JOHN DE E Agricultural
RUBBER WHEELED TRACTORS Chemicals
Yamada Supplies SUBSIDIARY OF
BRUSH CUTTERS a
Versatile Toft and
CANE REAPERS AND LOADERS prayers.
S pryers. LTD.
FREDERICK PARKER CRUSHERS & CEMENT 379 Spanish Town Road, Kingston 11
F I - -MIXERS Telephone:- 92-39251.
Caribbean Chemicals & Services (Jamaica) Limited
We are in constant touch with the latest developments
in animal breeding, feeding and marketing throughout
the world. And all this information is available to
our members free of cost
covering the dairy, beef, poultry, pig, horse and
small stock industries. In addition, we have qualified
and full-time Livestock Specialists, all committed to
serving you in the profitable development of our
Livestock and General
We have 7 outlets islandwide supplying farmers with the widest range
of feeds, drugs and farm equipment available in Jamaica
Our list of over 2,500 items covers everything you need
from rabbit feeds and vegetable seeds, barbed wire. antibiotics.
fertilizers, chemicals and baby chicks.. From racing saddles to
cattle dips, vitamins and water-boots whatever it takes to make
farming better and more profitable for yo Breeding, caring, rearing.
marketing the Jamaica livestock Association covers every
aspect of your livestock fanning operation..B ll
Above all else, we are a service organization, dedicated to
building a profitable livestock industry in Jamaica. In our
day-to-day operations we make available to farmers
throughoutthe nation convenient and accessible service,
supplies and advice to help them achieve their goals in the
business of livestock production.
The Jamaica Livestock Association Ltd.
Head Office: Newport East, Kingston, P.O. Box 36, Kgn. Phone: 922-0310-2, 922-7130, 922-5664, 922-5019, 922-6864.
Cables: 'Jalstock' Jamaica W.I.
Branches & Depots Islandwide
SPark Plaza Half Way Tree Mandeville OMay Pen Samme-la.Mar Christiana MI
PhMe: 92-1633 Phone: 62-2489 Phone: 9249: 2 Phone:r 9lM 1 Phone: 964-2365 Phonet95
JAMAICAN AQUALAPIA ........................... ...
Super Intensive Fish Farming
Making Money Farming Fish
Assistance For Fish Farmers
GROWING CROPS WITHOUT SOIL ........................
SUGAR TECHNOLOGISTS MEET ..........................
SFC: ALTERNATIVE ENERGY FEED SOURCES ..............
REGIONAL AGRICULTURAL PACKAGE APPROVED ..........
FARM TECH '85
AQUACULTURE JAMAICA OFFERS HIGH-YIELD TILAPIA ......
TECHNICAL GUIDE FOR PEANUT GROWERS ................
RESEARCH: CIAT MAJOR WORK IN RICE, CASSAVA ........
VIRUS-TESTED YAMS IN THE CARIBBEAN ....................
WINTER VEGETABLES EARN EXPORT DOLLARS ............
HIGH PERFORMANCE RICE HARVESTER ..................
CCT INTRODUCES REGULAR 3-DAY MIAMI-KINGSTON SERVICE
BLACK ROT ATTACKS JAMAICAN PUMPKINS ................
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NEW INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR TRINIDAD & TOBAGO .................. 28
OPEN LETTE R .................................................. 30
Stress-Resistant Sweet Potatoes
POST-HARVEST STORAGE OF YAM & SWEET POTATO ................... .32
JADF REPORT ..................................................33
Farmer's Primer on Growing Rice
CARIBBEAN FARMING is published with financial assistance from The Jamaica Agricultural
Development Foundation, four times a year, by Creative Communications Inc. Ltd., P.O. Box 105,
Kingston 10, Jamaica. Telephone: 92-74271. Telex: 2431 CARISHIP JA. Cable: CAROGAM JA.
MANAGING EDITOR: Tony Gambrill, EDITOR: Carol Reckord, SUB-EDITOR: Mike Jarrett,
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BRUMDEC Fish & Shrimp Farm (Aquaculture Jamaica Ltd.)
(photo by Paul Jellyman).
(See story on p. 191
'"- ~ht. _. .
P.O. Box 220
)5 CAN CO.
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A RO RACE
Farm Supply Company
We stock a wide variety of Herbicides, Fungicides,
Insecticides, seeds, fertilizers and feeds supplied by
world-famous companies such as ICI, Ciba-Geigy,
Ferry Morse, Peto Seed and others.
We are agents for an excellent range of agricultural
equipment from hand tools to knapsack, mist-
blowers and boom sprayers.
We provide technical services for all our products
and equipment, operating a repair and recondition-
ing workshop at our Kingston depot.
We offer a comprehensive range of farm, garden
and pet care products in small consumer packages
for retail shops, supermarkets, hardware stores,
and farm outlets.
"Serving Jamaica's farmers for over 50 years"
235 Marcus Garvey Drive. Kingston 11, Tel: 92-35675-7. 92-36843 M IT
2 River Bay Road, Montego Bay, Tel: 95-21022
Savannah Plaza, Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10, Tel: 92-68586
Hi-Tech Fish & Shrimp Farming
of HYBRID TILAPIA,POST LARVA SHRIMP, NURSED SHRIMP
*consultation on Shrimp and Fish farming available
marketing information available
our Hybrid Fish have five main advantages:-
LATER SEXUAL MATURATION
BETTER SHAPE AND APPEARANCE
HIGH PERCENTAGE MALE
Contact: Thomas Bloomfield (Marketing Manager)
Aquaculture Jamaica Limited
15 Hope Road, P.O. Box 360, Kingston 10, Jamaica W.I.
Tel: (809) 926-3670, 929-7466; Cable address "JABROILERS"
PRODUCERS OF JAMAICA'S PRIDE MOUNTAIN SHRIMP & FRESHWATER FISH
-~-~'.. :r:.lr .;:1
Creative Communications Inc. Ltd.
P.O. Box 105, Kingston 10, Jamaica
Telephone: (809) 92-74271, 92-76184
Telex: 2431 CARISHIP JA.
Cable: CAROGAM JA.
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Farmers all over the world and (from
what we are told) throughout the ages
ha.e found themselves in trouble when-
ever they respond to somebody's call to
grow more food. During the past few
months the vegetable growers of Trini-
dad have been looking sorrowfully at
rr .untains of watermelons, egg plant,
c; 'bage and tomatoes which they
p cited, watered, sprayed and now
c not sell.
ihe same thing has happened before
in Antigua with cucumber; in
( nada with cabbage; in Barbados with
s thing else.
Vhile we are at it, let us congratulate
t' Barbados Marketing Corporation for
p ducing its Basis Report on crop
p tings, price trends, supply situation,
r keting legislation. The Report is
a able at no cost from the BMC's
F- our Road, Bridgetown headquar-
t During the years to come, informa-
t: collected and passed on by the
B ; Report may well help Barbadian
ft. ers keep their production and
supply in line with the demand for their
Over the years some farmers in Carib-
bean countries have been protected
from the problems of surpluses. Our
bananas, sugar, cocoa, coffee and citrus
have almost always found a guaranteed
market overseas. Not surprisingly, pro-
ducts with a guaranteed market have
come to a point where they fetch a
price so low that farmers find them un-
Now some of our farmers are diversi-
fying. Pumpkin and egg plant, orna-
mentals and winter vegetables, sweet
potatoes and yams have joined the list
of export crops and some of them are
being produced on a rather large scale.
Of course they have to be grown on
an acreage scale that will justify the
setting-up of packing houses and
acquisition of refrigerated trucks and all
the production paraphernalia of com-
mercial enterprises supplying large
metropolitan markets. But this also
means that when something goes wrong,
the small-scale farmer can easily find his
traditional local market invaded by large
Caribbean Farming- July 1985
quantities of pumpkin or tomato or
egg plant coming from the bountiful
acres of his large-scale neighbour.
When this kind of surplus suddenly
appears, it need not be the end of the
world if it was foreseen and prepara-
tion made. Drying facilities and storage
space can rescue surplus root crops,
pumpkin and bananas for pig feed.
Processing plants can deal with toma-
toes and other perishables even
though they do not make as pretty a
ketchup as easily as the commercial pro-
cessor would like.
A great deal of this will be make-do,
low-profit compromise more worry
than it is worth, to those of us who
became accustomed to the spacious
days of the nineteen-fifties. Also this
situation means that there needs to be
much capital equipment over and above
the tractors, combines and packing
houses of the big and small farms.
But in these days of high unemploy-
ment and interest charges, low profits
and make-do must be a part of the story
if our economies are to survive. And, if
it is any consolation, in the big, rich
countries we are seeking to hold as
customers, farmers are battling for survi-
val in a predicament which may be
different from ours but just as real./A
SWINCORP IS ALWAYS
- rONE STEP AHEAD
\ Wincorp keeps in front of the competition
by providing the best in service, quality
and technology for animal feed ingredients,
feed mill management, nutritional and
INGREDIENTS & ADDITIVES
Customs Formulated Vitamin and Growth Promoters
Mineral Premixes Mold Inhibitors
Aminco Acids Feed Grade Phosphates
Coccidiostats Vitamin and Electrolytes Stress Packs
vAOJll O West Indies
AM FE ......| Nutritional Corp. Ltd.
ANIMAL FEED INGREDIENTS
38-39 Caracas Avenue, Kingston Export Free Zone
P.O. Box 112, Kingston 15, Jamaica, W.I.
Tel: (809) 923-6880, (809) 923-6885.
CABLES: WINCORP TELEX: 2394 WINCORP.
By Uzia Karlan General Manager
Since January 1984 Jamaican Aquala-
pia Limited has been marketing red
tilapia and St. Peter fish at one-pound
The Company's target is to sell 800
short tons during the last three quarters
of this year.
Besides the two varieties of tilapia,
secondary species include Israeli carp,
silver carp, freshwater shrimp, colos-
soma, and ornamental goldfish.
The fish farm, which is a multi-million
dollar joint venture between private
Israeli investors (who are providing the
technical management) and the National
Investment Bank of Jamaica Limited, is
located on the south coastal plain of the
parish of Clarendon, west of May Pen. It
stretches over 300 acres of deep clay soil
previously used for sugar cane. More than
half of this land is kept available for
expansion and is now used to cultivate
The company employs 45 people,
among whom are seven expatriates.
Construction of earth ponds "broke
ground" in March 1983. Sixty acres of
water are currently under production.
This area is to be increased to a total of
110 acres of ponds 1/8 2.5 acres each
before the end of 1985.
The facilities include concrete race-
ways used as spawning and holding tanks,
a hatchery having the capacity of produc-
ing one million sex-reversed fry per
month, sheds for workshop and equip-
ment storage, fish food silos, and a small
chilling unit for processing. One-thousand
-gallon stainless steel hauling tanks pulled
by 100 HP tractors are used to transfer
fish from pond to pond.
About 4,000 gpm of ground water is
available to the ponds, delivered by
irrigation electropumps previously used
for sugar cane. Drainage ditches carry
the used water to a reservoir from where
it can be repumped into the water supply
lines at desired rates after which it is
used for irrigation purposes in the nearby
vegetable farm. The ditches provide space
for drain harvesting the fish at the outside
valves of the ponds. One the bank of each
of these, electrical switchboards (to plug-
in paddlewheel-type aerators) are
supplied both by the public network and
by a farm back-up generator. Locally-
produced fish pelleted food is delivered
in bulk weekly from the feed mill. It is
distributed to the fish using demand
feeders made out of PVC pipe.
The first broodstock were imported
from Israel in May 1983. Since then the
farm has produced several generations of
its own broodfish and is self-sufficient in
fingerlings, except freshwater shrimp post
larvae which are purchased from local
hatcheries. Production systems of red
tilapia and St. Peter Fish are similar and
start with the collection of fry from %
acre spawning ponds a few weeks after
selected broodfish have been introduced.
Size-graded fry are moved into the
2,500 gallon hatchery fibreglass tanks
where they receive a steroid supple-
mented food for a month to sex reverse
them into an all-male population. This is
necessary because of growth related
reasons and to avoid uncontrolled spawn-
ing inside the production ponds.
Nursing in 1-2.5 acre ponds is accom-
plished in a polyculture system where
Israeli and silver carp (in some instances
freshwater shrimp juveniles and
colossoma) are grown at low density in-
side the same pond as the main species.
After one to three tilapia nursing cycles
of three to four months the secondary
species can produce a marketable size
The tilapia, on reaching a five-to-the-
pound size, are transferred to specially
designed V%- acre "Taiwanese" ponds
where they are grown to market size.
Large water exchange, bottom water and
organic debris release, circular current
and supplemental aeration using paddle-
wheel-type aerators allow stocking of the
fish at a density as high as 40,000 per
acre. When the closely-monitored growth
is declining, fish are transferred to
another freshly filled and disinfected
"Taiwanese" pond. The grow-out period
to market size is taking about five months
while the total time to bring a fry to a
one-pound fish is about ten months.
Similarly, as is done during the nur ing
period, fish are selectively seined from
the grow-out ponds as they get to :he
target size. Sorted fish are transfe.-ed
to small storage ponds where they rec ive
a maintenance diet and from which ey
are routinely cropped during pond-b nk
sales or for processing.
The present capacity of the farm to
market 20,000 Ib of tilapia weekly; his
figure will be increased progressive to
50,000 Ib next year.
Both red tilapia and St. Peter ave
firm, nice tasting, fleshy meat witl aut
the fishy flavour associated with o ler
freshwater fish. Ninety percent of the
total sales volume has been purch ied
locally at the pond banks by institute ns,
fish brokers and restaurants.
Ability to increase the volume o the
domestic sales will be expanded in :he
near future through direct deliver; to
customers using a refrigerated trt k..
