and "single" type fertilizers now being
used in the West Indies. But the very high cost of
these new fertilizers would almost certainly prohibit
their use on tree crops; however, one could see
some merits for their use in more intensive agricul-
ture e.g., in vegetable production. An outstanding
slow-release Nitrogen fertilizer is the compound Urea
-Formaldehyde used widely in the U.S.A.
Perforated Plastic Packets Fertilizer Placement
Another method by which fertilizer efficiency can
be increased is to apply or "place" the fertilizers
close to the plant roots, in such a way that it does
not come into contact with too large a volume of
soil. This general idea is not new and is almost
standard practice in grain crops such as corn, where
the fertilizer is usually banded or placed to the side
of and below the seed. In established citrus orchards
in the West Indies (where the application of fertiliz-
ers is almost always by hand), it is difficult to con-
ceive application of fertilizers by conventional place-
ment techniques referred to above.
The approach used in our investigations was to
put the fertilizers in small perforated plastic packets
and place these about 4-6" below the soil surface.
Experiments have been conducted on young citrus
seedlings, young budded plants and mature orange
trees using the new technique. Each plastic packet had
12 small pin-hole perforations (6 on each side),
through which the fertilizer escaped slowly. For the

Volume 4 No. I

Caribbean Farming


to feed Purina

"There are over 25 ingredients in
Purina Chows, micro-mixed for highest
performance working to put more
money in your pocket." '

The essential ingredients in Purina Chows can
help you produce the kind of livestock that
makes money for you. Layers that give you
240 or more eggs a year. Broilers that go to
market 7 days sooner. Sows that wean up to
10 pigs per litter. Hogs that reach market-
weight one month earlier with less feed. Cows
that produce more and better beef. That's
what makes profit for you. Check at the
checkerboard sign of your Jamaica Feeds
dealer for Purina, the feed that pays.

Working together Jamaica to produce better food at lower cost.

~ UWorking together in Jamaica to produce better food at lower cost.

Caribbean Farming

Volume 4 No I

nursery seedlings, each bag contained 1 ounce of a
20/10/10 mixture and 4 treatments were studied;
i.e., 1, 2, 3 and 4 packets per tree. Almost the
same approach was used for the young budded
trees and mature trees, except that 3 oz. and 6 oz.
packets were used for the young and mature trees

containing fertilizer

resultss have indicated that for the nursery seed-
1 ;s and the young budded plants the optimum
t ttment was the one in which two packets per tree
v e used. (The packets were placed on opposite
s s of the trees). Measurements have shown that
t; treatment was almost 2% times as effective- as
ti standard surface broadcast application of fertil-
iz s. For the mature trees the criterion being used
tc assess the effectiveness of this new fertilizer
te unique is total crop yield; and at present no
da is yet available.
Cc clusions
he new technique of fertilizer application in per-
foi ted plastic packets, referred to in this article,
cai of course be used to supply nutrients to crops
otl. r than citrus. However it is clear that this new
approach is best suited for fertilisation of perennial
croos. The method is labour saving in that fertilizers
need only be applied about once per year. (The
length o time between applications obviously would
depend on the crop being grown, the soil and en-
vironmental conditions). When one considers that a
young citrus tree (up to 4 years old) needs to be
fertilized about 3 to 4 times per year, this new
technique of fertilizer application is most economi-
cal. Finally, on certain soils in the West Indies such
as our red and yellow bauxite soils of Jamaica,
which are known to have tremendous phosphate
fixing capacities, fertilizer application by this packet
method might be the answer to the perennial problem
of non-response to phosphate fertilizer application in
these soils.

