Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Back Cover

Title: Caribbean farming
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00101460/00017
 Material Information
Title: Caribbean farming
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Mona, Jamaica
Publication Date: August 1986
Copyright Date: 1969
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00101460
Volume ID: VID00017
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 3116219

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 4a
        Page 4b
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    Back Cover
        Page 35
        Page 36
Full Text

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CARIBBEAN FOOD CROPS SOCIETY..................... ........................6
THE U.S. FARM CRISIS: Measuring the Ripple Effect. ................. ............... .8
A FAMILIAR PATTERN TO FARMERS ................... ......... ....... .... .11
PRUNING ECONOMIC TREES..................................................12
PRECISION SOWING FOR BETTER CROPS. ..................... .................. 13
RESEARCH INTO LIVESTOCK ............... ................................ 16
LOW-COST RICE TECHNOLOGY ............... ............................... 21
B-H SERIES HARROW ............... .. ......................... ........... 22
DENBIGH SHOW 86 ............. .............................. ........... 24
TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION IN THE WINDWARD ISLANDS. ............................ 25
CASAVA FOR FOOD SECURITY in Tropical Africa ......................... ..........26
INTERNATIONAL AQUACULTURE EXHIBITION ................................. 27
GOOD FORAGE FOR BETTER REPRODUCTION ................................... 28
RICE PRODUCTION AND DEMAND IN THE CARIBBEAN ............................ 30
SWEET P TATO RESEARCH NOTES. ................ ................... ....... 32
PESTICIDE TESTING AT UWI ................ ................................ 34

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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.
a* MANAGING EDITOR: Tony Gambrill, EDITOR: Carol Reckord,
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PRINTERS: Glade Printing Service Ltd., Kingston, Jamaica.
SSUBSCRIPTION: US$11 USA, Caribbean & Latin America;
tt US$15 All other countries, air mail for four issues.

'ribbean Farming, August 1986



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Caribbean Farming, August 19


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change but slowly but not too slowly

The signals to the farmers of the Caribbean and the Third
World have been coming thick and fast. Some of them have
betn coming for years such as the warning against dependence
on plantation cropping. Many of the signals are hard to believe
although they are quite clear.
After generations of having foreign markets arranged for our
r, duce, we find it hard to believe that even the most generous
an, neighbourly of wealthy nations look after their own interests
fir and always. Another hard-to-believe signal tells us that
w' t is happening in business circles, legislative chambers and
res irch projects in India, the Philippines and Brazil is at least
as nportant to us as are the pronouncements of London and
Wa lington.
)ts of signals come in and our farmers being harassed and
cort, sed in their day-to-day work, sometimes wish that all the
me, ages would lead one way, such as: GROW WINTER VEGET-
AB ES or STICK TO BANANAS. But no such luck. In these
nine 3en-eighties there are loud voices advising our farmers to
moi mise their technology. At the same time other loud voices
wan farmers to stick to the crops they know. Meantime, spouse
and children advise the farmer; "Take it easy, don't kill your-
C ler farmers, of course, don't have to spend half their days
listed ng to voices from here and there. Many of them have been
throat jh this sort of thing before. And more often than not the

experience moves them to extreme caution, minimum spending
and preparation for siege.
But since over-caution and siege tactics are no way to get an
industry out of low gear, we take some pleasure in reminding our
farmers that the prospects for agriculture are still better in the
Caribbean than they are in many other parts of the world.
Although we have our share of danger from hurricane and
drought, our countries continue to be relatively free of the more
devastating diseases of crops and livestock. Also, we stand to
benefit from the research being done in many parts of the
tropical world in areas such as pest and disease, breeding of im-
proved crop varieties and management of harvested crops. Our
local and export markets have also survived although export
markets always need to be watched and the total effect is
that our farmers' land, livestock and equipment are holding
their value on the market which is more than can be said for
farm property and crops in some other regions. And while we are
at it, may we suggest to our farmers that they go to some trouble
to keep aware of what it happening to farming overseas if only
to avoid being taken by surprise when some new situation
All of us in the business know now that the face of our land
is going to change (especially the level areas) over the next few
years. Since there has to be change and since there is need for
caution, we think that the seven words of our caption are a
reasonably useful summary of what our farmers need to do.

a~rlbbso FwmA"i~, A,&*gf IM1~

St. Lucia meeting of Caribbean Food

Crops Society

Members of the Caribbean Food Crops
Society held their twenty-second annual
meeting in Castries, St. Lucia from the
25th to the 29th August. About 120
people from 19 countries showed up
for what has become over the years one
of the important occasions of agricul-
turist activity in the Caribbean.
The theme of the meeting was: NON
but in the tradition of CFCS there were
a good many papers on matters of more
general interest to people in agriculture.
The Proceedings of the Meeting will
be published in due course. Following
are abstracts of some papers presented
at the Meeting.
Secretary of the CFCS is Carlos Cruz,
Box 506, Isabela, Puerto Rico 00662.
Chandler, CARDI, Cave Hill Campus,
P.O. Box 64, Bridgetown, Barbados.
Barbados, as part of its diversification
effort, has sought over the past four
years to increase the market size for non-
sugar commodities. The major thrust has
been in the area of extra-regional export.
There are five key factors which must be
considered if an export market is to be
successfully penetrated. These are
adequate quantity and high quality of
produce, continuity of supply, timeli-
ness of delivery, and a competitive price.
It was recognized from the start that
a scientific approach to the export trade
was essential since the system involved
was complex and the weakness of any
one component could cause a complete
breakdown of the system and the loss of
the market.
This paper seeks to describe the pro-
duction and post-harvest aspects of the
component of the export system, the
problems which have been experienced
and where possible, suggests solutions
to these problems.
The cultivation of yams in the Carib-
bean areas meets problems which are
fairly common to many situations.
Among less costly paths for solving them,
adapted varieties are well indicated. The
laboratory of Plant Breeding of INRA
based in Guadeloupe is organizing a net-
work of yam varieties experimentation

with the cooperation of different insti-
tutions (CARDI, Ministries of Agricul-
ture). Two cultivars of D. alata tolerant
to anthracnose have been sent and in-
vestigated in 1985. The primary results
of -this cooperation are encouraging.
C. George, CARDI, P.O. Box 971,
Castries, St. Lucia, W.I.
Three field experiments, two at Field
Stations and one on farmers' holdings,
were conducted on yam and yam-based
cropping systems in St. Lucia during
A varietal comparison of five culti-
vars of white yam (Yam Langie, Local
White, Oriental Yam, Belep and Kina-
bayo) at the La Resource Field Station
showed that Oriental Yam yielded
significantly higher than the other culti-
vars both on a cycle-basis (3.98 t/ha) and
on a day-basis (208 kg ha-lday-1), and
also showed a high degree of tolerance to
Intercropping of yam with cowpeas,
snapbeans and dasheen at the Union
Agricultural Station, or relay intercrop-
ping of yam with cowpeas and snap-
beans on farmers' holdings in the south-
west, did not significantly lower the
yields or yield attributes of yam as com-
pared to the sole crop. At Union, the
different cropping systems did not delay
the incidence nor reduce the severity of
anthracnose on yam.