The red tilapia, a good-looking 1 ole
fish, which is very competitive at e :ry
level with the marine red snapper nd
which has shown good acceptance' in
North American and Caribbean marl its,
will be progressively outphasing the ro-
duction of the other species in ordf to
increase the volume of export sales. -he
quick increase of the hatchery produce ion
of sex-reversed red tilapia fry and the
imminent ability of the farm to chill >ro-
cess and pack large quantities of its fish
are expected to bring about a significant
expansion of this type of sale. We a in
a position to supply local farmers anc the
export market with large quantities o red
Although the production is still inside
the initial pay back period and it is too
soon to draw economic concludions after
operating for one and one-half years
without any major technical or biological
problems, the projected rates of return
appear very promising, probably com-
parable to those of marine shrimp farm-
ing.ibbean Farming July 1985
Caribbean Farming July 1985
Aquaculture: Making Money Farming Fish
By Dr. Frank E. Ross
With the exception of Guyana,
Trinidad and Belize, th continental
shelves of the Caribbean states are
generally narrow (1-10 miles wide) and
heavily fished by traps and hand lines.
In some cases, such as Jamaica, the
stocks have been over-fished or are cur-
re-.tly at or near maximum yields. There
is little possibility of introducing short-
te:nr methods of increasing yields from
th ;e areas. Catches of migratory pelagic
sp zies are seasonal and also subject to
f! .tuations in quantity.
Traditionally large quantities of fish
( -;h, canned, dried-salted and pickled)
h i been imported by the countries to
ac -mmodate local demand. However,
tl trade is decreasing as a result of
ii easing prices on international markets
a. decreased availability of foreign
e iange for imports in the region.
therefore in some countries the
p ntial for culturing fish both in inland
p is and in cages in coastal bays are
b g investigated as a possible means of
s, lying the demand of local markets.
gnificant interest in aquaculture has
b generated in recent years in the
C bean region, where countries are
fe with rising populations and deteri-
Oi ig balance of payments situations.
A culture is therefore viewed from
tv perspectives: one, as a means of in-
cr ing available protein for local con-
su ,tion: and two, as a potential earner
of reign exchange.
;e culture of high-value animals
sui as marine or freshwater shrimp
is ing promoted for export to North
Ar ican and European markets as well
as ,r the discriminating palates in the
tou it industry.
ie potential for aquaculture develop-
met in the respective countries is there-
fore dependent not only on the physical
conditions (culture parameters) existing
in-country, but also on the market that
is b;ing targeted.
Water: Land based aquaculture
requires a lot of fresh water, whether for
pond culture or raceway systems. This
commodity is singularly lacking in most
of the small islands of the Caribbean.
Even on the larger islands such as
Jamaica, the development of pond
culture has been restricted in many areas
due to inadequate volumes of fresh water
or the impurity of some streams -
especially those flowing past sugar
factories or industrial plants which are
Caribbean Farming -July 1985
r-arvesting pona TIsn.
periodically polluted by effluent from
The use of brackish water for pond
based aquaculture is also problematic.
The mean tidal fluctuation in most of
the Caribbean varies between 0.5 and 1.5
feet. This means that coastal brackish
water ponds cannot be filled and drained
by tidal exchange, but require the use of
Evaporation from brackish coastal
ponds can raise salt levels in the pondsto
undesired levels and thus require dilu-
tion with fresh water or the regular ex-
change of considerable volumes of water.
In many areas the fresh water for dilu-
tion would not be available, and frequent
sea water exchange would dilute the
effects of any fertilizers added to the
system to increase the natural producti-
vity of the water.
In most of the smaller islands, the lack
of adequate supplies of fresh water and
the high rates of evaporation in the area
will effectively rule out the development
of land-based aquaculture.
Land: Availability of space for pond
construction is also a critical factor.
Ponds need to be constructed on fairly
level lands with at least 30% clay content
in the soil to adequately retain water. The
water retention capability of the pond
is particularly important where water
supplies are marginal.
Unfortunately, the best land for
(Cont'd on p. 12)
Farmers contemplating.Aquaculture as
an area of investment may., look to
The Caribbean Aquaculture Association
.(CAA) for vital information regarding
new techniques and developments.
The Association, established in 1982,.
has headquarters within the University
of Puerto Rico.
"The Association's main objectives are:
To foster common interests in
aquaculture and agriculture in
to develop .communication and
cooperation among aquaculturists
in the Caribbean;
to help coordinate aquaculture re-
search efforts in order to avoid
to encourage practical application
of research techniques in aquacul-
The Association now has 35 members.
Membership is for two years and is
offered to individuals and institutions.
The Association plans to promote'to
exchange of information among its mem-
'bers by publishing a newsletter from its
headquarters at the Department of
Marine Sciences, University of Puerto
Rico, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00708.
Secretary-treasurer .of CAA is Lievia
Growing Crops Without Soil
In the cool Stony Hill area above the
city of Kingston, Jamaica, surrounded by
houses of the well-to-do, modern tech-
nology is producing tomatoes, cucum-
bers and lettuce by the ton from one-
third of an acre of high-priced land.
This is one of the Caribbean's hydro-
ponic gardens where a large investment
in plastic materials, pumps, concrete
tanks and pavement takes the place of
tillage implements and hand labour to
grow top quality vegetables.
The development of bybrid seed of
vigorous, high-yielding varieties has en-
couraged skillful growers to grow plants-
under glasshouse conditions. With in-
creasing labour and land costs, some
investors are attracted to the new techno-
logy. Above all, bankers who are now-
ail& 4 N.1-
Ur. Hansel becKTora shows well-developed root
system of tomato seedling grown by soilless
adays better informed and less conserva-
tive than their predecessors are more
willing to put their money behind coura-
HYBRID SEED ADVANTAGES
This particular courageous investment
is doing rather well especially well for
a new operation. Dr. Hansel Beckford,
Managing Director of the owning Com-
pany, compares a yield of six tons of cu-
cumbers from one bay of his green-
house i.e. about one-fifteenth of an
acre with the nine tons per acre con-
sidered good yield in well-managed soil-
grown cultivation. Dr. Beckford
explained that this yield is achieved from
plants spaced no more closely than they
Stout, healthy tomato stems are supported by
plastic clips and twine to carry a heavy load of fruit.
would be if planted in soil and trained
on trellises out of doors. The greater
yield, he explains, is first of all bred into
the seed. The varieties recommended for
soilless culture are hybrid seed bred for
intensive conditions. An important
feature of the system is that each plant
gets all the nutrients it needs for high
yields. These nutrients are fed to the
roots in solution which at the same time
provides the water needed for healthy
growth a state not easily achieved in
Growing under a roof of corrugated
polyethylene provides protection against
torrential rain also serving to reduce
the amount of chemical insecticide and
fungicide needed to control pests and
The whole effect gives the grower a
control of production conditions almost
unattainable in conventional farming. As
Dr. Beckford puts it: "You can plan to
get into the market at a particular hour
any day of the year. Also you can plan
your production to peak when there is a
depression in the production of crops
grown in the traditional fashion."
Hydroponics or soilless culture is a
combination of techniques that have been
used separately or in some combination
for many years:-
Irrigation is standard practice where
water (and power to move it) are avail-
able to the farmer. In recent times the
development of trickle or drip irriga-
tion has brought water to the root of
the plant, replacing where possible and
convenient the sprinkler or. flood
systems of applying water. For crops
such as tomato and cucumber, dry leaves
and stems mean less risk of damage from
the moisture-loving foliage diseases.
Plant shelters have been used by
growers of delicate crops in one form or
another. Tobacco growers began long
ago to use cheese-cloth shelter to protect
seed beds. Palm leaves, slats and (especial-
ly in cold countries) glass or plastic
covered houses protect ornamentals and
soft, valuable vegetables against cold
winds, driving rain, hailstones and some
Highly soluble and complete fertili-
zers ensure that plants get all the
nutrients they need. Also the nutrients
are supplied in quantities that high-
yielding plants require and in forms that
do not allow one nutrient elemem to
create chemical reactions that "lock jp"
other nutrients into insoluble or un ,el-
Substitutes for soil have comply ted
the gradually-developing picture. Che, oer
plastic materials, increasing labour ind
power costs, better prices for spo ess
and attractive fruit all have contribute ted
to the increase of soilless method: A
most important contributing factor ias
been the persistence in the soil of r ot-
borne diseases such as verticillium mnd
fusarium wilt. The media used in h\ iro-
The lower end of the canals in which plant i )ots
are bathed in constantly-flowing nutrient sc ution
Plastic tubing returns solution to tanks belo ; floc
ponics are easier to sterilise and ca i be
changed whenever necessary at reason-
able cost. These media include peat, saw-
dust, gravel and, in the case of systems
such as the Stony Hill farm, the loots
of the plants do their work in a canal of
flowing nutrient solution.
PESTS AND DISEASES
The soilless culture method does not
protect growing plants from all pests and
Caribbean Farming July 1985
diseases. White flies are at least as great
a menace under cover as they are out of
doors. Spray programmes have to be
maintained but of course chemicals are
not washed off the plant foliage as they
are by rain on outdoor plants. Diseases
such as powdery mildew continue to
bedevil the garden especially because
the grower tends to select his plant
varieties for their high yield and market
quality rattler than for their disease resis-
NOT "LAZY MAN'S FARMING"
Soilless culture has been attracting
t'3 attention of garden produce farmers
i many parts of the world. In temperate
c mates of course, there is a real value in
; protection from low temperatures
rp vided by this system. By the same
t :en, enclosed buildings in tropical
r nates are plagued by high tempera-
1 es, which make the greenhouse an
i ubator for diseases and insects. Careful
( ;ervation and a knowledge of plant
i siology are most important and
method is certainly not any sort of
zy man's farming."
In the case of Dr. Beckford his train-
and experience as an agricultural
ntist come in very handy to this pro-
Anyone contemplating soilless cul-
1 as a commercial enterprise would
After flowing over the roots in their canals, the
nutrient solution is carried by gravity into under
-ground tanks, then re-circulated by pumps.
Solutions have to be tested regularly for acidity
be well advised to start on a very small
scale, read many books on the subject
and visit similar operations wherever
Not all hydroponics gardens are
housed under solid roofs. In many sub-
tropical and tropical areas, some
shelters are of plastic mesh keeping out
birds, moths and mice as well as reduc-
ing the amount of sunlight falling on the
plants. In other installations there is no
cover at all or a cover of wooden slats
to reduce the intensity of sunlight.
At the Stony Hill farm, Dr. Beckford
has a phase two operation under con-
struction. This will be a more open-air
affair and will use some of the lessons
learnt in the greenhouse.
Hydroponic methods are no complete
solution for vegetable growers as they
seem to be most effective for producing
the three crops grown at Stony Hill and
less so for other fruit and vegetables. In
the case of ornamentals, the soilless
culture method is likely to make good
headway especially up in the hills
where high temperatures can be better
Caribbean producers who are planning
ning to export to the United States will
have a special interest in this system. The
risk of importing soil-borne nematodes
and diseases has historically been high
in the consciousness of US plant qua-
Gardeners and farmers who are con-
sidering soilless culture as an investment
possibility have a growing literature of
excellent and practical text books and
periodicals as well as an increasing
number of supply houses stocking
materials and equipment. From time to
time Caribbean Farming will bring in-
formation on literature and equipment
to the attention of readers. A
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Caribbean Farming July 1985
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(Continued from Page 9)
pond-based aquaculture is also ideally
suited for other types of agriculture and
competition can be high.
In Jamaica some of the best lands for
aquaculture can be found on sugar es-
tates. The soil is good, topography is
gently rolling and water supplies are ade-
quate through streams and wells. How-
ever, gaining access to these lands has in
the past been difficult, even though cane
farming is a marginally productive ven-
One of the problems is that cane farm-
ing utilizes a lot of labour whereas aqua-
culture is not very labour intensive.
A similar situation exists in some of
the other territories.
In other areas the soil is too sandy to
support pond construction, or exists as a
thin layer over limestone or other types
This is particularly true in some of the
Coastal lands are generally under
mangrove swamps or earmarked for
tourism or urban development. In this
situations marine cage, raft or pen culture
may be the only feasible medium for
aquaculture, and even here conflicts
may arise with existing fishermen over
CULTURE SPECIES AND SYSTEMS
In the light of these constraints, what
then is the potential for aquaculture in
The first step is to identify the poten-
In Jamaica there is a large local market
for fish. Although the people prefer to
eat marine fish, there has been some con-
sumption of freshwater fish in the past.
In addition, the rising cost of marine fish
has enhanced the acceptability of good
quality, cheaper freshwater fish.
Jamaica has developed a pond-based
fish farming project using the silver perch,
Tilapia nilotica, targeted at the local
Most of the fish farms are on the
southern coastal plains.
The system used is monosex (all male)
culture, using visual inspection (hand
sexing) to separate the sexes.
The fish are stocked in ponds at
6,000 fish per water acre, fertilized with
inorganic high-phosphate fertilizers or
organic manures, and fed a locally
blended commercial ration. The ration
is approximately 30% Crude Protein and
blended using fish meal, soyabean meal
and wheat middlings, A commercial
vitamin premix is added.
The average yield, on a per acre basis
is 2,500 lb of fish every 12-13 weeks.
The fish average 0.5 Ibs in size.
Production cost is approximately
$2.65 per pound of fish.
The current retail price (farmgate)
is between $3.50 and $3.80 per pound.
The local market accepts a half-pound
size fish and the net returns are suffi-
ciently high to attract private sector
interest in fish farming.
Thre are currently over 1,000 acres
of fish ponds on the island.