Drying grain is often a race against the weather,
particularly in the rice growing areas of south east
Asia where the harvest usually takes place just before
the monsoon rains. Normal practice is to spread the
paddy along one side of the nearest road in the sun
and sweep it up quickly as soon as rain threatens.
If the rice farmer has access to a grain dryer he is
fortunate, but dryers tend to be built for the bigger
farmers or cooperatives in the more prosperous parts
of the world. They are unsuitable in size, basic price
and running costs for the smaller farmer.
6 hp Motor
The Tropical Products Institute in London has
eased the situation by designing a simple rice
dryer. It has a 6 hp diesel engine driving a fan. The
fan draws air in over the engine at about 3,000 cubic
feet (85 m3) an hour, cooling the engine and heating
the air, which is then passed through a bed of the
The dryer is considerably smaller than any other
produced commercially and should suit local
production. The Tropical Products Institute has
had one on trial in Thailand, where it has been
used to dry grain in a concrete site (known there
as a boonlong).
In a similar drying test undertaken in Britain
moisture content was reduced from 20% to 12%
in three days.

(Miss A. Hodgkinson, Tropical Products
Institute, 56/62 Grays Inn Road, London,

Although Hoja Blanca is regarded by many as being
the most serious disease of rice, the actual feed-
ing damage of the Hoja Blanca vector (Sogata) is
often more serious than the effect of the virus it-
self. In other areas, such as Latin America, rice
Blast is by far the most serious disease. The Centro
International de Agricultura Tropical, according to
its 1969 report, has varieties of rice with resistance:
IR 480-14 and IR 822 are resistant to Blast, whilst
IR 8 is resistant to this damage by Sogata. This
research station is also breeding varieties of corn
with a higher content of lysine in the protein,
and is collecting cultivars of cassava with a view
to breeding for increased protein content.

The Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical
also found that bird damage (by the Eared Dove)
completely prevented the growing of soybeans, but
a seed treatment of 10% Mensural resulted in a
satisfactory stand of soyabeans.

Volume 4 No. 1

Caribbean Farming

S%.S. L Y
'T- -L -
t F,




of Coconuts

Lethal Yellowing disease occurs in Jamaica, Cay-
man Islands, Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic,
Key West and recently in mainland Florida. The
common tall variety of the Caribbean and the
Atlantic Coast of Central and South America is
completely susceptible to the disease. Years of re-
search by the Coconut Industry Board in Jamaica
have shown that other varieties have varying degree
of resistance, but only the Malayan Dwarf has
sufficiently high resistance (over 95%) to be of use
to farmers. Last year over half a million Malayan
Dwarf were planted by Jamaican farmers. Some
hybrids with Malayan Dwarf as one parent are
showing promise, but it is not yet finally certain
what is their degree of resistance because there is :
present no method of testing for resistance by in-
oculation: palms on test are simply grown for year
in the diseased area.
On 16th December, 1971 the Coconut Industry
Board released the news that, using an electron
microscope, tiny micro-organisms called mycoplasms
had been found in parts of diseased coconut trees
from Jamaica. No mycoplasm was found in healthy
Mycoplasms are larger than viruses but smaller
than most bacteria. They are too small to be seen
by a normal optical mi. roscope one thousand
mycoplasms side-by-side would fit across the dot
over this letter "i". Mycoplasms vary in shape from
spherical to sausage-shaped. They have been known
for many years to cause certain diseases in animals,
but their connection with diseases of plant was first
demonstrated only four years ago, since when they
have been found associated with over 70 plant dis-