IN ST. LUCIA. Bernard Francois and
Charles Douglas, CARDI, St. Lucia and
CARDI, Antigua.
Intercropping trials involving yam with
legumes and/or dasheen were conducted
in St. Lucia in 1985 on farmers' holdings
and Union Agricultural Station.
Economic analysis of the results showed
that intercropping did not significantly
reduce income from yams. In addition,
it was revealed that in all cases, returns
from growing the intercrop were greater
than the additional cost of establishing
the intercrop into the system.
Pattanjalidial, CARDI, P.O. Box 346,
Botanical Gardens, Roseau, Dominica.
The most marketable tannia cultivars
are very susceptible to the tannia rapid

yellowing disease, popularly called "bum-
ing disease". On-station and on-farm
tests using an improved package of
cultivation practices were examined in
Dominica. The indications were that the
yield of tannia cormels increased drama-
tically from few or no cormels to about
5-10 t/ha at the minimum level. With
the improved package of practices,
farmers are now able to produce tannia
under diseased field conditions. Emphasis
is placed on the site selection, drainage,
planting material quality, limited use of
fungicide, timely application of fertilizer
and the early removal of weeds including
diseased volunteer tannia host plants.

BELIZE. B.K. Rai and A.K. Sinha,
To conserve foreign exchange and in-
crease income of farmers, studies for Ail-
seed production and utilization v ere
started in 1981. The limitations to ani ual
crop production were: high rair fall
during crop growth especially at har est
time for June planted crop; difficult of
land preparation and less erratic rai fall
for November to January planted c op.
These difficulties have been overcorrm to
a great extent by forming land into rz sed
beds, use of minimum tillage techno )gy
and selection of crops and their varic ies.
Soybean varieties yielding up to 3.7
tons per ha have been identified. igh
yielding sesame varieties have aen
selected. Low erucic varieties of mu, ard
have been tested. Yield of sunflower Nas
considered low for commercilization To
keep the capital and recurring expe ises
of oil mill low, and to get high er rgy
feed, oilseeds should be mechanic ally
pressed rather than solvent extra ted.
Results of a trial indicated that br( lers
could be raised on whole fat soyt ian.
Whole fat soybean is being mixed vith
corn by a tortilla factory, for impr ved
human nutrition.
BEANS. Bernard Francois, Hi rold
Patterson and Charles Douglas, CA IDI,
St. Lucia, CARDI, St. Vincent and
CARDI, Antigua.

During 1984 and 1985, trials were
conducted on farmers' holding in St.
Vincent where tannia and/or dasheen
were intercropped with lima beans.
Economic analyses of the different inter-
cropping systems indicated that farm

Caribbean Farming, August 1986

incomes were increased from intercrop-
ping. It also showed that incomes from
tannia and dasheen were higher due to
the presence of beans in the system.
Further, it was found that the returns
from beans in the intercrop system were
significantly greater than the additional
cost of growing the bean in the systems.
B. Roberts-Nkrumah, University of the
West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad.

In the Caribbean, the sweet potato is
widely grown by small farmers in inter-
cropping systems in an attempt to maxi-
m se the outputs from their holdings. The
s\ eet potato x corn mixture is one such
ci pping system in which a common
o activee is to obtain tuber yields similar
t( hose of pure stands while maximising
cc yields. Since previous studies
in -ated that tuber yields were lower in
mi ures with simultaneously planted
co than in pure stands, a series of field
tried were conducted to examine the
efi : of various management practices
on veet potato yield in this cropping
sys' 1. The results show that the late-
mat ing cv. '049' is less adversely affec-
ted / simultaneously planted corn than
the gher-yielding, early-maturing culti-
vars g. 'TIS 2328/6'; but that this latter
culti r can maintain high yields in mix-
ture' if the relative planting dates of
swec potato and corn were altered. How-
ever aasonal variations in the availability
of A- th factors will strongly influence
the oice of sweet potato cultivars and
rel; k planting dates for the mixture
cor .nents.

Coo r, CARDI, Antigua.
D spite a considerable growth of
inter, st in Cassava by both farmers and
state owned agricultural enterprises in the
early 1980's, the expected development
of ca sava has not taken place, and farmer
interest is now in decline. The spread of
cassava bacterial blight, lack of clean
planting material, non-availability of im-
proved CBB resistant varieties and other
causes for the decline in interest are re-
The implications of this situation for
the future development of cassava and
the roles of development agencies such
as Ministry of Agriculture, Food and
Agriculture Corporation, and Caribbean
Agricultural Research and Development

Caribbean Farming, August 1986

Institute are discussed. It is concluded
that the successful development of
cassava can only be achieved by a con-
sistent and well coordinator effort
amongst these various development
agencies directed by a clear national
policy on this commodity.
O'Hair, and T.A. Kucharek, University
of Florida, IDAS, EREC, Plant Patho-
logy, P.O. Drawer, A. Belle Glade, FL.
Pythium root rot infected 'Manti-
queira' in two trials. In the 1981 trial M.
Col-1684, HMC-92 tolerated the disorder
with less than 0.3 average number of
vascular bundles infected per root. In
contrast Pythium infected over 6 vascu-
lar bundles per 'Matiqueira' root. In the
1982 trial with 2 cultivars, M. Col-1684
tolerated the disease with 0.1 infection
but Pythium infected over 50% of the
'Mantiqueira' total root number. Pythium
did not significantly affect root and stem
yields. It reduced the white inner root
quality with black stained vascular