While Jamaicans will accept a half-
pound fish, in some countries however,
the required market size is larger.
In Puerto Rico, for example, their
preliminary market studies show that
they require a one-pound size fish. There
is also a preferential market for fish
fillets especially in the tourist indus-
try. Growing the perch to this size in-
creases the cost, as well as the additional
processing cost to produce the fillets.
If this is the target market in your
country, then the cost of production may
make pond culture of perch uneconomi-
cal, unless the price differential yields an
adequate return on the farmer's invest-
In situations where the local market
dictates a higher priced product or where
a country is producing for export, pro-
ducers tend to turn towards the rearing
Shrimp culture possibilities are divided
between marine Penaeid shrimp culture
and the freshwater culture of Macro-
brachium rosenbergii. In areas where
Penaeid culture has been most successful,
such as in Ecuador, the majority of the
brood stock and postlarvae have been
gathered from the nearshore shelf and
then grown out in ponds.
Land based maturation and hatchery
techniques have just become commer-
The hatchery however is fairly com-
plex and expensive to build and operate.
For economic viability, a hatchery needs
to be supported by a minimum of 600
acres of growout ponds. This would be
a problem in many Caribbean islands.
There is, however, a ready market in
North America and Europe for marine
The greatest potential for shrimp cul-
ture seems to lie with the freshwater
The prawns are relatively easy to
mature and spawn in small hatcheries,
thus making smaller production systems
profitable. Studies have been carried out
on Caribbean species such as M. acan-
thurus and M. carcinus, but these have
exhibited slower growth and canni-
balism among the juveniles under culture
conditions. Since the technology for
culturing M. rosenbergii is readily avail-
able, it appears to be the most feasible
system to adopt.
Although freshwater shrimp com-
mands a price four to six times higher
than perch, it must be pointed out that
culturing shrimp is a higher risk opera-
tion than perch culture. For example,
shrimp is much more susceptible to poor
water quality or pollution. In addition,
with a crop time of seven to nine months,
the cash flow, especially for small farms,
becomes an important factor, and the
set up costs are also higher.
The potential for development for
aquaculture in the region appears far
greater in the larger islands and on-
tinental countries such as Belize jnd
Guyana. Relatively large. areas of lat
land and adequate supplies of fresh A ter
make these countries well suited for the
culture of freshwater fish and pra ns.
Pond culture of Penaeid shrimp in
coastal areas is also possible assure ing
the right hatchery technology is i ail-
The major hindrance to aquacu. ire
development in these countries wil be
cost of feed and equipment, linked ith
credit availability for developer nt.
Proper marketing linkages also have 1 be
put in place including processing f ili-
ties where necessary.
In the smaller islands, the pote :ial
for aquaculture is much more restrict d.
A paucity of available land sites nd
scarcity of water effectively rule out I rge
pond-based freshwater systems. In z mas
where water is available but land u is
restricted, the use of concrete race tys
and tanks may be possible. Howe er,
the high cost of constructing these ri e-
ways dictates that only the culture of
high value animals such as M. rosenb, gii
will be economically attractive.
Whatever the future direction of
aquaculture development in the reg )n,
there should be a pooling of resour es,
including technical personnel. Res !Its
of adaptive or original research car ied
out in one territory should be rea'lily
available to all.
We cannot afford to spend scarce
capital reinventing the wheel over and
over again. A
Caribbean Farming July 1985
Sugar Technologists Meet: Technological Advances
By Jerome C. Thomas
Mechanical harvesting is generally on
the increase in the Caribbean but very
few harvesters are designed for harvest-
ing unburnt cane.
Cane is harvested green in Barbados
and St. Kitts and the development of a
machine for the harvesting of green cane
in Barbados wae reported by Hudson and
They have developed a machine called
t "Centurion" which harvests whole-
s ck unburnt cane which is then left in
p 's of about 1/3 ton. The cane piles are
Sced perpendicular to the cane row and
t -refore can be loaded only by a 3600
c .e loader. However, the majority of
I ders used in Barbados and St. Kitts
S Broussard loaders and would be un-
& e to retrieve the cane.
The designers of the Centurion believe
t t the machine is performing well
e )ugh and they are attempting to iden-
1 potential customers and a suitable
Fhis was the subject of one of the
I :ers presented at the recent Sugar
hnologists Conference of the Sugar
A ciation of the Caribbean.
-he 22nd Conference was held in
7 idad March 4th. 8th., 1985 and
v attended by approximately 150 dele-
g s from the Caribbean, Latin America,
ti United States of America, England
a India. It was organized in two work-
ir sessions, for the field and factory
d, gates. Forty-five (45) papers were
p, rented by the field delegates in
tl- areas of soil and water, varieties,
m hanical harvesting, biological control,
w; d control, cane growth and matura-
tii plant pathology and diversification.
'he main aim of this report is to pre-
se, some of the major subjects that
wr e discussed by the field delegates
du.ng the conference.
SO:L AND WATER
Soil compaction particularly in the
he;vy clay soils is becoming a major
limiting factor to yields. This problem
is particularly associated with increased
mechanization. The effectiveness of soil
amendments was discussed.
The use of bagasse and filter mud as
soil amendments in Trinidad was evalu-
ated by Georges, Mohamed and Harvey.
Application of the amendments re-
duced bulk density, penetration resist-
ance and shear strength. Bagasse was
found to be more effective than the
filter mud because of its lower density,
greater porosity and higher water reten-
Caribbean Farming July 1985
Amidst Economic Uncertainty
Filter mud, however, gave higher
cane and sugar yields and this was attri-
buted to improved soil fertility due to the
phosporus content of the filter mud.
Low phosphorus levels were identified
for a large number of fields at Caroni,
Trinidad. Rock phosphate, a relatively
cheap unimproved natural source of
phosphorus, was compared with triple
super phosphate by Shand and Cooper.
They found that the rock phosphate
sources studied were associated with at
least similar corresponding increases in
soil and leaf phosporus levels.
The ripening patterns of 13 new
varieties in Trinidad were evaluated by
Thomas, Ferguson and Mason.
The majority of the varieties studied
were identified as late ripeners but it was
suggested that the cane quality during the
early harvest period could be improved if
varieties B-63118 and DB-513-62 were
introduced and harvested early.
The major commercial variety,
B-41227, generally has relatively poor
quality juice early in the harvest period.
Variety B-63118 has been found to
have good quality juice in Barbados and
St. Kitts and has recorded high yields in
many areas of Trinidad.
During the initial stages of varietal
selection, Brix is the main criterion used.
The influence bf sampling methods on
selection efficiency for Brix was studied
by Julien at the West Indies Cane
Breeding Station in Barbados. Very often
no fixed position on the stalk is used but
positions such as top, middle or base are
referred to. It was found that the mean of
five samples obtained from the fifth inter-
node below the lowest green leaf sheath
improved the efficiency of selection con-
It was indicated that a manual on pro-
cedures for selection would be produced
by the Station.
CANE GROWTH AND MATURATION
Severe yield declines have been ob-
served for sugar cane fields in Trinidad
and the present yields generally average
between 18 and 20 tons per acre. The
yield decline is believed to be due largely
to problems associated with the changes
from cambered beds to ridges and also
Mason suggested that most of the de-
cline could have been avoided if greater
attention was paid to basic agronomic
Micro-depressions caused by the
present method of land preparation result
in very poor run-off. However, the use of
lasers in land preparation was proposed
as a possible method for overcoming the
drainage problem and the technique in-
volved in the use of lasers in land forming
was demonstrated by a representative
from Rome Industries.
Yellow spot disease of sugarcane was
first observed in Trinidad in September
1981. Observations on the effect of
yellow spot disease on the sugar yield of
Trinidad's major variety, B-41227, in the
1984 crop were reported on by
Rampersad. He found that the effect on
canif quality as.determined by pol % cane
varied according to the time of harvest.
The higher levels of infection (over 15%
stalk infection) were associated with pol
% cane reductions in early December
1983 but the reduction decreased by late
December and was minimal by the middle
of January. It was therefore suggested
that yellow spot disease did not seriously
affect sugar yield of B-41227 in the 1984
Another disease of economical impor-
tance to sugar cane in the Caribbean is
smut. This disease has seriously affected
the varietal selection programme in many
territories and the mechanism for varietal
resistance has been studied by many
authors. Evidence to support the involve-
ment of physiological factors in the smut
resistance of nine sugar cane varieties
grown in Trinidad was given by Ramper-
sad and Brathwaite. They found that
the outer bud scales were involved in the
resistance of the susceptible and moder-
ately susceptible varieties studied because
removal of the outer bud scales caused
substantial increases in smut infection.
However, the removal of bud scales
before inoculation from the resistant
varieties caused only a small increase in
infection. Smut inoculation was found to
have resulted in decreases in sugar and
juice content and increases in fibre and
moisture content of two of the resistant
varieties. This indicated that the fungus
may have invaded the tissues but physio-
logical factors within the plant probably
suppressed smut whip production.
Resulting from the poor economic
state of the sugar industry, much atten-
tion is now being paid to diversification.
One diversification exercise has been
the establishment of the Sugarcane Feed
Centre (SFC) in Trinidad. The sugarcane
feeding done at SFC is based on zero-
grazed feed lot facility with a capacity
to accommodate 500 head of cattle. At
the SFC, they have developed systems of
feeding sugarcane and molasses as the
major components in the diet of rumi-
nants. The main feature of the present
system is the integration of animals with
sugar cane growing and the cyclical
return of waste to the land to sustain
Based upon the experience at the SFC,
a livestock complex consisting of 800
hectares of land has been proposed. The
long term goal as reported by Neckles
is 4,000 cows on 600 hectares of land
producing eleven million kg. milk per
The potential of processing bagasse
for use as ruminant feed was discussed
by Sankat, Osuji and Singh.
Research conducted in Trinidad demon-
strated that physical and/or chemical
treatment of bagasse enhanced its nutri-
tive value for ruminants with respect to
intake and digestibility. Chemical treat-
ment with sodium hydroxide and ammo-
nia was thought to offer the best oppor-
tunities for commercialization while the
potential of steam pressure process as a
physical method was recognized.
Although technologically there is a
future for the industry, the economic
future of the industry depends to a Irrge
extent on the world market price which is
greatly influenced by the decre: ed
demand for cane sugar. The import ,ce
of diversification has therefore been re-
cognised and was addressed by five pa irs
at the conference. It however app irs
that revolutionary ideas will have tc be
developed if sugar industries in the C. ib-
bean are to survive. A
(See references on Page 21)
SFC: Alternative Energy Feed Source,
The Sugarcane Feeds Centre is a pro-
ject of the Government of Trinidad and
Tobago. The Centre is located on Pokhor
Road, Longdenville in Central Trinidad'
on 150 acres of land cleared from second-
In a foreword, to the 1983 annual
report it is noted that the purpose of the
Centre, as contained in its Plan of Opera-
tions Phase III, is:
(i) To establish and demonstrate,
on an ongoing basis, the tech-
nical feasibility of feeding cattle
on rations consisting primarily
of sugarcane-derived feeds;
(ii) to determine the commercial
and economic viability of using
sugarcane-derived feeds for beef
and dairy production systems
and to assist in bringing about
the commercial application of
sugarcane feeding systems. and
(iii) to develop the sugarcane feeding
technology in Trinidad and To-
bago and to facilitate the trans-
fer of such technology within
Trinidad and Tobago and to
Floyd Neckles is Project Director of the
Sugarcane feeds Centre in Trinidad.
other countries where appro-
WORK AT SFC
Work at the SFC covers a fair spread,
from calf rearing to protein crop experi-
In its Calf Rearing programme, young
bull and heifer calves are purchased and
reared in individual crates on milk re-
placer and calf starter. Weaning is at 35
days of age and fresh chopped sugarcane
is then offered. Calves are kept up to 70
days of age and then transferred to ie
Animals in the cattle growth I 3-
gramme are fed to obtain the higi st
possible liveweight gains for the lov st
feed costs. Sugarcane, preserved c ie
(silage), and bagasse are the only rot 1-
age sources used. Protein contain ig
supplements such as dairy ration and s ,a
bean meal, must be fed along with c )e
to form a balanced diet. Other sou as
of energy and protein: corn, broken e
and molasses, are also fed. The m as
pre eventually slaughtered and ie
females bred and resold to farmer, or
kept for the SFC dairy operations.
Sugarcane is harvested daily and he
normal weeding, moulding and feri;iz-
ing is practised.
The collected manure, when pumped
on to the fields, has reduced fertilizer
expenses, increased yields and improved
soil structure. Average annual yield of
sugarcane treated in this way is 80 tonnes
(whole plant) per hectare.
Sugarcane is grown on 38 hectares
Caribbean Farming July 1985
(84 acres) and leucaena on 4/ acres at
Leucaena, better known as wild
tamarind, has been identified as a pos-
sible protein source for cattle and small
feeding trials have been done by the
Sugarcane Feeds Centre. The success of
this programme would allow for less im-
portation of high cost protein supple-
ments like soya bean.
The sugarcane fields irrigated with
manure slurry from the animals yield 58%
more cane than the non-irrigated fields.
Yields have been as high as 54 tons per
ac ? (cane stalk and tops).
The yield has supported over 13 head
o cattle per hectare (2.2 acres). A large
b ,ker silo at the Centre has become a
v: able feature of the system.
;ugarcane is harvested with a tractor-
d .n corn-forage harvester, modified
b' the staff for use with sugarcane. The
sii is loaded during dry weather so that
tr, tors need not be put into wet fields
t( damage the crop. Also, cane is
h ested when the dry-matter content
is a level suitable for ensiling and feed-
bout one-half of the cane grown at
ti Centre was made into silage about
nd, as mentioned, significant work is
Cattle are fed all their rations in buildings such as this at SFC.
being carried out with the leucaena, albeit
on a relatively limited scale.