Volume 4 No. I

Caribbean Farming

eases, including Aster Yellows, Corn Stunt, Cassava
Witches Broom and Papaya Bunchy Top.
Scientists cannot be satisfied that a micro-
organism is truly the cause of a disease unless the
organism can be inoculated into a healthy plant
causing the typical disease symptoms to develop. At
present, this cannot be done with mycoplasms in
plants because mycoplasms cannot be kept alive out-
side the plant. The scientists are trying to grow
mycoplasms in horse serum so as to be able to
effect inoculation. However, the constant association
of mycoplasms with Lethal Yellowing disease points
very strongly to the mycoplasms as the cause of the
Diseases associated with mycoplasms can be trans-
mitted only by insects (known as vectors) and only
by those insects which feed in the conducting tubes
of the leaves known as phloem vessels, i.e. leafhop-
pers. However, the leafhopper species which transmit
Lethal Yellowing disease are not yet known, and
this the scientists are also trying to find out.
Many other lines of work have been going on,
particularly a large-scale "transfer" experiment. A
total of 24 sets, each consisting of 20 young palms
growing in drums, were taken to a diseased area for
1, 2 or 3 months, then returned to the healthy
irea. The first set was transferred in May 1969 and
:he last in August 1971. The time between return
)f the plants to the healthy area and development
)f first symptoms gives the incubation period: this
periodd varied from 3 to 9 months for these young

Experiments to control isolated new outbreaks of
'ie disease were carried out at 31 sites in 1969.
/hen the first symptoms appeared, the palms on
approximately 4 acres surrounding the diseased palm
rere treated with insecticide in an attempt to kill
possible insect vectors. After 10-14 days, all the ap-
'arently healthy palms on 1 acre around the dis-
ased palm were poisoned with the aim of eliminat-
ing any palm which might be in the early stages of
disease and so constitute a source of infection: the
remaining palms in the surrounding 3 acres were
treated again with insecticide. The treatments were
expensive in labour and insecticide, and many
healthy palms were destroyed. Control at some of
these treated sites proved hopeless because new
cases of disease occurred weekly. Ten sites develop-
ed new cases of disease 7-15 months after treat-
ment: this indicates that the incubation period in
these mature bearing palms is not less than 7-15
months. At 7 treated sites the disease did not re-
appear at all. However, this does not mean that the
treatment eradicated these outbreaks, because 8
other sites were deliberately left untreated and 4 of

these did not develop any new case either.
Control of Lethal Yellowing disease, even in only
one palm, is evidently not easy.
The search to find which insects are vectors has
been proceeding for years. Thousands of insects of
all kinds have been caught on diseased coconut
palms, identified and separated, then put into large
insect-proof cages covering healthy coconut palms.
The insects were caught by many different methods,
at all times of day and night, even using ultra-violet
light to attract them. Despite all this work, the vec-
tor is still not known. However, insect-proof cages
protected palms against the disease, proving that
insects are indeed the vector.

To the farmer There is no immediate gain for the
farmer, except that he now knows for sure that
quack remedies such as copper sulphate (Bluestone)
or common salt are a waste of time. His immediate
solution to the problem is to continue to plant the
highly resistant Malayan Dwarf.
To research (1) The search for the vector is
easier because leafhoppers need now be investigated:
although there are many hundreds of these, they
constitute only about 20% of the insects in a coco-
nut field.
(2) An electron microscope will be
used to find out where the mycoplasms are to be
found in diseased coconut palms at different stages
of the disease as a guide towards possible control,
and in different varieties to find out whether resist-
ant coconut varieties carry the mycoplasm without
showing any symptoms or whether they are
(3) Tetracycline drugs can some-
times prevent disease symptoms appearing in plants
infected with mycoplasms although other drugs such
as aureomycin and penicillin cannot. Tests with
tetracyclines will be made as this will be further
proof that mycoplasms are the cause, but it is not
likely to be practical to protect palms if drug injec-
tions are needed every few weeks.
(4) An inoculation test might be
developed now that the scientists know what they
are handling. This will help the Breeder by testing
his experimental varieties and hybrids and, in addi-
tion, a rapid test might be used to screen thousands
of plants before issuing them to farmers.
(5) When the vectors are known,
research can begin with the hope of controlling
the disease by controlling the vectors. One possible
method would be to use insecticides. But to treat
many acres of coconuts may be very expensive and
labour-demanding as well as possible endangering
humans, farm animals, birds, pollinating insects and

Volume 4 No. 1

Caribbean Farming

water supplies. Perhaps some predator or parasite
can be found to control the vectors biologically.
However, since the disease is lethal, control would
have to be very thorough to be of any real use.
(6) At least sufficient may be
learnt about the disease in this next phase of the
research to enable a new outbreak to be eliminated.
The Coconut Industry Board are concerned that one
day a mutant strain of Lethal Yellowing disease may
develop capable of. attacking the Malayan Dwarf. If
this happens, they want to be in a position to
eliminate the new strain and also to have available
other varieties with alternative forms of resistance.