TION PHASE. D.L. Ingram, R. Webb,
C. Ramcharan and A. Peterson, Jr., Insti-
tute of Food and Agriculture Sciences,
University of Florida and the Agricultural
Experiment Station, College of the Virgin

Temperatures in excess of 500C have
been recorded in container media in
Florida and the Virgin Islands. Tem-
peratures above 450C were maintained in
portions of the containerized medium
for 3 to 4 hours daily. Six to 8 hours
per day above 400C were quite common.
Predicted critical lethal temperatures for
a 3 hour exposure in laboratory experi-
ments with excised root tissue were 50.6,
50.5, 48.6 and 44.50C for Ixora cocci-
nea, Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor', Musa.
spp. AAA 'Grande Naine' and Citrus
sinensis X Poncirus trifoliata (Carrizo
citrange), respectively. Maximum daily
temperatures in the middle of the growth
medium in black rigid 2-gallon containers
in St. Croix averaged 470C, while growth
medium in black plastic bag containers
inserted into larger black rigid plastic
containers and in white rigid plastic con-
tainers were near 400C. The degree of
benefit from container design on plant
growth differed with species. Drip irri-
gation scheduling had minimal effects on
growth medium temperature and overall
plant growth.

GUYANA. F.A. Jones and G.J. Muller,

Since the disease was identified in
1977, Cedros Wilt has become epidemic
in Guyana.
In a recent survey in five (5) of six (6)
coconut-growing regions prevalence of
the disease was determined as between
53.62% and 75.00% while on individual
farms, the incidence ranged from 00.00%
to 40.00%.
The disease is now notifiable which
means that the Chief Agricultural Officer
has authority to implement certain con-
trol measures.
The symptoms, pathogen and disease
cycle for primary infection are described.
The implications for the edible oil
industry are also discussed.
CARIBBEAN. M.A. Lugo-Lopex, F.
Abruna, J. Vicente-Chandler, H.
Irizarry, J. Badillo, J. Rodriquez and E.
Non-traditional export crops were
grown following a sequence in Ultisols
and Oxisols which occur extensively
throughout the Caribbean region. The
soils were limed to pH values ranging
from less than 5.0 to more than 6.5
Green beans, cabbage, taniers and yams
appeared to be quite sensitive to soil
acidity factors. Tomato yields were not
markedly affected until pH dropped to
4.6 with 45% Al saturation. Pigeon peas
barely responded to liming in Oxisols,
but responded strongly in Ultisols. Soil
acidity factors have no effect on yields
of plantain on either groups of soils. Lime
requirements should be based on ex-
changeable Al rather than on pH Any
programme geared to increase crop pro-
duction levels on acid soils of the Carib-
bean must be based on the use of com-
plete technological packages of practices
of which lime is an essential component.

..T: UST ... *


fc' *"-*:ff -M-.^i^ ^

US Farm Crisis:

Measuring the

Ripple Effect

by Robert G. Lewis
Farmers in the United States and the
other traditional agricultural-exporting
countries are suffering under the most
severe economic depression in 50 years.
In some respects it is the worst ever
known, and the economic and political
pressures arising from this distressing
situation are brewing deeper trouble
for farmers everywhere.
The export market for the basic tem-
perate-zone agricultural commodities is
dominated by countries with highly
advanced farming sectors. An era of
sharpened competition between these
countries is now beginning. The prices
their farmers receive, and prices in the
international market, seem sure to plunge
lower than ever during the -months and
years immediately ahead. Sooner or
later, farmers in Western Europe and
Japan and other countries whose agri-
cultural economies have been insulated
from global competition are sure to feel
the impact of falling prices.
Another potential casualty of a
spreading agricultural depression is the
progress made in some of the less de-
veloped countries toward increased farm
production and food consumption.
To expand food production sufficiently
to improve diets of those now under-
nourished as well as provide for global
population increases approaching 100
million annually will require huge invest-
ments in land development, production
requisites, and better technology and
training. In the long run, no farmers
anywhere can continue to produce food
unless their returns more than cover the
costs of production.
Given the enormous influence of the
United States upon international agri-
cultural prices and trade, the recent
changes in US policy arising from the
current farm depression is of direct con-
cern to farmers throughout the world.
The worldwide significance of US
farm policy arises in part from its pre-
eminence as an exporter of cereal grains
and oilseeds, which, directly or in-
directly, account for about 75 per cent
of the total human food supply. For most
of the last four decades, the US has
supplied half or more of all such pro-
ducts moving into export trade.
This dominant influence on the in-

fl* ~T~ ;~-
' .
.C~ ~ J I~"(

ternational market has been accentuated
by the US price support system, which
has encouraged US farmers to transfer to
the Government for storage whatever
grain, cotton, soybeans, or tobacco
they could not sell at the supported
price. In effect, the US price has
served for several decades as the floor
price for the world.
Present changes in US farm policy,
however, will end this worldwide floor
price effect through measures to re-
duce and eventually eliminate storage
of "surplus" commodities at govern-
ment expense. Instead, prices will fall
to their market-clearing level while
farmers are partially compensated by
government payments.
The most immediately recognizable
aspect of the depression in agriculture
that has brought about these changes is
the low prices received by farmers for
their produce. Because of the distortion
of real values caused by inflation, nomi-
nal prices must be adjusted for inflation
before valid comparisons can be made
from one period to another. The adjusted
real prices received by US farmers have
fallen almost constantly for more than a
decade. The overall decline since 1973
has been 41 per cent, bringing real farm
product prices in 1985 to the lowest level
on record.
Total net incomes of US farmers have
also fallen sharply during the 1980s. The
six-year annual average for 1980-85 is
lower than at any time in more than 50
years. In real terms it is 33 per cent
lower than the average of the preceding
six years, and 60 per cent below the
recent peak of 1973. By 1985, 20 per
cent of full-time farms in the United
States were classified by the US Depart-
ment of Agriculture (USDA) as under
"financial stress". This meant that they
were losing money on current operations
and that their debts exceeded 40 per