At the Dairy Unit cows are individu-
ally or group fed on sugarcane and the
protein supplement according to their
levels of milk production. Milking is done
And, as of February 1983, a sheep
rearing sub-project was established.
Weaned rams were obtained from the
Blenheim Sheep Project, Tobago for in-
tensive rearing on sugarcane based diets.
It is expected this work will expand and
ENTERPRISE ECONOMIC ANALYSIS
Various farm activities are examined
by the SFC and all necessary resources
identified in terms of man and equip-
(Cont'd on p. 16)
In heavy duty vehicles and equipment:
OUR BRAND NAMES CARRY WEIGHT
Jamtrac is even older than independent Jamaica. For years...
we have been the distributors of leading name brands in Heavy
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We supply the best names in the business and provide excellent
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Tractors, Lift trucks, Earth-moving Cranes and Hoists Harrows
Equipment and Diesel engines
Asphalt and Crushing Equipment
Caribbean Farming July 1985
Highway Trucks Diesel Engines
379 Spanish Town Road,
Water buffalo on feed at the Sugarcane Feeds Centre.
ment hours and cost. The main goal is to
obtain specific information of each
activity and from this create farm models
that commercial farmers can apply.
In its small scale farm project, the
SFC works with farmers who are willing
to have their farm activities monitored
and their performances assessed.
At present the Centre works closely
with eight farmers (mainly from the
State Lands Development Projects) and
informally with several others. Some
dairy farmers have adopted the use of
ing of the technology of sugarcane feed-
Experience with feeding animals at
the Centre has led to the preparation of
models for a beef feedlot for 500 head of
cattle and for a dairy herd of 100 cows.
The annual report presents tables showing
cash flow, machinery and labour equip-
ments and economic analyses for both
models. The report describes the beef
TABLE 1 RELATIVE CHANGES OF DM AND BRIXo OF SUGARCANE
(B41227) USED FRESH OR ENSILED (COMMERCIAL SILO)
IN THE FIRST MONTHS OF 1983 (SFC ANNUAL REPORT
FEB. MAR. APR. MAY JUNE JULY AUG.
Source: Sugarcane Feeds Centre
29.0 34.0 35.1 37.1 33.2 26.1
15.5 20.3 22.3 22.4 17.2 12.2
sugarcane as a feed, especially in the
dry season when other green forages are
scarce. Other farmers are using sugarcane
year-round to grow animals for beef
Through extension activities, contact
with agricultural professionals within and
outside the Caribbean region is main-
tained. Such activities now include annual
workshops; open house days; regular
visits by agricultural organizations and
groups have also served to inform the
public of activities and for demonstrat-
feedlot model as commercially viable with
an internal rate of return of 12%. The
dairy model indicates a capital cost
(machinery and equipment, buildings,
land, animals) of $885,000 operating
expenses of $441,000 gross revenue of
$582,000 and margin of $141,000.
Visitors are welcome at the site to see
the operations Monday to Friday be-
tween the hours of 9:00 a.m. and
2:00 p.m. It is advisable that groups
intending to visit make suitable arrange-
ments in advance. A
29.0 31.3 29.6 28.4 32.1 31.2
- N.A. 11.1 8.7 15.4 16.4 13.6
CARICOM Agriculture Ministers,
meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, yesterday
approved a package of decisions for the
From 1st June, there will be iew
marketing arrangements for primary :gri-
cultural products and livestock.
Some fifty-four (54) commodities vill
now qualify under the new arrangem its,
The Agriculture Ministers earlier i ade
recommendations to the April Corr ion
Market Council on these new mark .ing
arrangements. The Agriculture Min m ers
also reviewed other related matters r err-
ed to it by the Council.
The Ministers discussed a ran( of
other agricultural issues affecting the
a) the sugar market;
b) coconut production;
c) livestock; and
Some regional agricultural institL ons
produced reports on their current we : in
the areas of projects, production re-
search and training.
This Eighth Meeting of the Agrici ure
Ministers examined proposals for m .ing
better use of the resources of int na-
tional organizations operating in the
Some twelve Member States o4 the
Community, along with the Obs :ver
State of Haiti, attended the met ing.
Regional institutions represented tere
the University of the West Indies (L VI),
the Caribbean Food Corporation (C C),
the Caribbean Development Bank (C JB),
the Caribbean Agricultural Researcl and
Development Institute (CARDI) an: the
Regional Programme for Animal H alth
The Jamaica Agriculture Ministe., Dr.
Percival Broderick, is the current Chair-
man of the Standing Committee of
CAR ICOM Ministers responsible for Agri-
Caribbean Farming-July 1985
We Rose to the Occasion
i i i i iL .-
"The market was wide open. In our first year we exported over 600,000 blooms. We've proven that Jamaican-grown roses
can stand up to competition on the world market.
Mr. Stafford Burrowes, Managing Director, Blue River Farms Limited, Clarendon
The entire Jamaican agri-business sector is ripe for the investor who wants to reap profits,
especially in the non-traditional crops. The Agri-business Division of the Jamaica National
Investment Promition Limited is staffed by experts who can advise you on anything from
suitable lands to temperature ranges. Our investment and technical information are available
to you at no charge.
. . .
JDB Building, 15 Oxford Road. Kingston 5, Telephone: 929-7190 5
Mutual Life Building. 30 Market Street, Montego Bay. St. James. Telephone: 952-3420
Farm Tech '85
Dr. Philip Lecky in the show-ring at the FARM-TECH '85 Exhibition.
left Mr. Henry Rainford and Mr. Michael Manley.
At Miss Mable Tenn, Chairman of the FARM-TECH '85 steering commit,
S(left) Dr.. Lawrence Wilson of UWI and Dr. Eugene Terry of IITA.
During the last week of January this
year, an imaginative and hard-working
team presented FARM-TECH '85 a
combination of farm show and seminar
that attracted international support and
drew attention to the possibilities and
problems of farming in Jamaica.
The idea developed in the faculty of
agriculture on the University's Saint
Augustine campus in Trinidad. A group
of faculty members headed by Professor
Lawrence Wilson successfully mounted
AGRO-TECH '83 in Trinidad and also
planned and carried out the first Carib-
bean region workshop on tropical root
crops in Jamaica.
With that experience and that success
behind them, the group came to Jamaica
in 1984 and were easily able to persuade
several local people to join in planning a
Jamaican version of AGRO-TECH '83.
Miss Mable Tenn, a director of Grace,
Kennedy's agricultural activities, headed
the steering committee which planned
FARM-TECH '85. Dr. Wilson and his
colleague Dr. Theo Ferguson were co-
chairmen of the executive committee.
Generous financial support came from
local and overseas public and private
agencies. Executive secretary for the
combined operation was Dr. Huntley
Manhertz of Data Resource Systems
International. Jamaica Livestock Asso-
ciation and its managing director Henry
Rainford were among the leading private
enterprise elements that contributed to
the success of FARM-TECH '85. With
its tremendous demonstration and edu-
cational value, the exhibition-seminar
proved to be precisely the stimulus that
Jamaica's battle-weary farming commun-
ity needed at a critical time.
FARM-TECH '85 provided inform-
ation in a number of forms. There were
the daily demonstration-talks each day
from January 25 to the end of the month.
The subjects ranged from floral arranging
to craft work, energy conservation in
the home and use of local foods.
There was plenty for the home garden-
ers in orchid growing, beekeeping, pest
control and foliage plants. Commercial
farmers had the opportunity to learn
about growing peanuts, irrigation
methods, small scale machinery. Do-it-
yourself people were provided for in a
number of sessions. Including the video-
tape shows there were more than forty
lecture-demonstrations during the six
days at the National Arena.
The floor space of the Arena was
take up with dozens of show booths
where most of the usual Denbigh stall-
holders put on a special display. The
farmers' groups Jamaica Agricultural
Society and Jamaica Livestock Associa-
tion had their goods and services ad-
vertised in the way Jamaica's show-goers
have come to know and enjoy.
Commodity associations were there in
force. Agricultural and Vocational train-
ing institutions had in their company a
distinguished visitor from overse; -
the International Institute of Trc ical
Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria. ere
were commercial firms demonstration ind
advertising drip irrigation equipi nt,
vegetable seed, farm machinery, fer ser
and agricultural chemicals. Each d, of
the exhibition saw a crowd of adult ind
school-age visitors coming from all ver
Jamaica and a fair number of folk am
many countries. CARIBBEAN F/ :M-
ING is happy to record the visit t( the
exhibition of Dave Romney, a foui ing
member of the team which started his
paper. If the turnout of visitors vas
impressive, the energy and number of
people who gave active and cheerfu ;er-
vice was something to make our ind try
proud. From the cheerful, veteran ve-
stock breeder Dr. Philip Lecky tc the
newest teenager helping for the first me
to man a stall, the gusto and high s, rits
of the people 'minding the store' illy
complemented the variety of the dis iay-
ed goods and the high level of the tec ino-
The ingenious designers who pla ned
the floor layout for the exhibition ,'ena
managed to find space for a mini sho.vring
where each day there was a paradci of
Jamaica's finest cattle and goats. Cattle
are a reliable drawing card for any snow
- the care and labour required to load
and haul these animals to and from their
home pastures were rewarded by the
size of the appreciative crowds that saw
the parades. (Cont'd on p. 29)
Caribbean Farming July 1985
Aquaculture Jamaica Offers High-Yield
A highly successful company which
has been a pioneer in poultry meat pro-
duction is turning its attention to pond
Aquaculture Jamaica Ltd. is an asso-
ciate company of Jamaica Broilers Ltd.
The new company has its ponds, hatchery
and offices at Barton Isle in the upper
reaches of Jamaica's largest river the
Aquaculture Jamaica is using one of
t-, techniques that built the broiler in-
d- -try worldwide the crossing of pure
b' eds to produce hybrids which out per-
fc n their parents in growth rate and
ft d conversion. In this case the fish
p ants are a Tilapia species known as
a ea for the male line and Tilapia nilo-
t: for the female line. The grandparent
s; :k came from Israel as did much of
ti technology that built the Company.
EB TER SHAPE, APPEARANCE
n conventional fish farming, about
e al numbers of males and females are
h hed as is the case with most
a. ials. However this fish hybrid very
o tingly produces 90-95% of males -
I ilapia aurea male pure line
Tilapia nilotica female pure line
making unnecessary the process of sexing
so as to prevent too much multiplication
in ponds. Separating male from female
fry is a laborious job for fish farmers -
S Isn't it time
AGROCON provides a comprehensive
range of consulting services to all
sectors of agriculture from the
planning and financing stage through
project development, implementation
and management to evaluation. Our
clientele includes small and large
enterprises, local and regional
governmental agencies, community-
based organizations and multi-
5 Ardenne Road,
Kingston 10, Jamaica, W.I.,
Tel: (809) 92-78315, 92-77060.
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MINVIELLE & CHASTANET LTD.
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29 TOBAGO AVE., KINGSTON 10, JA. TEL.: 926-8018
Caribbean Farming -July 1985
and on typical farms the females are
The Company claims other advantages
for their hybrid. It has a better shape
and appearance and there is greater ease
of recovery from ponds because the
hybrid does not burrow in mud at the
bottom of the pond.
Using another method borrowed from
high-tech poultry and pig breeding, Aqua-
culture Jamaica holds the grand parents
of the hybrid fish in its own ponds -
selling to farmers only males of the
aurea species and only females of the
About 300 pairs of the parent stock
are needed by the customer to stock a
one-acre pond with fry. Pure line brood
stock can be used for several years,
according to the Company's production
manager, Rawle Tyson.
Farmers interested in knowing more
about these hybrid fish are welcome at
the Barton Isle Farm. The Company also
offers technical advice to fish farmers
who wish to grow their hybrid stock. A
Technical Guide For Peanut Growers
By Horace Payne
Research workers of the Caribbean
Agricultural Research and Development
Institute (CARDI) have spent a great deal
of time in the past few years studying
peanut production in various islands of
the Caribbean and farmers would do
well to keep in touch with their agricul-
tural extension officers for new informa-
tion that comes up from time to time.
Peanut production should not be con-
sidered as a separate enterprise but
should fit into the over-all rotation of
crops and general farm planning. Timing
is important and all the needed equip-
ment and chemicals should be bought and
stored on the farm before the seed is
Valencia is a small-seeded type (averag-
ing 80 kernels per ounce of seed) that has
proven merit. Its bright red testa and ex-
cellent flavour give it a strong market
preference in Jamaica. Its popularity
among farmers comes from its vigorous,
erect, bunchy growth habit and early
maturity (less than 105 days). This allows
the small-scale farmer to fit this crop
easily into crop rotations under rain-fed
conditions. This variety shows strong
resistance (tolerance) to the disease com-
plex local to Jamaica late leaf spot
(Cercospora personata) and rust (Puc-
Large-seeded types (40-50 kernels per
ounce) with spreading bunch habits are
also suitable for conditions in Jamaica
- but they require 110-115 days to
maturity. ALTIKA and N C No, 2 are
Runner types are not recommended
where irrigation water is not available -
as they require up to 145 days to ma-
turity and are unsuited to the short rain-
fall periods usually experienced in some
In recent years some 90 selections
from several peanut-producing countries
and selections from the International
Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid
Tropics (ICRISAT) at Andra Pradesh,
India are being examined. The yield of
some of these surpasses that of Valencia
(more than 5,000 Ib compared with
3,000 Ib per acre under small-plot ex-
It will be necessary to evaluate the
more promising cultivars under a wide
range of ecological and management
conditions before any release is made.