'Fishleigh Captain', supreme champion at the recent Devon Cattle
Breeders Society Autumn-bull sale and show held at Exeter in
Devon, south west England. The 19-month bull, whose dam was
'Fishleigh Rose 13th' and sire 'Lufton Captain 5th', was bred by
Mrs. K.M. Matysiak, who farms with her husband in Devon and
Jamaica and has one of the world's largest herds of Devons.
The champion was sold for 2000 guineas to Mr. Bill Symons who
started a herd of pedigree Devons a year ago.
Average price at the sale worked out at 654.26 for 58 bulls com-
pared with 309 last Autumn and 542 last Spring. In a year
the average price for Devon bulls has more than doubled.

Mom is a mother.

If you ever try taking a puppy out of a new litter watch out. Mom
will bite. It's the protective instinct Mothers have. To protect you against life's
bullies. To pick you up, dust you off, heal the bruises and set you on your feet
again. Smiling.
We at Motor Owners Mutual. MOM for short, protect you against some
of life's biggest bullies fires, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, burglars, loss of
profits, accidents and many others that are likely to threaten you. We can't prevent
them from getting to you, but we will pick you up, dust you off, heal the
bruises and set you on your feet again. Smiling. With a very personal touch.
Without delay.
No Mom can do more.
We do have to make a small charge for this protection. Smaller than
most people, more often than not. But didn't your Mom ever ask you to dust
the furniture? Or wash the dishes? A small price to pay for a lot of protection.
And a lot of good advice.
You'd think with a name like ours that we'd sell Motor Vehicle Insurance.
We do. But that's just the beginning. There's a whole lot more to MOM. It's our
name: And our nature.
Come to Mom.

Motor Owners Mutual Inion Limited. 16A Half Way Tree Rd.. Kings 5.. -340
Motor Owners Mutual Insurance Association Limited. 16A Half Way Tree Rd.. Kingston S. rel. 92(>-3(40

Caribbean Farming

Volume 4 No. I

ore In


wIit mu.
You're in farming to make money. We are here to
help you. Our business is supplies and services to
livestock farmers everywhere in Jamaica. Service, to
you, is negotiations and representations to govern-
ment and allied industries for favourable prices for
the supplies you need and use, and better prices for
what you produce.
Service is keeping up with scientific developments
and advancements around the world that are
beneficial to you distributing this information,
and helping you to put it into practice.
Supplies to you cover a wide range of feeds,
medication and equipment to help make farming
easier, more economic and profitable, and available to
you anywhere in Jamaica.
It looks like we're in the same business!

Jamaica Livestock Association Ltd.
Newport East Kingston


Your programme may call for pasture improvement-
establishing improved varieties of grass, sub-divisions, or
providing continuous water supply to your dairy cattle to
increase milk production and earn you higher income.
Perhaps you wish to purchase additional cattle to
expand and improve your herd. Or you may wish to build
new stalls for your feedlot operations and grow more
choice meat for markets that pay premium prices for
highgrade beef.
You may even be thinking of getting into, or increas-

ing your acreage of citrus or coconuts to cash in later, on
stable domestic and export markets for these two crops.
Whatever your plans may be for Beef, Dairy, Citrus
or Coconut expansion, the JAMAICA DEVELOPMENT
BANK, with assistance from World Bank Loan Funds, is
now able to assist with long-term financing and expert
advice from our well trained staff.
We will be happy to work out a programme with you-
right out there on your farm.