cent or ne value or ineir total assets,
Another 10 per cent were reported to be
under "potential financial stress", indi
rating that although current cash in-
come exceeded costs, their debts ex-
ceeded 40 per cent of the value of total
Contrary to the impression widely
held even in the United States, the
present agricultural financial crisis is not
limited to small or inefficient farms In
fact, it is concentrated among the
nation's full-time commercial farms vith
annual sales of $40,000 or more. while
this category represents only one-thl d of
all US farms, it accounts for 90 per :ent
of the total value of commodities sold.
The smaller operations, as a p oup,
incurred net losses from farmir in
1983, the latest year for which da 3 are
available, but since they are prir arily
part-time farms, income from off farm
sources more than offset the losses from
farming. Indeed, these house iold
enjoyed higher average total income than
the class of full-time farmers wh had
sales from $40,000 to $100,000 a year.
Even many full-time farmers d pend
heavily upon the off-farm earning of
family member. In 1983, only :armr
with sales in excess of $100,000 av aged
more income from farming than fro 1 off
farm sources.
But the truly significant characi ristie
of the agricultural financial crisi! doe
not show up in government report ; f
that, one must travel through *
countryside and talk with farmers 1 the
ground. What that reveals is that whill
returns of farmers in genere an
extremely low, those who are ir moil
acute financial distress, often in imm
nent danger of losing their farrs, at
mainly young full-time farmers whi
began farming within the past 10 to lI
years. As beginning farmers must, the'
borrowed heavily to buy land and ma
chinery and to stock their farms at tle
prevailing high prices. They are usually

Caribbean Farming, August 1986

well educated and rank among the most
progressive and efficient of the nation s
Even many older farmers in acute
financial distress can trace their troubles
to efforts to help a son or daughter get
started on a farm through pledging their
own assets. Farm people themselves
recognize what others too often over-
look: that much of an entire generation
of US farmers is in danger of being dis-
possessed and displaced.
"What hurts most", says Virginia
Striegel, a leader in Iowa's Farm Bureau
organization, 'is that it is the young
farmers, the backbone of the nation,
wh. are being forced out." Mrs.Striegel
an five sons have farmed 730 hectares of
ric Iowa prairie land since she was
wi, wed 22 years ago. She speaks with
so :w and quiet anger about the distress
arr 'g farmers. In the past year, five
fin allyy troubled farmers in her
are :ave committed suicide.
Sotional stress pervades the stricken
ruru communities and farmers' creditors
are )t immune. Last year the nation
was hocked by several murders of
ban0 s by distraught farmers. In South
Dakk I, an agent of the Government's
farm lending programme committed
suici< in January, just as actions against
delin, lent borrowers were to begin.

With government price supports for
both grains and milk being reduced in
1986 and further reductions in store for
later years, there does not appear to be
an early end in sight for the US farm
depression. Conventional explanations
usually cite two cases for the spreading
farm depression: first, that some govern-
ments have supported prices at levels that
were too high, thereby encouraging over-
production; second, that production in-
creases in developing countries have re-
duced their need for imports. The Euro-
pean Community's agricultural policies
are the favourite target of politicians and
many farmers in the traditional agricul-
tural exporting countries. EEC farm pro-
duction has increased greatly, and the
EEC has become a substantial exporter of
both grains and meat. Criticism is also di-
rected at US price-support policies over
the past 50 years. By providing a floor
for world prices for grains and oilseeds,
they are accused of fostering excessive
production in competing countries as
well as in the United States.
However, a review of recent agricul-
tural price history casts doubt upon
the accuracy of this theory. The world-
wide surge in agricultural investment
and production began during the mid-
1970s, when world market prices greatly

exceeded support levels in both the
European Community and the United
States. It was the marketplace itself and
not the level of government price sup-
ports that sent the signal to farmers
that more farm produce was needed.
The acclaimed progress in developing
countries toward food self-sufficiency is
also a dubious explanation for present
market surpluses. During the 1980s,
while human population has been
expanding by nearly 100 million a year,
annual rates of growth in global con-
sumption of cereal grains, the basis of
human food supply, have been declining
and are about 17 per cent below the pre-
vious six-year average. The critical change
that has occurred during the 1980s is
that the rise in market demand for
food is not gaining as fast on the human
need for food as it did during the 1970s.
During the 1970s, price signals re-
ceived by farmers from the market-
place were seconded by appeals from
governments and from major religious
and public leaders. Agribusiness and agri-
cultural financial institutions responded
in good faith and as wholeheartedly as
farmers. Since then, the rules of the
game have been changed. Farmers and
the industries and services that are

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economically interdependent with farm-
ing have been trapped by changes that
were not of their own making.
To begin with, in 1980, the United
States adopted monetary policies that
resulted in a steep rise in interest rates
and contributed to recessionary trends.
Since 1981, huge US government deficits
have engendered heavy borrowing by the
Government and quickly more than
doubled the total national debt. Many
other governments also continued, or
adopted, their own policies of restrict-
ing economic growth, in order to defend
their currencies and to curb inflation.
But in a politically unstable world, many
investors saw the United States as a dis-
tinctively safe, as well as rewarding,
haven for their wealth. The heavy US
borrowing, at exceptionally high rates
of interest in real terms, acted as a
magnet for foreign money and deple-
ted funds for investment in other
countries, thus spreading the reces-
The strong demand for US dollars to
invest at attractive interest rates caused
a steep rise in their value in terms of
other currencies. Comparative prices of
US commodities on international markets
rose accordingly, just as global recession
was reducing demand. The impact fell
first and hardest upon US farmers.
US grain exports in 1985 were 31
million tons (29 per cent) less than five
years before, while other grain exporters'
sales rose by 18 million tons (22 per
cent). One result is a rise in US grain
surpluses to record levels and an in-
exorable downward pressure on farm
Until 1980, most farmers who en-
countered financial difficulties were able
to cover their losses by borrowing against
the rising value of their land. But high
interest charges add heavily to farmers'
cosis and, for many, to the size of their
operating losses. Beginning farmers with
large start-up debts are the most vulner-
able. As the number of farm failures in-
creased, the amount of farm land offered
for sale began to rise. Since 1981, the
combination of all these adversities has
led to steep declines in farm land values,
averaging 30 per cent nationally and up
to 50 per cent and more in some of the
most productive agricultural areas. As
prices and incomes dwindled and the
value of farm assets evaporated, many
farmers saw their borrowing power
disappear. Losses incurred from one
poor crop could suddenly mean absolute
The new US policy seeks to recover
the country's former share of export