Farmers are therefore advised to stick
to Valencia for the time being in view
of its proven production record.
GUIDELINES FOR PRODUCTION
Reap sections of the field with best
crop performance ahead of and se-
parately from general area of com-
Do not window. Hand pick :he
largest full nuts. Sell all small nuts
with the remaining crop.
Sun dry choice nuts by themsel es
for four days. At this stage the -r-
nels rattle when nuts are shak n.
Reserve 100 Ib of nuts for e ;h
acre of land you plan to put in r xt
Place selected nuts in onion L gs
and store in well-ventilated dry id
secure shelter. The seed r :m
should be kept clean with its in de
borders treated with an insectic !e.
Provide for control of rats id
mice. Nuts must be stored in he
shell. Store away from chemical
Shelling should be done just be re
planting. Hand-shell for small ar is.
Use shelling machine for I ge
quantities of seed.
2 Machine harvesting of peanuts a demonstration.
Caribbean Farming July 1985
Select full large and medium ker-
nels for planting. All small, dis-
coloured, mouldy, shrivelled
kernels are to be rejected. Graded
seed improves the performance of
Dust selected seed with Ortho-
cide (50% captain) 4 oz per 100 lb.
Plant as soon as possible after shel-
ling. Avoid exposure to sun.
S'te selection and preparation.
Peanuts need well-drained, light-
coloured soils of good structure
such as sandy loams and loams of
fair to good fertility. Avoid heavy
or black soils that stick to the nuts
or discolour them.
Select flat or gently sloping land.
Have soil treated and practice crop
rotation. Avoid badly weed-infested
land by planting a cleaning crop
such as maize (corn) before the pea-
Remove coarse plant residues
before ploughing. Try for a culti-
vated depth of 20 cm.
After ploughing, allow soil to wea-
ther for two weeks before harrow-
ing. Avoid low spots in field. Rota-
vate field for a fine tilth and level.
cablishing the crop
v Time of planting must be such that
periods of maturity and harvest
coincide with the periods of ex-
pected dry weather. Planting should
be done in moist soil with seed
spaced 6 in. apart in rows 18 in.
apart. If irrigation is available,
apply water immediately after seed-
Fertilizer may be spread and turned
into the soil just before seeding -
or it may be applied in a band be-
side the seed rows. On alluvial soils
300 Ib per acre of 7-14-14 has been
effective while on bauxitic soils the
same quantity of 12-24-12 has
given good results. Application
rates should be guided by soil test.
Gypsum Powder should be applied
over the plants in the row about
six weeks after planting. 500 Ib per
acre has given good results, applied
at first flowering.
Pre-emergence herbicide mixtures
of Gesagard 50% and Dymid at two
Ib each in 40 gallons of water per
acre have given good control for
more than six weeks when applied
Caribbean Farming -July 1985
Reaping peanuts on a small-scale farm.
to moist soil immediately after the
first irrigation but before the seed-
Inter-row cultivation and hand
weeding should be done before the
rows close in. Avoid disturbing
Insect and disease control
Begin spray programme early. Cocktail
mixtures of insecticide/fungicide/sticker
allow spray frequency to be two applica-
tions the first about two weeks after
the seedlings emerge and the second
about a month later, just before the rows
close in and after inter-row cultivation.
No advantage is gained by spraying during
the four weeks before harvest.
Standard products such as Sevin,
Malathion or similar insecticide and
fungicides such as Dithane M45 at recom-
Rat bait should be set where neces-
Although peanut with its vigorous
root system can stand dry weather, the
crop responds well to irrigation. Begin
immediately after planting, irrigate every
seven days if there is no rain. Apply one
inch of water by overhead sprinkler at
each application during the first month.
During the second and third months of
growth, irrigate every ten days, increas-
ing the interval to fourteen days and the
water applied to 11/ in.
Stop irrigating after three months so
that the field dries out for reaping.
Lifting trials, and harvesting
After ninety days uproot a few plants
each week to check for maturity. When
the crop is ready for reaping, use a peanut
digger and thresher if available.
Gleaning for recovery of loose nuts
is generally uneconomical.
Sun dry nuts for four days, clean and
sort, removing dirty and cracked nuts.
Dispose of crop promptly. A
Mr. Payne is a research agronomist with
the Caribbean Agricultural Research &
Development Institute (CARDI). He is
based in Jamaica.
From Page 14.
REFERENCES Papers presented at the 22nd
Sugar Technologists Conference, Trini-
Georges, J.E.W., Mohamed, M.S. and Harvey,
W.O. (1985). The reduction of soil com-
paction by sugar cane by-products used
as soil Amendments.
Hudson, C and Scott, D. (1985). Development
of the Centurion wholestick harvester.
Julien, I.W. (1985). Influence of sampling
methods on selection efficiency for brix.
Mason, G.F. (1985). Growth, yield and juice
quality of sugar cane in Trinidad.
Neckles, F.A. (1985). Livestock production of
a diversified sugar industry in Trinidad
Rampersad, E.M. (1985). Observautons on the
effect of yellow spot disease on sugar
yield of variety B41227 in 1984 crop.
Rampersad, E.M. and Brathwaite, C.W.D.
(1985). Evidence to support the involve-
ment of physiological factors in the smut
resistance of nine varieties of sugarcane
grown in Trinidad and Tobago.
Sankat, C.K., Osuji, P.O. and Singh, R.H.
(1985). Improving the commercial utilis-
ation of bagasse ammonia treatment.
Shad, C.R. and Cooper B.R. (1985). Sugar cane
response to applications of rock phos-
phorus in a tropical inceptisol.
Thomas, J.C., Ferguson, T.U. and Mason, G.F.
(1985). Ripening patterns of new sugar
cane varieties in Trinidad.
CIAT- Major Work
In Rice, Cassava
International research institutions are
playing a growing part in the develop-
ment of Caribbean agriculture. One of
these useful institutions is Centro Interna-
cional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT),
the International Centre for Tropical
Agriculture, with headquarters in Cali in
the South American republic of
CIAT is a non-profit organization
devoted to the agricultural and economic
development of the lowland tropics.
The government of Colombia has
furnished for CIAT a 522-hectare (1148
acre) site near Cali. Funding for the
Centre is provided by the governments of
fourteen countries and a number of
CIAT's programmes include research
and training in rice, beans, cassava,
tropical pastures. The Centre also pro-
duces and distributes basic seed of
selected crops to government depart-
ments, research and development agencies
and similar groups.
CIAT 1984 is a summary report of
the work done by the Centre between
1977 and 1984. The 96-page Report is
typical of the carefully-prepared and pro-
fessionally-presented literature for which
CIAT has become well-known. In this
issue of Caribbean Farming we carry
summaries and extracts on two of CIAT's
CIAT has developed and distributed
high yielding, dwarf varieties which were
grown on 76% of the irrigated rice land
in the Region in 1981-82. These varieties
are also grown on many thousands of
acres of upland rainfed rice land.
It is estimated that high yielding
varieties have increased production in the
region by about 1.2 tons/hectare (0.5
tons/acre). Co-operative work between
CIAT and Instituto Colombiana de
Agriculture (ICA), the Colombian Agri-
cultural Institute, has led to the develop-
ment of the CIAT/ICA rice varieties
CICA 4 (1971). CICA 6 (1974), CICA
7 and CICA 9 (1976) and CICA 8 (1978).
These varieties have been adopted by
several other countries of Latin
America; some have had their original
lines released under other names. Im-
proved varieties such as CICA 8 can
achieve five tons/hectare (2.2 tons/acre)
under irrigation with good manager.lent.
Important production constraints
found in several areas where irrigated
rice is produced include rice blast (Pyri-
cularia oryzae), the hoja blanca virus,
leaf scald (Rhynchosporium oryzae),
brown spot (Helminthosporium oryzae),
and sheath blight (Thanatephorus cucu-
meris). Other constraints include iron
toxicity on some acid soils, lodging, low
temperatures in several rice-producing
countries, and lack of suitable grain
The plant hopper (Sogatodes oryzi-
cola), also the vector of the hoja blanca
disease, is the most important insect
pest on rice throughout the region.
Under upland production conditions,
many of the above problems occur more
frequently and exert more serious pres-
sures on plant growth and yields. Upland
Machines such as this transplanter have been
developed for the small-scale rice grower.
rice has an additional group of constraints
resulting from environmental stresses:
drought, and soil problems resulting from
mineral deficiencies or toxicities.
Resistance sources are available for all
major production constraints. The task
is to select and incorporate them in
proper combinations for production sys-
tems of a given area. One important
example is rice blast which is a problem
in many areas of Latin America.
This disease can affect both the foliage
and the panicle of the plant, and yield
losses are estimated to average 15 to 20
percent. The pathogen is able to develop
virulent races and attack resistant genes
in new varieties. Accordingly, new varie-
ties seldom last more than three or four
years before their resistance breaks down.
The Programme has employed several
breeding and evaluation techniques in
continuing to produce blast-resistant
germplasm. All breeding materials
generated by the Programme from F3 on-
wards are planted for evaluation under
upland conditions. Blast, and other
disease., are more severe under upland
environments and conditions.
After rice, maize and sugar cane,
cassava is the most important carbo-
hydrate crop grown in the tropics.
Until ten or twelve years ago, little
research had been done to improve and
record knowledge of the crop how it
grows; to what degree yields may be
increased by breeding and better manage-
ment; how the crop can be processed and
used more effectively.
Among international agricultural
research centres, CIAT is responsible for
improving cassava production technology
for Asia, Latin America and the Carib-
The International Institute for Tro-
pical Agriculture (IITA) works with the
crop in Africa.
As with other crops in the CIAT oro-
gramme, samples of varieties were col-
lected from all over the tropical world
and tested for various useful qua cities
such as disease resistance, high field
and tolerance to unfavourable c ndi-
tions. Researchers know that cassav has
high yield potential but, unlike r any
other crops, cassava does not always give
high yields with conventional ir )uts
such as increased plant popular )ns,
higher fertility levels and irrigation.
BETTER FIELD METHODS
The CIAT cassava team recog. zed
that better, more stable yields 'ere
possible in the short term if farmers sed
improved cultural practices. Incl Jed
among these practices were stake lec-
tion, weed control, planting dei ity,
and intercropping relationships.
Cassava has no organized "seed in-
dustry; instead, farmers plant cem
pieces from the previous crop. TV of
cassava's most feared diseases ci ;ava
bacterial blight and African rr saic
disease are transmitted on inf :ted
CIAT workers found that pla ting
disease-free cuttings obtained after
careful selection and propagation ,ch-
niques will delay the onset of a s /ere
infection and, in some instances, ven
eliminate the disease. The proce lure
has been used in Brazil, Colombia, C iba,
and Malaysia to produce bligh" free
Farmers in Costa Rica and the C jice-
donia area of Colombia have eradicated
the disease by planting only bligh -free
stakes. Least cost mixtures of fungicides
and insecticides that protect stakes Trom
the suprelongation disease, soil
pathogens, and surface pests such as
scales, mites and mealybugs have also
At recommended planting densities,
cassava is slow to cover the ground sur-
face with a canopy. Research proved that
properly timed weedings during the
Caribbean Farming -July 1985
first three to four months of growth
can raise yields. Even when labour was
scarce, two properly spaced weedings
helped boost yield to 77 percent of that
obtained from a cleanly weeded field.
Proper planting densities were also de-
termined based on the variety grown and
whether the crop is for fresh consump-
tion or starch production.
Cassava growers in various locations
have picked up the package of simple,
cheap cultural practices.
Cuban scientists modified the prac-
tices and adopted this so-called "Colom-
bi'n System" to increase cassava yields
or. state farms from 7 to 20 tons per
h:tare in four years, while decreasing
p Auction costs per hectare and per
In Mexico, small farmers are obtain-
ir yields of over 20 t/ha, using CIAT
tt inology modified by Mexican scien-
t s for local conditions.
Other important cultural practices
h e been developed during recent years.
Forty percent of the cassava produced
o r the world comes from intercropped
s. :ems. Over the past seven years, CIAT
h developed the basic management
p :tices for producing cassava in asso-
c: 'on with grain legumes (common
b is, cowpeas, and peanuts) and maize.
F lings involve relative plant popula-
tions spatial arrangements, relative plant-
ing dates, fertilizer practices, and weed
control. Land Equivalent Ratios of 1.2
to 1.8 have been obtained in efficient
systems, indicating that one unit area
can produce almost twice as much in
total products in intercropping as in
Long-term studies on nutrient needs
showed that although cassava is relative
tolerant of low fertility, soil acidity, and
high levels of aluminium, it does respond
well to fertilization. Table I shows the
very significant yield advantage of a
CIAT bybrid over a local variety grown
on an infertile soil. Even without ferti-
lization, yields of the hybrid were twice
those of the local cultivar, and the hy-
brid responded very well to a low level of
Cassava has a high requirement of
phosphorus and a rather low nitrogen
requirement. Potassium fertilization is
necessary to maintain soil fertility and
produce good yields of high-quality
cassava. The major elements generally
should be applied annually in continuous
cropping. Cassava also responds to lime
on acid soils, but overliming can induce
minor element deficiencies. The most
common minor problem is zinc deficien-
cy. Treating stakes with a zinc solution
before planting overcomes the problem.
Soil-living mycorrhizal fungi which
associate with and aid plant roots in
taking up phosphorus were found to be
essential for cassava production. This new
avenue of research in the programme-
has shown native mycorrhizal popula-
tions to vairy greatly in their effective-
ness. In one case where an effective
strain was inoculated into soil containing
an inefficient native strain, cassava yields
increased 90 percent. Field trials on a
broader scale indicate that inoculation
with more effective strains can probably
increase cassave yields in the order of
Work is underway to classify some
400 mycorrhizal strains already collected
for their general or specific effectiveness.