markets by cutting prices, thereby seek-
ing to roll back production in competing
countries or at least to discourage further
increases in exports. Government spokes-
men acknowledge that many farmers will
lose their farms before the long and pain-
ful process is completed.
It is unlikely, however, that competing
export countries will readily give up the
gains they have made in world markets.
Miguel Moneta, a grain and livestock
producer in Argentina's Cordoba pro-
vince, appears optimistic. "Lower world
prices" he says, "will not be felt as
strongly here as in other countries
because our production costs are lower.
Argentina's producers are very quick to
adapt themselves to changing world con-
ditions." James Wright, a grain farmer
and secretary of the Saskatchewan Wheat
Pool cooperative in Canada says that "the
response of producers in Canada may
be to make up for the price reduction by
producing more."
The effect on the European Com-
munity is an imponderable. Although
committed to negotiate agricultural
issues, officials there have shown great
resistance to surrendering export out-
lets for surplus production. The enlarge-
ment of the Community to include Spain
and Portugal is likely to increase rather
than diminish the political influence of
the Community's farmers.
The response of the developing
countries is even more problematic. For
one thing, considerations other than pure
economic efficiency and comparative
advantage often weigh decisively in their
agricultural price and production policies.
Low-cost food imports by many of these
countries are believed to have contri-
buted in the past to the neglect of
domestic agricultural development,
especially when rapidly growing, poli-
tically potent urban populations urge
leaders to keep food prices low. On the
other hand, the severe constraints upon
foreign currency resources imposed by
heavy debt service obligations may foster
efforts to promote domestic production
to substitute for imports or to enlarge
export earnings, even at extremely high
costs in terms of pure economic effici-
Gross distortions of prices in inter-
national markets engendered by present
national monetary, fiscal, and trade
policies, particularly under present corldi-
tions of recession or slow economic
growth, add to the confusion and risk.
This is vividly illustrated by recent price
developments in the international market
for cotton, a commodity produced and

exported by both less developed and
industrialized countries. USDA econo-
mists report that the basic world market
cotton price at northern European ports
declined by 50 per cent between 1980
and October 1985, from 98 to 49 cents a
pound in US currency. During this
period, US exports accounted for 10
per cent of the world cotton trade. In the
currencies of the countries that exported
the remaining '90 per cent of the inter.
nationally traded cotton, the price,
weighted by the exporters, moved drasti-
cally in the opposite direction, rising to
230 per cent of the 1980 price.
The more than doubling of the price
received by the United States' compete.
itors, in contrast to the halving of the
price received for US exports, some.
what overstates the advantage to com-
peting producers. Some of their pro-
duction costs entail imported inputs
for which payment must be made in US
dollars or other convertible currency But
there remain large shares of input co ts
labour, for example which did no rise
proportionally. A price disaster fo US
cotton producers was a price bonanz for
their competitors.
If the aim of the new US price Alicy
is to drive down the world market rice
for competitors in their own currm icies
no further than the level that pre ailed
in 1980, the US cotton price woulc have
to be slashed to 22 cents a p und,
just over one-fifth of the 1980 )rice.
If that should be attempted, it mi! it be
the United States, rather thar the
competing countries, that would !e its
cotton production curtailed.
The case of grains is similar but
much less extreme because the curl ncies
of competitors in that market ha' not
depreciated as much against t- US
dollar. The point is, however, thz it is
the price of dollars and other curn ncies
that requires adjustment, rather than
the prices of grain and cotton. It is
monetary and fiscal policies rathe than
agricultural price support pollcie tha
most urgently need corrective ;tion.
This suggests that the quest for so! itions
to "the farm problem" through c ,ange
in agricultural price policies may )rove
to be futile. When, as in the U ;, the
quest implies cutting farm prices, irious
risks are raised, and not to farmers lone
A real solution to the farm proble'n ca
be found only in a solution to the foo
problem, through policies and practices
which foster rapid worldwide economic
growth, so that the breadwinners in every
family can work, and earn, and pay for
enough to eat.
Reprinted from CERES the FAO Review on
Agriculture & Development.

Caribbean Farming, August 1986

The economic situation of farmers in
other countries whose prices of grains,
oilseeds, and meat and dairy products
are directly linked to the world market is
essentially the same as in the United
States. In Australia, farm commodity
prices have declined less than in the
United States because the national
currency has been devalued. But farmers'
costs of production have increased more
- by 41 per cent since 1980. Australia's
Bl reau of'Agricultural Economics reports
ttiat despite excellent crop yeilds, the
ir. ation-adjusted rate of return last year
w below the nine-year average. That
p' :od included four years of drought,
at )ng them the most severe in the
cc -try's history. Price and income pros-
pe 3 for 1986 are even worse. Last July,
th. national capital, Canberra, witnessed
its largest protest ever when an esti-
ma d one-tenth of the nation's farmers
der rnstrated. Further protests, including
stri s, have been predicted, lan
Mac achlan, president of the National
Fan 'rs' Federation, which sponsored
last Wly's demonstration, admits that
then is little that Australia can do to
raise arm commodity prices on the world
mark t What he and other farm spokes-
man re seeking is government action to
redu farmers' costs. Prime targets are
"ex, sive tariffs" and interest rates,
whi, according to the Federation, are
the hest of all industrialized countries.
the face of import restrictions and
weE world prices for meat, Argentina's
fan s have shifted their production
emi isis strongly from beef cattle to
cern grains and oilseeds since 1980.
Pric of maize and soybeans in Argentine
curr icy, after adjustment for domestic
infl, on, have changed little since 1980.
But i terms of US dollars, prices of these
Arg itine products have fallen by about
50 -r cent or roughly twice as much as
tho,. in the United States. Thus, while
the returns Argentine farmers receive
in their own currency remain about the
sam.,, Argentine commodities are offered
on the world market at levels well below
US dollar prices, greatly improving
Argentina's competitive position in these
Examples of the shifting relation-
ships between farmers' returns and their
input costs are cited by Miguel Moneta,
a Prominent Argentine farm leader. In

1980, a tractor cost farmers the equi-
valent of 36,730 kg of live beef; in 1985
the cost had increased 28 per cent, to
47.000 kg.
The situation of farmers in Canada
more closely resembles that of farmers in
the United States. Farm prices and costs
of production do not vary greatly across
the 5,000 km border between the two
countries. Prices of barley and wheat,
Canada's leading grain exports, have
fallen most sharply. Agricultural prices
have generally declined about 10 per
cent and costs have increased 25 per
cent. Low farm prices and incomes have
combined with droughts in 1984 and
1985 to depress the market value of
farm land. According to James O.
Wright, secretary of the Saskatchewan
Wheat Pool, the decline in 1984 alone
amounted to between 30 and 35 per cent
in the main grain-growing areas. In the
same year, farm bankruptcies in Saskas-
chewan were more than double the
number in 1981. In two other provinces,
they increased fourfold. Wright maintains
that bankruptcies do not fully reflect
the rate of farm failures. Many finan-
cially distressed farmers sell out or
voluntarily surrender their assets to their
creditors. Wright forecasts that if present
price and cost relationships continue, the
number of farms in Canada's three prairie
provinces will drop another 25 per cent
within the next decade.
Farmers in New Zealand rely heavily
on export markets for dairy products,
lamb, beef, and wool, and, like their
counterparts in grain-exporting countries.
they have been hit hard by the world-
wide recession. The New Zeland Feder-
ated Farmers organization forecasts that
gross farming returns this year will drop
one-third below the usual level of about
$6 billion. The President of NZFF, Peter
Elworthy, and other officers of the
Federation have been addressing large
farm meetings throughout the country
with a view to organizing "a cheque-book
strike", in effect, a pledge by farmers
to refrain from buying anything that is
not absolutely necessary. According to
press reports, many rural towns and
businesses are feeling the pinch.

Reprinted from Ceres, the FAO Review
on Agriculture and Development.



aribbean Farming, August 1986
ij"arbben Farming, A~ugust 1986

Today's Farmers

should read

for profit

A recent news story told of a 26-year
old champion farmer in the Caribbean
who finds time to do a correspondence
course from a University while his res-
ponsibilities include supervising a work
force of more than 100 people. Not many
of our farmers have the courage to tackle
that sort of schedule but it should be
possible for most of those who grow
crops and livestock to spend a few hours
each week reading some of the volume
of printed matter produced to help make
farming easier and more profitable.
bookshelf reminds us that the 1984
annual general meeting of the Caribbean
Food Crops Society produced a hefty
volume of proceedings with reports of
research done all across the tropical
world by workers of a score of nation-
alities. These Proceedings were published
by the Eastern Caribbean Centre, College
of the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean
Food Crops Society (CFCS).
The title of the document is SMALL
and the veterans of the Caribbean's
researchers are represented in force.
Dr. Lucien Degras has a paper BIO-
BETTER YAMS and Dr. John
Hammerton reports on WEED CON-
Franklin Martin has two papers on
Sweet Potato. The Krochmals, who
pioneered the SOLO pappaw (papaya)
have a paper on NON-TRADITIONAL
BEAN and another on Bee-keepirng.
More than seventy technical papers
on agricultural topics make this a good
investment for farmers and gardeners.

Irridelco International Corporation has
introduced a new mini-sprinkler, the Fan
SprayTM. This is a one-piece design -
easily maintained and operated. It is
available in an Ag-Head for most applica-
tions or a low-profile Turf-Head that gives
a true "fan spray".
Both models are colour-coded to suit
flow rates from 3 to 32 gph and dia-
meters of 6 to 28 feet. The Ag-Head is
available in 1800 and 3600 patterns while
the Turf-Head is available in 900, 1800
and 3600 patterns.

Pruning of economic trees

By Terrence Beddoe
Pruning is a horticultural practice
handed down from ancient times. It
has the objective of manipulating various
aspects of vegetative and fruiting be-
The pruner should understand the
reasons for pruning and have a definite
purpose in mind.
Pruning the young non-bearing tree is
mainly to train or shape it so that a
strong framework will develop to sup-
port maximum crops of top quality fruit
when the tree comes into bearing. The
aim in a commercial orchard is to pro-
duce a tree that is profitable for many

Citrus tree in need of pruning.
One objective in pruning bearing trees
is to keep the tree reasonably open to
admit sunlight and ensure good aeration,
which in turn may reduce the humidity
and lower disease incidence. This helps
promote good quality and colour in the.
fruit and facilitates harvesting.
Another purpose is to remove from
the tree weak-growing wood that never
will produce fruit of satisfactory size and
quality. Pruning should establish a
balance between vegetative growth and
flower induction and along with other
orchard practices, maintain good condi-
tions in the trees for growth and fruit
flower production.

It would be useful at this time to dis-
cuss some of the prevailing observations
in most districts throughout Grenada.
(a) There are few if any solid stand
plantings of fruit (economic tree)
crops. The existing trees are with-
in or have been planted among
cocoa or nutmeg. The result is
that trees tend to compete for
light and grow tall, which even-

tually increases the cost of harvest-
ing and quality of fruit harvested.
(b) The method of pruning practiced
facilitates the tall upward growth
of the tree, as in general the lower
branches are removed, further in-
creasing the height of the tree.
(c) Tropical fruit trees are vigorous
(tall) growers, and the pruning
practiced facilitates the natural
growth habit.
(d) Trees receive little or no early
training so that branches are
crowded, which increases harvest-
ing difficulties.
(e) No attempt is made to "head"
trees to lower them to facilitate
The end results are:-
(1) To harvest fruit from such
trees means either shaking,
stoning or picking with rods,
so that fruit falling from such
heights are usually bruised
or damaged which pre-dispose
them to attack by soft rots or
disease and fungal organisms.
(2) Due to the topography (in
Grenada 70% of land falls in
the category of 10-300 slope
and very little level land
6.3% of total) several fruits
harvested in the above man-
ner remain uncollected.
(3) Fruits on the thin outermost
branches remain unharvested.

aOdilI trure a dUouvC CI I dl LCI I IIuuCI di pi Ul-
i (4) Branches are sometimes cut
off to obtain the fruit (or
flower in the case of cloves)
with the consequent reduc-
tion in yield in the following.
(5) Losses occur due to poor
quality, unharvested fruit or a

Hat-racking is a severe form of pruning.
combination of both which
can make for uneconomic
Pruding Dwarfs Total Growth and
Delays Fruiting. In general, the early
shaping of the tree should be accom
polished with the minimum amount
of cutting.
Other things being equal, the total
growth attained by an unpruned tree
is always greater than that of a pr ned
tree, regardless of the type and arrount
of pruning. Pruning not only reduce; the
total growth made by the above gr und
portions but as a consequence, total
root growth as well.
Reduces Yield
To prune bearing trees usually re
suits in a reduction in total yield. It must
be pointed out that exceptions iccur
with trees that are too dense or devi.
talized trees which set few fruits The
effect of pruning, however, or the
yield of marketable fruit is th im-
portant factor. Therefore, the gr >wen
and we as extension people are aced.
with the practical problem of leter-
mining the amount of pruning Ahich
will produce favourable effects an J yet
not reduce the marketable yiel, un-
necessarily. Where trees are so de se as
to shade the fruit considerably, i light
to moderate pruning tends to in rease
the yield of marketable fruit.