Researchers also are seeking better under-
standing of relationships between strains,
and between various strains, different
soils, and the cassava plant.
Our next issue will deal with other
research activity reported in CIAT 1984.A
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Caribbean Farming -July 1985
Virus-Tested Yams In The Caribbean
The five major species of yams in the
Caribbean region D. rotundata, D. escu-
lenta, D. cayenensis and D. alata and
D. trifida are affected by viruses.
Surveys carried out by Caribbean
Agricultural Research and Development
Institute (CARDI in the 1970s showed
that the viruses were present in Barbados,
Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Jamaica,
Trinidad, Grenada and Dominica.
The highest incidence 71% occurred in
Barbados and the lowest 32% in
The main effect of the viruses is de-
pression in yield but with D. alata the
quality of the tubers is also affected -
brown necrotic spots appear in the other-
wise creamy white flesh of the tubers.
This condition is known as Internal
Brown Spotting (IBS) and must not be
confused with other diseases of the tuber
caused by nematodes, bacteria and fungi.
The difference is that the spots caused by
IBS have no connection with the outer
surface of the yam while with the other
diseases, the diseased tissue can be traced
eventually to the outer surface.
The fact that the IBS symptoms are
not evident on the outer surface of the
yam made it impossible to select healthy
yams for shipment to extra-regional
markets and this led to serious problems
in the export trade in the 1960s.
CARDI researchers over the past 10
years have identified the virus particles
which affect yield and quality and have
developed techniques for eradicating the
virus and rapidly propagating the clean
During 1980-84 CARDI implemented
an EEC project which involved the setting
up of a Tissue Culture Laboratory and
Yam Propagation Centre where the virus-
tested material was propagated on a pilot
commercial scale for distribution to
growers in the Eastern Caribbean. The
variety White Lisbon was selected for this
purpose since this is the most predomi-
nant and popular variety of D. alata in
the region, and because of its importance
as a variety for export to the West Indian
immigrant population in both America
and the United Kingdom. The D. alata
variety "Oriental" has also been pro-
duced on a small scale.
At the field stage, the material in the
tuber form was produced by six
registered growers who were selected on
the basis of their proven ability to carry
out the necessary agronomic practices
to maintain a good quality of planting
material. They agreed to a number of
conditions including the condition that
isolated areas should be used for multi-
plication, and initially yam tubers would
be sold for planting purposes only.
During the past four years the virus-
tested material has been shipped to Saint
Lucia, Saint Kitts, Antigua, Trinidad &
Tobago, Montserrat, Dominica, Saint
Croix, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Saint
Vincent and Jamaica.
In Saint Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and
Saint Kitts, where anthracnose is a major
problem, the variety "Oriental" is being
supplied since this appears to be more
tolerant of the disease than the White
In addition to upgrading the yield and
quality of yams produced in the region,
the yam project has had the effect of
generating renewed interest in yam as a
potentially profitable crop.
One of the constraints to the develop-
ment of the yam industry is the avail-
ability and high cost of labour for har-
vesting the crop. The yam harvest coin-
cides with the harvest of sugar cane,
cotton and onions.
However, although efforts at mechani-
sation of the crop began during the
1970s, farmers resisted it mainly because
it required that the crop be grown in pure
stand and growers were unwilling to
sacrifice their sugar cane crop to accom-
modate mechanised yam production.
Instead, they decreased their acreage
But in 1981, a completely mechanised
system of yam production which could
be readily integrated with sugar cane pro-
duction was demonstrated to growers
attending CARDI Yam Field Day in
Barbados. The system incorporated the
efforts of the Barbados Sugar Producers
Association, the Ministry of Agriculture
and one of the six registered growers. It
involves the mechanised planting of sugar
cane immediately after yam harvest
before the moisture is lost from the
Both planting and harvesting
machinery are produced in Barbados.
Since the initial efforts, a number of
improvements have been made and
several growers are now harvesting their
The use of improved material com-
bined with efficient agronomic practices
and mechanisation of the operation
should result in the development of yam
as a profitable crop for sale both on local
and extra-regional markets.
Bananas are a staple food in most
Caribbean countries. Cooked in one form
or another, unripe fruit has its place in
many combinations salt mackerel and
banana, curry goat and banana but ripe
bananas (ripe figs) seem not to have
entered the experimental area of Cib-
bean culinary art.
In one or two countries, foreign ex-
change problems have led to the us of
dried ripe bananas as a substitute for
raisins in the baking trade. For those Jho
may wish to work along this line, s me
research done at the Indian Institute for
Horticultural Research has led to the
As might be expected, some vari ties
of bananas are better than others for ro-
ducing a superior dried fig. The uit
selected for drying should be firm pe,
with the first brown spots appearing on
The fruit is first peeled by hand u ng,
if necessary, a knife with stainless eel
blade. The peeled fruit is dried who; or
cut lengthwise into halves. Drying is i ne
on slatted trays protected from dust and
flies with fine plastic or nylon rr sh.
Trays of prepared fruit are placed i a
closed box where they are exposed tt the
fumes from burning sulphur. Exp( Jre
time is one hour. Eight pounds of sul iur
are needed for each ton of fruit in a :ut
one thousand cubic feet of space ir the
For a better quality product, the ire-
pared fruit is dipped (before sul iur-
ing) for fifteen minutes in a 1% solt ion
of sodium carbonate, followed by rit iing
in a 0.5% citric acid solution and a ''ash
After sulphuring, the fruit is drie on
the same slatted trays.
The simplest driers use the heat o the
sun and from there driers of greater
sophistication and capacity have been
developed, most of them using some sort
of fan to move a current of warm air over
the material to be dried.
The construction of driers is described
in many books and leaflets published by a
number of appropriate technology groups
in many countries. A
Caribbean Farming -July 1985
ff LOWER IOVEALL COST!
The economics of a weed-free crop mean more
than just the cost of a weed killer.
Will the control programme deal with all the
offending weeds? How many applications will be
necessary throughout the season? Will there be
yield loss from chemical action? How much
hand-weeding will be needed when the chemical
For sugar cane a programme of treatment with
ASULOX 40 and ACTRIL DS provides the
answer: the widest spectrum of broad leaf weeds
and grasses, fewer applications, maximum crop
safety assuring optimum yield, no hand weeding.
All of which means maximum weed control at
lower overall cost.
For bananas, as well as citrus, coffee, cacao and
coconuts, TALENT provides economical, safe,
long term control of a wide spectrum of annual
M May&Baker IF POUL
or our agents: -
Carter & Co.,
10 & 11 High Street,
broad leaf and grass weeds as well as those
difficult perennials such as para and sour grasses.
Additionally in our newer range of asulam-based
- CANDEX LIQUID provides long term
pre-emergence weed control in plant cane.
- SLAM controls the toughest deep rooted
perennials including Andropogon annulatus
and Cynodon dactylon (devil's or Bahama grass)
SLAM is used in later stages of crop growth in
Cane and established tree crops.
We also supply:
MOCAP 10G: Nematicide (insecticide for bananas
and other crops) as well as a range of fungicides
and insecticides for use in vegetables and other
For further information on supplies and use of these
products, contact: MAY & BAKER LTD.,
19, Trinidad Terrace, Kingston 5
JAMAICA (W.I.) Tel.: 929 8532-4
96, Orange Field Rd.
Stanthur and Co.,
James Brodieand Co.,
P.O. Box 365
P.O. Box 142
I I -
Winter Vegetables Earn Export Dollars
///. .' ..........
Among the presentations that at-
tracted considerable attention and
active participation during the FARM-
TECH '85 Seminar, held in Jamaica
toward the end of January last, were a
series of case studies which told im-
portant parts of the stories of selected
farm enterprises in Jamaica.
One such case study reported on the
entry into winter vegetable production
by Grace, Kennedy and Company Ltd -
probably Jamaica's largest food trading
company. The story was presented by
Wayne Iton an executive of the Company
and taking part in the discussion which
followed was Miss Mable Tenn, a Director
of Grace and Chairman of the Steering
Committee which organised the Semi-
In 1980, Grace commissioned a feasi-
bility study by an Israli company for
development of lands leased from a
bauxite company in the central plains of
Jamaica's South coast parish of
Clarendon. The findings of the study in-
cluded provision for a project cost of
J$7.5 million and development of 400
acres of land to break even. No profits
were to be expected for the first three
During the first winter, tomato, musk
melon, cucumber and sweet pepper were
grown on about 100 acres, using sprinkler
irrigation from the Rio Minho river. Con-
trol of disease and weeds made for a
costly production season.
The following summer (1982) crops
grown included onion yielding 6,144
Ib per acre, tomato 11,835 Ib/acre,
pumpkin 8,906 Ib/acre, string bean
The first year's operation showed a
loss of more than half a million dollars
(Jamaican) and the Company's directors
decided not to expand the production
acreage for the following year.
The winter season of 1982/83 showed
a modest profit and this encouraged the
directors of Grace to approve expansion
of the production acreage. Another
important commitment was the purchase
of a drip irrigation system to replace the
sprinkler installation. The new system
would serve 260 acres of crop land and
the cost of the system brought capital
investment on the project of JS$7.5
According to Mr. Iton's paper:-
Improved yields were attributed to the
shift from sprinkler to the drip system. It
also had positive impact on weed and
disease control with attendant savings
in labour and expenditure for chemicals.
After three winter seasons some defini-
tive statements can be made:
Agro-technical problems have been
mastered. This is evidenced by the folow-
ing yields/acre which have been achieved
at Halse Hall Farm:
Economic problems persist. The i m
has only once made a positive co ri-
bution to overhead costs, capital reco' ry
and profit. An analysis of variable nd
fixed cost components is instructive.
The Components of this cost catet ,ry
are commented on below:
Production Cost ControllM .le,
however inflation impacts iri-
Packing & Storage Cost on-
Transportation Cost Uncon -ol-
lable and high.
Sales Cost Uncontrollable and
Overhead Cost Controllable -
presently high, however expansion
does not imply increases in this
Capital Recovery high given
the level of investment in the
Caribbean Farming July 1985
High Performance Rice Harvester
Rice farmers can now reap their rice
mechanically at a rate of some 2 hectares
for every 10-hour period under optimum
conditions in the field.
This will be made possible with the
use of the Iseki RL 50 Binder, the latest
piece of rice harvesting machinery
acquired at a cost of some TT$9,000,
by the Central Experiment Station, Crop
Research Unit in Trinidad & Tobago.
The RL50 was demonstrated recently
at he El Carmen Rice Plots in the pre-
ser e of a number of rice farmers and
ex; nsion officers.
his machine was bought to check the
fe; ability of introducing it to rice
far iers, in the light of rising cost for
lat ur especially during harvesting. Mr.
Rc o Granpat Rice Agronomist
att :hed to the Crop Research Division,
ex' ained to those in attendance that har-
ve, ng and operations associated with it
for example, threshing, winnowing and
ba ing tend to be very intensive and
co: y, and that a machine as versatile
as e RL50, can cut cost of production
ie RL50 with the use of high float-
inc .yres with almost zero pressure can
also operate under very wet conditions
in some cases for as much as under 6
inches of water in the field.
The ability of this machine to cut,
bundle and bind the bundles simul-
taneously is absolutely unique.
A regular three-day shipping service
between Kingston and Miami has been
introduced by Co-ordinated Caribbean
Transport Inc. (CCT) to cope with
increasing volumes of fresh cargoes
bound for the U.S.A. The new,
fast and direct service provides Jamaican
shippers with the ability to get perish-
able commodities to the North
American market in the shortest pos-
Previously, CCT offered shippers a
nine-day service between Kingston and
Miami with calls to other Caribbean
ports, with the new three-day schedule
the vessel, Mar Caribe, departs Kingston
every Tuesday with southbound sailings
from Miami every Friday.
With the introduction of the Carib-
Farmers present were generally posi-
tive about themachine. The only thing
that seemed to have created a problem
was the ability of the machine to operate
under very wet conditions. They were
assured the machine was constructed to
cater for those conditions. A
bean Basin Initiative, export volumes be-
tween some Jamaican companies and
several in the United States have grown.
One area in particular has been fresh pro-
duce and CCT is offering reefer con-
tainers in addition to their dry equip-
ment for the movement of cargo at com-
The Mar Caribe has a trailer capacity
of 60 in mixed sizes and this can be in-
creased, dependent on the sizes of the
CCT is a Miami-based company pro-
viding roll on/roll off service to shippers
in the region for more than 25 years.
Vessels of the line call at Haiti, the Domi-
nican Republic, the US Gulf ports,
Central America and South America as
far as Peru. A
Caribbean Farming July 1985
CCT Introduces Regular
3-Day Miami-Kingston Service
Black Rot Attacks Jamaican Pumpkins
By Clarence Malcolm
For some years now there has devel-
oped a significant trade in pumpkins be-
tween the Caribbean and markets in the
United Kingdom and the United States.
The crop has been considered an easy one
to grow being, undemanding of fre-
quent pest and disease control other than
an occasional spraying to control cater-
In recent years, however, some ship-
ments of pumpkins have been rejected at
US ports of entry because of the dis-
covery of symptoms of Phomopsis
cucurbitae infection commonly known
as Black Rot of pumpkin.
The disease is caused by a fungus
which attacks the plants and may destroy
pumpkins before they mature or may
cause severe rotting after they have been
The disease has caused great concern
in Jamaica and is getting urgent atten-
tion. Pumpkin black rot is now listed by
US authorities as an "exotic disease" -
meaning that every shipment of pumpkins
must be submitted to very close scrutiny.