Stimulates New Growth In Older Tr es
Pruning, through its stimulati, n of
new shoots and new branches, pro Auces
a most positive and beneficial eff :t on
older trees which have borne heavily fore
number of years. Cropping h; an
exhausting effect and tends to reduce the
growth of shoots and spurs. Pruning, by
removing a number of flowers and sti-
mulating a vigorous vegetative type of
growth, results in new wood which in
turn bears its quota of flower buds.
Improves Fruit Set
"Prunina tends to increase the set of
truit. The elimination of certain growth
points indirectly increases the supplies
of water and nutrients available to the

Caribbean Farming, August 198(

remainder. It is IMPORTANT to
NOTE, that although pruning does have
this effect, fruit setting often is more
satisfactorily maintained by applica-
tion of fertilizer.
Bulk pruning, which removes large
limbs and branches produces such a
decided effect near the cuts that water
sprouts (vigorous succulent growths from
above ground parts of the tree) often
become excessive.

The ideal time for pruning from the
stand point of avoiding ill effects on
the trees is in the middle to late dry
season before buds begun to swell and
whln the rains and high humidity can
cait rotting or the entry of pathogenic
(di ase causing) organisms into the out
sur e (s).
may be difficult to do the required
pru ng in large orchards if all the work is
left intil this time, the practice then
cou be to start pruning soon after
harn t and as the weather permits.


has already been mentioned, the
cost of spraying and labour for
] plus the difficulties in obtaining
necessitate establishing the
of tree head lower. This may be

achieved (where possible) by using a
dwarfing or semi-dwarfing stock. The
other method could be to allow the cen-
tral leader to continue upward growth
(when this could be determined) until a
well-formed lateral has developed at or
near the desired height of the tree. Then
remove the leader with a slanting cut
immediately above the lateral. The slant-
ing cut would prevent water lodging in
the cut surface and stimulate the forma-
tion of a callus to completely close
the wound. The cut establishes the
height of head and opens up the top of
the tree.
The tops of old trees may be lowered
by cutting back 1 or 2 of the tallest limbs
to a strong well-placed lateral. Small
wounds usually will heal rapidly without
Tools employed in hand pruning are
simple. Equipment consists of a good
pruning saw, a pair of secateurs, pruning
knife, gloves and a light sturdy ladder.
The light aluminum ladder extendiblee)
is quite suitable. For the saw, the form
and set of the teeth must be such as to
clear the cut of saw dust readily.
In Grenada, the utility tool used for
pruning is the cutlass. The use of the cut-

lass for pruning has its drawbacks. If
the cutlass is not very sharp. then this
can cause serious damage to the pruned
tree. When the cutlass is used carelessly
the branch often breaks causing it to split
considerably lower than the site of cut,
again leaving a site of entry for pathogens
and pests. The cutlass too can transfer
pathogens trom diseased to healthy
tree eg. Moko disease of bananas.
Less attention is given to the protec-
tion of pruning wounds than was done
formerly. Wounds made by pruning, per-
mit the entrance of decay-producing
organisms under favourable conditions,
but experience has shown that such
problems are rare if pruning is done at the
right time. If the pruned tree is to be
treated, particularly large wounds, the
cut surface can be treated with a water-
asphalt emulsion. Paints, varnishes, white
wash, bordeaux paste are unsatisfactory
for cut surfaces, since they soon dry,
crack and lose their protective qualities.
Materials used should not contain sol-
vents that might penetrate and kill the
cambium, thus preventing callus forma-

Terrence Beddoe is Fruit Agronomist
with FAO, stationed in Grenada.

Pr decision sowing for better crop!

S. pie, mechanically operated seed leek) and irregularly shaped varieties

drill- developed by a British firm for
atta, nent to small tractors in the 16KW.
to 2 W (22-45 hp) range fitted with
Cate ry 1 linkages, offer smallholders,
mar' t gardeners and other small-scale
grove s a cost-effective means of sowing
a wi variety of seeds with great preci-
K own as Robin precision, the units
are iade in three basic models and
supp ed in standard assemblies designed
for ..:wing two, three or four rows in
row widths from 200 mm upwards -
a co nbination of drills which, between
their cater for most sowing requirements
on s nallholdings, the maker claims. Seeds
that can be handled include varieties
ranging from peas, onions, carrots, cour-
gettes and lettuc to sugarbeet, swedes,
maize, lucerne, brassicas and rape, as
well as many flower, tree and herb
Virtually any size and shape of seed
can be handled small celery seeds; large
round seeds (maize); thin, oval seeds
(lettuce, carrot); thick, oveal seeds
(French beans); triangular seeds (onion,

(sugarbeet, mangold).

Also on offer is a single-row hand-
pushed (pedestrian) version of the Unit
Drive model, operating on the same pre-
cision seed-metering system with a direct
belt drive to the metering mechanism
from the drill's rear wheel. This wheel
is caged to provide better traction and a
more positive drive to the seed belt. An
adjustable marker arm allows the
operator to make guide marks in the soil
on either side of the drill at the required
width, in readiness for the next row to
be drilled. The drill's handles are de-
tachable for ease of transport and can be
adjusted for angle to suite the operator's
height. Their angled grips are designed for.
maximum comfort and energy transfer.
Illustrations: Robin Master Drive seed
drill (top) and Hand-Pushed seed drill
Hestair Farm Equipment Lrd.
near Newmarket
Telephone: Exning (+44 63877) 206
Telex: 817 494