If the disease is found, the entire
shipment must be returned to the source
of origin. Plant protection workers in
Jamaica are now doing their best to
return the country's pumpkin industry to
the state where shipments are eligible for
preclearancee' (by the US Department
of Agriculture's inspector in Jamaica
prior to shipment to the US).
Growers, truckers and other handlers
are cautioned that this disease is a serious
threat to pumpkin, melon, squash,
cucumber all of which are crops of
growing importance for local sale as well
SYMPTOMS AND SPREAD
Black rot can be spread by use of seeds
from infected fruits, by replanting in
fields which had the disease before, by
water that came in contact with the
disease and it is felt by some that it can
be spread by air borne spores.
The disease usually starts by growing
on dead tendrils, twigs and other dead
materials from any cucurbitaceous crop.
It then enters the stem and reaches the
flower where it develops with fertilized
ovary (the fruits). Very often the fruits
rot and fall off before they are mature
and may cause very serious reduction in
crop. These rotted fruits become a very
serious source of further infection.
In other cases, breakdown and rotting
of the fruits occur after harvest resulting
in very serious losses.
Before rotting starts, the fruits may
show small, roundish, yellow-brown
lesions on the surface and tiny black
spotting. These lesions may produce a
gum-like substance. Later, the flesh of the
fruit becomes water-soaked and rotten.
Infected fruits usually feel spongy and
may be checked by using the thumb and
fingers to apply pressure to the stem and
blossom ends of the pumpkins. When rot
sets in, the pumpkin when cut open, has a
Good control starts before planting
and ends after harvest. Farmers must
therefore note the importance of planting
clean seeds from healthy fruits cannot be
over emphasized. Use only seeds from
disease-free fields. If possible, use seed
that has been heat-treated under con-
Spray should be started very early in
the life of the crop and continued
throughout. A strict spraying cycle
should be followed. It is best to alternate
at least two of the following fungicides -
Topsin, Zineb, Kocide, Benlate and use
at the rates recommended by the manu-
Collect and burn all plant debris from
old fields. In young fields remove all
dead twigs and infected fruits and burn
them. All plants that have infected fruits
should be gathered and burnt on site.
Practice crop rotation. Do not plant
pumpkins, cucumbers, water melons,
canteloupe (or other melon) or squash of
any kind on the same land year after
year or even in two successive years. Try
to keep rotation periods as long as
possible. It is suggested that pumpkins
should not be planted in the same area
more often than once in four to five
Secondary infection of the pumpkin
may occur through wounds. Handling of
wet pumpkins or washing of pumpkins
will greatly increase the risks of such an
infection. Where washing has to be done,
always use very clean water, constantly
Addition of chlorine to the washing
water greatly reduces the chances of in-
fection. Ordinary household chlorine
bleach may be used at the rate of 1/2
cup to one cup per gallon of water. It is
very important to note that chlorine does
not work in dirty water. Designs for
simple washing stations are available
on request from the author of this article,
at the Marketing and Credit Division,
Ministry of Agriculture, Hope Gardens
It is very important that no pumpkin
showing signs of this disease be exported,
if the export market for pumpkins is to
be preserved. Everybody handling pump-
kins at all stages should therefore pay
the greatest attention to minimis ng
sources of field infection by good s ni-
tation, spraying, crop rotation nd
Even then, every pumpkin for ex )rt
should be carefully checked to see th; it
is free from this serious disease. A
Trinidad & Toba ;o
A sophisticated information system in
which computers will be used to 3Ip
farmers of Trinidad make their farr Ing
more profitable has been installed b .he
Department of Agricultural Econo: ics
and Farm Management of the Univei ity
of the West Indies at Saint Augus- e,
The Farm Management Informa on
System (FMIS) has been publication ifa
newsletter which is available to the
country's farmers on request. Farmer: are
also invited to visit the FMIS h ad-
quarters at St. Augustine and dis uss
their business with the Departmtent's
The head of the Department is Dr.
Lloyd Rankine who has taken part in
many research and development projects
relating to tropical farm crops and has
published a large number of useful and
interesting research reports in his field. A
Caribbean Farming July 1985
FARM TECH '85 (From page 18)
A few miles away from the National
Arena, the Jamaica Conference Centre
on the Kingston waterfront was the scene
of less colourful but equally absorbing
activity. Beginning on Monday, 28th
January, a series of working sessions
examined the Nation's old and new
farming industries. Among the papers
presented there were some that held out
promise of the brave new world which
high technology says it can produce -
witn drip irrigation and hybrid fish,
tis sie culture, embryo transfer and bio-
fer lentation chasing each other across
th' conference rooms. On the other hand,
th; e were some very sobering stories.
Th livestock industry of Jamaica and
th. Caribbean must thank Alcan and
Dr Karl Wellington for the careful
re, irch that made possible Dr. Welling-
toW s paper on dairy and beef produc-
tic in Jamaica. Dr. Wellington's paper
we a case study of Alcan's large and
te< nically efficient cattle farms. His
co :lusions were that "even those farms
th, meet the technical targets find that
be cattle generate a poor return on
in\ stment and are therefore financially
un tractive in the present economic
cli ite."The verdict on dairy farming
wa -retty much the same.
There were a number of case studies
reported at the Seminar. The recently
established banana estate in Eastern
Jamaica was described by its managing
director, Dr. Berg. Mr. Stafford Burrowes
reported on his Blue River Farms, which
grow roses for export. The experience of
Grace, Kennedy & Company and their
winter vegetable farm in central Jamaica
was competently presented by Mr. Rawle
Iton. Contract farming of leaf tobacco
was reported by a staff member of
What the case studies (and the dis-
cussion which followed each presenta-
tion) did was to give the prospective
investor a look at the books of some-
one who had served or was serving an
apprenticeship in whatever business it
was. They also gave the academics and
those in Government and the service
sector a closer contact with the people
who are paying the bills and the
The sessions to set the farmer marvell-
ing would have to be the new technology
series. Farming of fresh water fish and
prawns were discussed by Dr. Dunbar
Steele of UWI and Mr. Moo-Young of
the Government Fisheries Division. Other
papers dealt with tissue culture, which
produces plants of many ornamental
and vegetable crops from paper-thin
slices of disease-free material, methods
of treating and storing yams for several
weeks without spoilage, new technology
for insect pest control. There were more
than thirty papers and case studies -
and an impressive attendance of special-
ists, young professionals and farmers
of fruit, vegetable, poultry, cattle, fish
and all sorts.
DECLINING SUGAR AND
Without any doubt the triggering
influence in all this enquiry and discus-
sion was the collapse of the world cane
sugar market; the declining profitability
of the banana trade was a close second
cause. Farmers of the Caribbean have
to learn about the prospects for pro-
ducing other crops for local sale as well
as for export. The industry's predica-
ment is compounded by the reduced
purchasing power of urban populations
with the sliding fortunes of the industries
of the region.
Occasions such as FARM-TECH '85
will have to be from now on not so much
an enjoyable interlude as a vital element
in the planning of agriculture in the
Caribbean Farming July 1985
The Smart Choice ...
DID YOU KNOW THAT
& Earn at least J$50.50 for every box of cocoa
* Guarantee yourself a higher dollar return from
every acre of land when you plant cocoa with
other crops. ..
MAKE THE DECISION TO PLANT COCOA...
IT'S THE CHOICE OF WISE FARMERS
For further information, contact:
The Cocoa Industry Board
P.O. Box 68
Marcus Garvey Drive
26 J e ,e4 From Frank Martin
STRESS-RESISTANT SWEET POTATOES
This is the 4th annual report of the
project, "The development of Stress
Resistant Sweet Potatoes for the
Tropics". It is a long-term breeding pro-
ject with seven principal breeding goals:
Sweet potatoes with flavour, tex-
ture, and colour that make them
suitable for everyday use.
Sweet potatoes for heavy tropical
Sweet potatoes resistant to weevil.
Sweet potatoes for industrial use
from directly planted seeds.
Sweet potatoes that climb, to plant
with corn and other crops.
Sweet potatoes with useful resist-
ance to drought.
Sweet potatoes resistant to shade
for multiple cropping.
The basic tool to develop these charac-
teristics is mass selection.
The yearly cycle consists of polycrosses
principally in the dry months (December-
March), but planting, harvest and evalua-
tion through entire year.
Our strategy is to develop principal
characterististics, now very weak in sweet
potato, to be followed by selections for
disease and insect resistance and finally
for horticultural type and table quality.
However, we also evaluate seedlings as
potential cultivars as compared to present
varieties. A strong laboratory programme
complements the field work.
The principal activities of 1984 were:
(i) Acquisition of materials. The
germ plasm available now seems
to be quite adequate, but
we are interested in obtaining
cultivars or lines of three types
to evaluate against our mate-
rials, of the industrial type,
clones low in sugars, and clones
resistant to sweet potato weevil.
(ii) Maintenance of a collection.
A small collection of selected
local and introduced varieties is
maintained for comparison pur-
poses. The collection also in-
cludes our tentative and per-
manent selections, and breeding
lines that we wish to maintain.
The collection is reorganized and
replanted each three months
from cuttings, alternately in
Mayaguez and in Isabella, Puerto
(iii) Planting of seedlings. Approxi-
mately 6,000 seedlings from
diverse sources were grown and
screened, and selections were
made for the principal breeding
(iv) Methodologies for selection. An
important part of the project is
to develop appropriate methodo-
logies and to demonstrate that
they work. Methodologies are
still not adequate in the case
of drought resistance and with
respect to industrial types.
In the case of drought resistance we
have encountered problems in concept as
well as methodology.. Apparently drought
stress is not as important in some stages
as in others.
To adjust the stress appropriately is
Our current thinking is to apply
drought stress during a limited time in
the life cycle and to avoid drought stress
on all other times. The most critical
stage appears to be the establishment
of the cutting, but the stage of develop-
ment of tuberous root initials also
appears to be very important.
In the case of industrial types, we
have not succeeded in three generations
of trials in improving the germinability
of seeds, and thus we are not ready to
select for industrial types from seed. We
shall continue this effort but meanwhile
we are beginning some trials of direct-
seeded scarified seeds.
(v) Summary of polycros
A Weevil resistance
B Toleranceto heavy soils
White staple type
Orange staple type
C Climbing ability
D Tolerance to shade
E No scarification; early
F Tolerance to drought
G Tolerance to competition
H Tolerance to flooding
(vi) Stress resistant sweet potatoes.
This year we compared n a
Latin Square the "weevil rsist-
ant" varieties that were e their
introduced or were develop 1 by
us during the last three j ars.
Our methodology, previ usly
described, gives us consider able
confidence that we can eva Jate
weevil resistance in the eld.
Particularly good scores Jere
obtained by W125 and \ 115
from Dr. Al Jones, a vz ety
from the Dominican Rep blic
(probable Blanco de Barah la),
and our selections WRS26 30,
32. However, resistance wa not
judged to be sufficient in mny
We also grew 2500 seedlings fr 1 a
polycross and selected 200 for fu her
testing. Experience has been that we iall
be lucky to obtain even one advw :ed
selection from such a group.
With respect to selection for V ,vil
resistance, we are not convinced iat
useful levels of resistance can be ro-
duced, and thus must decide what sh ild
be our future effort.
By now we have produced more an
200 climbing sweet potatoes. These I ive
characteristics trait are dliffinult tn *0-
pagate, slow in establishing these es,
sses and accumulate virus charge. None of
these has approached varietal status. his
Number is another area of endeavour that mt.its
y Cl one careful study and decision.
As regards shade, flood, drought, ind
9 competition tolerance, field or green-
house tests are underway with each of
3 8 these groups of selections with the
3 5 objective of seeing whether the traits
3 1 selected in the greehouse can also be de-
monstrated in the field.
(vii) New cultivars: We maintain a
selection and .screening proce-
dure to obtain new cultivars.
The following are the numbers
Caribbean Farming July 1985
of advanced selections, mar
White staple type (and
Orange substaple type
Very high in priority was the produc-
ti'.ri of non-sweet types.
Among the cultivars there, are some
th t are truly outstanding at this time:
Ni iety-nine, the first of the non-sweet
is i cherished prototype but with some
d& acts. Viola is excellent for chips and
fr s. Margarita, after mashing, looks and
ta es like mashed potatoes. Furthermore,
w now have the first non-sweet orange-
fl hed cultivars. Because these are so
n, i we are not yet aware of their defects
n, have yield tests been sufficient.
N ertheless, the existence of these sweet
pl atoes is the evidence that non-sweet,
st >le type sweet potatoes can be devel-
o, d for everyday use.
(\ ) Processing and laboratory. Our aim
ir processingg is principally to understand
b, :er the potentialities of sweet potato,
ar varietal differences by consideration
o 9inal uses. Nevertheless, we believe we
m ;ht produce useful processes or pro-
d :ts as well. The following activities
w e managed in the laboratory this year:
Complete kitchen evaluations of all
low-sweet and non-sweet sweet po-
Perfection of a small-scale tech-
nique to make flour from a non-
Trial and selection of non-sweet
and low-sweet cultivars for use as
chips and fries.
Preference test for non-sweet and
Studies of the sugar-starch trans-
formation process in non-sweet
and low-sweet varieties.
(ix) Publications. (includes all new
manuscripts not mentioned in previous
reports, and all manuscripts published
since last report).
(x) Principal sweet potato materials
available for distribution.
Our policy is, any sweet potato material
in our hands will be freely distributed to
investigators on request, provided
sufficient materials are available to us. We
prefer to distribute only in January and
Caribbean Farming July 1985
iy February. Investigators may specify
either small roots or stem cuttings. We
of cannot be responsible for safe arrival or
ns subsequent problems. We recommend
that sweet potatoes be multiplied before
2 testing, that testing be managed in several
4 locations or seasons, and that kitchen
tests, including tasting, be a part of the
Wart Warty surface, light
purple, white flesh, good
taste, good storage, high
Sunny Excellent appearance,
light orange flesh, very
good flavour, but disease
Bonara Dessert type sweet
potato, excellent taste,
Spud Looks like a potato and
rather similar in flavour.
Papota Uniform shape, very
feculent, white flesh,
Ninety-nine- Non-sweet, white, dry,
like a baked potato.
Toquecita Somewhat sweet but
high kitchen quality.
Viola Especially good for
chips, very low sweet-
Limonette Slight yellow colour,
very slightly sweet.
Mojave Not sweet, very dry.
Margarita Very much like potato
Miguela Highest yielding white
fleshed sweet potato in
Puerto Rico but poor
Gem Highest yielding orange
fleshed sweet potato. in
Puerto Rico but very
susceptible to weevil.
Picadito Very good white fleshed
variety, from Cuba via
Cano Considered the best tast-
ing in the Dominican
Franklin W. Martin
Tropical Agricultural Research
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00709
Editor: Frank Martin is a veteran worker
in tropical root crops 'research.
We are looking forward to reporting
in our next issue on more of the recent
work of Frank and his co-workers as
discussed at the annual meeting of the
International Tropical Root Crops
Society in Guadeloupe July 1 6,
Post-harvest storage of
Yam & Sweet Potato
By Janette Lawrence
of free water on the produce as this will
encourage rapid bacterial decay.
The produce may be covered with
'- materials e.g. straw, dried grass or moist
.l coir or such materials can be placed
between the produce and the tarpaulin
or polyethylene type covers. Also as
oxygen is required in the curing pro-
cess, a complete inhibition of ventila-
tion which would lead to carbon dioxide
accumulation and oxygen depletion
should be avoided.
Conditions required for curing
Crop Temp0C humidity (days)
Tubers with cut surfaces placed in solution of
Post-harvest losses in root crops may be
reduced by various physical and chemical
means. Considerable reduction in losses
can also be achieved by improving all
handling operations and techniques in
order to reduce mechanical injury, as
damaged produce has an inherently
shorter post-harvest life than undamag-
However, where produce is injured
during harvesting, the effects of the
injury may be minimised by:
1. Curing a simple wound healing
2. Application of fungicides.
There are two important effects of
a. healing of wounds during which
general skin strengthening occurs;
b. suberization, i.e. formation of
corky tissue in cell walls adjacent
This is followed by the development of
a wound periderm around the sites of
injury which is effective in slwoing down
water loss and provides a physical barrier
against infection by a large number of
post-harvest wound disease organisms.
For curing, conditions of high tem-
peratures and high humidity are required.
These conditions are generally readily
obtainable by simply covering the pro-
duce and so slightly reducing the natural
ventilation, so that the heat by respira-
tion and the moisture evaporating from
wounds are allowed to build up. Care
must be taken to avoid condensation
*The exact time required f
varies with many factors su
of maturity, etc.
Treated tubers placed on rai
to dry in sun.
II. Sweet Potato
(Ipomoea batatas (L) Lam)
Tubers should be cured as soon as
possible after harvesting as they are
affected by several different diseases in
the field, some of which affect the stor-
age life of the tubers.
There should be minimal handling of
tubers before being placed in curing room
at 31-360C and 95% rh. for 3-8 days.
All tubers cured can be marketed for
a period of two to three months with the
elimination of sprouting, a reduction in
weight loss and fungal attack.
The alternative process, that of the
application of fungicides also provides
long storage life. The technique involved
is basically the same for all root crc-os,
only that different chemicals are used .:ue
to the occurrence of various types of
fungi on root crops.
Freshly harvested tubers should
95 3-8 washed free of all soil particles and
95-100 1-4 cut surfaces, damaged or bruised port;
removed with a clean disinfected kr
or proper curing
ch as variety, stage The 'clean' tubers should then be d.
ed in the fungicidal solution and all
faces thoroughly wetted. The tut
should be placed on clean disinfect
S pallets or raised surfaces preferably in
sun or in a highly ventilated area so ,
a protective surface can be formed
all the exposed tissues.
Once the surfaces are properly dr
the tubers can be packed in carton be
with moist coir dust when expor
to distant countries: U.K., or wrappe
newsprint for air-freight to nearby ct
tries. If storage is required, tubers she
be placed at 12.5-130C and 90%
sed palt FUNGICIDES AND CONCENTRATE
HOW TO PREPARE
TUBERS FOR CURING
Depending on the root crop to be
cured, different procedures may be
I. Yams (Dioscorea cayenensis Lam)
Tubers for curing should be first
given a fresh cut at the end where the
yam "Head" had been cut and all areas
of wounding or bruising should be trim-
med. Removal of all soil particles is
important. Tubers can then be mechanic-
ally cured by placing them at 36-400C
and 98% rh for 1-4 days. At the end
of the curing time, tubers should be
stored at 12.5-130C and 90% rh.
At present two fungicides are b ing
used in the post-harvest treatment of
these tubers Benlate and Imazalil. "he
dip consists of 500ppm Benlate ind
This provides a storage life of the
tubers for over three months when I ick-
aged in moist coir in 45 Ibs. carton L ,xes
with a mean percentage weight lo,, of
Two fungicides are being rec:om-
mended for use on these tubers i.e.
Botran (Dichloran) and Benlate at a con-
centration of 500ppm; A
by Janette Lawrence
Storage & Infestation
Ministry of Industry & Commerce
Caribbean Farming July 1985
The launching of the Jamaica Agri-
cultural Development Foundation on July
20, 1984, was heralded as an innovative
and imaginative approach to agricultural
financing in Jamaica, and indeed the
One year later, the Foundation has
committed t8.4 million by way of loans
ane equity investments and another
$500,000 in Grants to Research and
Tr;:~ing Projects which will hopefully
lea to increased agricultural production
an. improvementt of the ecology.
his represents a total commitment of
ap, aximately $9 million. Activities in-
clu ,d in the loans and equity investment
Ur its Grant Programme, the Founda-
tio, as recently launched a Computerised
Fa; Management System.
overview of the investment port-
fol; features projects that would not
nor ily be good commercial risks
bec a of low collateral value attached
to i is such as plants, hives etc.
Foundation which is a non-profit,
priv sector venture capital institution,
:OfiPUTERIZED FARM MANAGEMENT
STEM for the Jamaican farmer has been de-
led and developed by the Jamaica Agricultural
felopment Foundation, Peat, Marwick and
tneis and Tulloch Estates Ltd.
! objective of the FMS is to provide the
ner with a "one input system which assists
I with his accounting workload and informs
Sof the performance and efficiency of the
surprise In the picture is Mr. Roger Turner
Caribbean Farming -July 1985
FIRSTJADF LOANS DISBURSED... Mr. Elon E. Beckford, Chairman of the Jamaica
Agricultural Development Foundation (left) handing over one of the first loans disbursed by the
organisation to Mr. Ancile Gloudon for a commercial orchid-growing enterprise. Also in the picture
are (seated from left): Mr. Lewis Reade, then USAID Director, and Dr. Keith Roache, JADF's
Managing Director. Standing Mr. Maurice Tenn and Miss Gloria Chin Sang.
has as its overall goals the promoting and
development of sustainable agricultural
and agri-business projects to assist in
imporving the economic and social well-
being of the people of Jamaica.
While these objective are not in them-
selves extraordianry, the Foundation can
justifiably lay claim to being innovative,
both in the method of its establishment
and in its financing policies.
The concept, policies and programmes
of the JADF were the result of a collabo-
rative effort between one of Jamaica's
largest conglomerates Grace Kennedy
& Co. Ltd., Land O' Lakes Inc. of Arden
Mills, Minnesota, a co-operative of over
250,000 farmers primarily involved in the
dairy business and Rockefeller Brothers
Fund of New York.
Funding for the JADF comes from the
U.S. Agency for International Develop-
ment (USAID) which donates surplus
butter and cheese. These are processed by
a Jamaican firm, Dairy Industries Ltd.,
and sold on the local market. The
proceeds from the sale of these commodi-
ties form the bulk of the Foundation's
The collaboration between Jamaican
and U.S. private sector interests and the
use of donated commodities to promote
increased and more varied domestic
agricultural production in Jamaica are
regarded as a "prototype for programmes
which we hope to see in the Third World
in the future", according to Lewis P.
Reade, U.S.A.I.D.'s senior representative
in Jamaica the the time of the Founda-
The JADF offers venture capital, loans,
guarantees, grants to research and training
and technical assistance to the agricultural
Considerable emphasis is placed how-
ever on adopting flexible policies in
administering these programmes.
Expanding on this the JADF's Manag-
ing Director has said: "As a venutre
capital institution, we will consider risks
that a Commercial Bank or other financial
institution would not normally take. In
assessing our clients, we are first and fore-
most interested in establishing the sound-
ness and feasibility of their technical and
managerial capabilities. Once we are con-
vinced that these factors are positive,
then we are prepared to devise flexible
and creative programmes to assist them to
get off the ground all this of course,
within the boundaries of sound financial
Some of the flexible programmes
cited are capitalizing accrued interest in
exchange for equity participation in com-
panies; acceptance of a wide range of
securities, for example, the value of crops
and livestock, the value of improvements
made to agricultural land and the value of
machinery; and grace periods to those
ventures that require a substantial start-
up period and moratoriums on both
interest and principal.
The JADF also plans to take a creative
role in the potential use of unit trusts and
the introduction of true co-financing. A
Farmer's Primer On Growing Rice
in 22 languages
Twenty-five editions of a rice-grow-
ing manual written by a scientist at the
International Rice Research Institute
(IRRI) have been published in 22 lan-
guages in Asia, Africa, and Latin Ameri-
ca. Editions in at least 14 other
languages are in press or being trans-
The Primer may be the most widely
translated agricultural book in exis-
The author, Dr. Benito S. Vergara,
IRRI plant physiologist, conceived A
Farmer's Primer when teaching IRRI
courses on rice science to students and
trainees from Third World countries.
Vergara became aware of a lack of
simple but precise written informa-
tion to clearly explain the "why" and
"how" of good rice-growing practices.
Although available leaflets listed steps
for successful rice cultivation, Vergara
felt that farmers and rice production
specialists should better understand the
reasons for recommended practices such
as seed incubation or proper depth of
Vergara relied heavily on b&w illus-
trations with as few words as possible
- to convey the rice cultural messages
in A Farmer's Primer. This not only
makes the key messages easier to under-
stand (especially by persons with low
literacy), it also makes translations
easier. IRRI provides sets of the illus-
trations, with the English text blocked
off, to Third World agricultural agencies
and publishers that want to publish
local editions. IRRI does not ask for
royalties or fees for translations of its
books in the Third World.
Vergara worked on A Farmer's
Primer during a sabbatic leave at the
Southeast Asian Regional Center for
Graduate Study and Research in Agri-
culture (SEARGA), Los Banos, Philip-
pines. He welcomed suggestions to
make his brainchild as informative yet
as simple as possible. The Science
Education Center of the University of
the Philippines at Diliman used an
early draft to teach principles of agri-
cultural science to elementary students.
IRRI trainees who studied early
drafts of the Primer in Vergara's courses
returned home and realized its useful-
ness but it was not available in their
Some translated editions of a Farmer's Primer on Growing Rice. The book
is highly illustrated with a minimum of text. Sets of the B&W illustrations
with text blocked off, (lower left) are made available to national agencies
and publishers who strip their owntranslations on and print on local press.
local languages. Even
published the Primer in E
requests were made for
translate it into Thai
Indonesia. Vergara kn
Primer was getting to
whom it was intended -
in growing rice.
Today, an Urdu edition
is available in Pakistan;
in the Philippines, Span
the Dominican Republic
Tamil edition in South I
Iran; and Swahili in Tanz
tions have been publish
Indonesia, B. Malay
Dr. Bento S. Vergara in the rice
before IRRI Burmese, Cebuano, Chinese, French,
english in 1979, Gujarati, Hiligaynon, Ilocano, Kannada,
permission to Oriya, Thai, Nepali, and Waray.
and Bahasa Editions are being prepared in
ew that his Arabic, Bicol, Hindi, Maguindanao,
the people for Malagsy, Malayalam, Marathi, More,
those involved Pampango, Portuguese, Punjabi, Singha-
lese, Telegu, and Wolof.
n of the Primer The effectiveness of A Farmer's
Tagalog edition Primer on Growing Rice and other
ish editions in publications in local languages vs.
and Mexico; a English is now being studied in Leyte,
ndia; Farsi in Philippines through a cooperative re-
ania. Other edi- search project of Araneta University,
hed in Bahasa the Philippine Bureau of Plant Industry,
'sia, Bengali, the FAO Integrated Pest Control Pro-
gram, and IRRI.
Vergara is modest about the success
-, .. of his book. He is now working on new
sections for a revised edition. The new
M .. Primer will address problems such as
low soil nitrogen, modified rice growing
practices for cold-temperature and hill
S areas, and how to select rice varieties for
specific environments. But Vergara is
't^'rtlt not forecasting how widely his next
Sedition of A Farmer's Primer will be
S,.,' '1 For addresses to which orders for
specific language editions may be sent,
field at IRRI. write to the Communication and Publi-
cations Department, IRRI, P.O. Box
933, Manila, Philippines. A
Caribbean Farming July 1985
Sprostons Industrial Materials Ltd.
is the name you can depend on for
reliable Industrial Materials of the
Come in and talk to us or call our
Industrial Materials Department
iJ As o WNI AUK'' O
I_.- 1HP-30 HP-
Some of the world famous
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brought to you by GEDDES GRANT...
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