Caribbean Farming, August 1986

Current Practices in Fresh-Water Prawn

Farming-Part I

By R.D. Steele
Commercial production of the Malay-
sian Prawn is based on a reasonably
thorough understanding of the life
history and biology of this species which
has been obtained jointly through re-
search and production experience. This
prawn originates in the tropical Far
East and attracted attention when S.W.
Ling reported in 1969 that he had suc-
ceeded in rearing the larval stages to
adults in his laboratory at Penang, Malay-
sia. A year later, Takuji Fujimura and
his colleagues (1970) at the Avenue
Fisheries Research Centre (AFRC) in
Hawaii developed a successful method
for the mass rearing of larvae of this
prawn as part of a government pro-
gramme to develop a prawn industry
for Hawaii. Research and development
in other parts of the world followed this
initial success and M. rosenbergii is now
cultured in a large number of countries
by a variety of techniques. Brazil, the
U.S.A., Honduras, Hawaii, Taiwan,
Tahiti, Martinique, the Philippines,
Thailand, Puerto Rico and Jamaica are
all countries in which this prawn is
grown. Study of the reproductive biology
of M. rosenbergii (Ling 1969a) shows that
this animal has a life history in which
there is an egg, eleven larval stages, a post-
larval stage and an adult. Mature females
mate with mature males about 3-6
hours after a pre-mating moult during
which the male deposits a mass of sperm
on the mid-ventral region of the female's
thorax. Eggs are laid by the female about
3-6 hours after mating. The eggs are
fertilized as they are laid and become
attached to the abdominal appendages
of the female where they are incubated
for 10-20 days during which embryonic
development occurs. The eggs hatch out
into planktonic larvae which swim
strongly tail first, head down and ventral
side up. They are also positively photo-
tactic. Each larva goes through the
already mentioned eleven stages after
which it changes into a post-larva which
shows the adult form and ceases to be
permanently pelagic. The post-larva be-
comes an adult through growth.
The number of eggs produced de-
pends on the size of the female. Females
of about 40-50g in weight produce about
10,000 eggs (Corbin el at 1983) whereas
those of 80g produce about 60,000 (Ling,

1969a). Mature females may be able to
lay eggs three to four times annually. The
eggs are bright orange in colour due to
yolk. They become brownish orange after
7-10 days changing to slate grey by the
16th. to 17th. day of incubation (Ling,
Commercial culture of the Giant Malay-
sian Prawn
There are three main stages to the
commercial culture of freshwater prawns.
These are:

(a) Maintenance of Broodstock
(b) Rearing of post-larvae
(c) The growing out of post-larvae
to adults.
The maintenance of broodstock and the
growing-out of adults are carried out in
earthen ponds or tanks containing fresh-
water, whereas the rearing of post-larvae
is carried out in tanks containing con-
stantly aerated brackish water which are
sited in specially constructed facilities
known as hatcheries. A hatchery basi-
cally consists of two series of tanks, one
for storing brackish water and the other
for rearing larvae. The shapes and sizes
of these tanks vary from one hatchery to
(a) Maintenance of Broodstock:
In most commercial hatcheries females
carrying grey eggs are normally ob-
tained from production ponds at times
of harvest. These provide the offspring
used to stock production ponds. However

special broodstock ponds are maintained
by some farms. In Jepara, Indonesia
for example (S. Adisukresno et al 1952)
small broodstock tanks 4 x 4 x 0.6m and
earthen ponds 5 x 10 x 1m stocked with
adult spawners at a density of 4. prawns/
sq. m. and a male to female ratio of
1:3.5 regularly produce 100% fertilized
(b) The rearing of Post-larvae
This stage of the culture process encom-
passes two operations:

(a) Incubation and hatching ggs,
(b) Larval rearing
Incubation and Hatching of Eggs
Gravid females bearing grey eg[ are
brought to the hatchery and may 1t dis-
infected by placing them in aerated :resh
water containing either 0.2-0.5 pp 1 of
copper or 15-20 ppm of formalin 1 r 30
minutes. This is a quarantine proc( lure.
(New and Singholka, 1982). The are
then transferred to incubation tank; con-
taining water of 120/oo to 11 l/oo
Hatching takes place over a 4 day
period with peak release between 24-72
hours. In a number of hatcheries a device
is used which allows the newly hatched
larvae to aggregate in a part of the tank
which is inaccessible to the mothers. In
other cases the adult females are netted
out of the tank once hatching has
occurred. Whilst in yet other cases, the

Caribbean Farming, August 1986

females are placed in cages in the larval
rearing tanks and release their larvae
there. Larvae are collected from incuba-
tion tanks by means of dipnets or a
siphon, counted and then transferred
to rearing tanks. In some hatcheries,
the larvae are counted whilst in the
incubation tank and the entire con-
tents of the tank is then run into a rear-
ing tank.
Counts are made by taking a number
of samples of known volume, say 100
ml., from the rearing tank, counting the
number of larvae in each and calculating
an average. This average is then expressed
as number of larvae per Ijtre (Pers.
Three berried females of 10-12 cm total
length (each normally carrying about
10,000 to 30,000 eggs) are sufficient to
sto(,< each cubic metre of larval tank
vol' ne. (New and Singholka, 1982).
Lar i1 Rearing
Ir' the hatchery the growth of larva to
post 3rva takes place in tanks of brack-
ish .ter whose salinity may be 120/oo
to 1 /oo and which receives constant
aerat n through pipes connected to an
airbl ver.
T, re are basically three main systems
used )r the rearing of larvae of Macro-
brach m rosenbergii. These are:
(a) The green water system
(b) The static clear water system
(c) The re-circulating clear water
system .
In e green water system, the larvae
are gr vn in brackish water of salinity
150/( which contains unicellular algae
(mair Chlorella sp.) at a density of 1
millic cells/ml. This is the system de-
velop by the Aneunue Fisheries Re-
searcw Centre in Hawaii and is widely
used 1 Hawaii. "Green water" is pro-
ducet by aging "clear water" in tanks.
stock with fish (Tilapia spp.) Fish
densi is are held at approximately 1.4
kg/1C 0 litre and the fish are fed daily
an a, libitum ration of prawn pellets
(Corl.1 et al, 1983).
In rhe static clear water system, the
larvae are grown in brackish water ol
salinity 12/0oo in conical tanks. This is
a system developed by Aquacop in Tahiti
and which is now also used by other
countries. In both green and clear water
systems, except for the first two or three
days, the water in the tanks is changed
daily, the actual procedure used varying
with the hatchery and the age of the
larvae. However in the clear-water
system, there is a complete replacement
of the water in the rearing tanks at the
end of each day so that the quality of
the water is highest during the night.
(pers. comm.).

Caribbean Farming, August 1986

The re-circulating water system, is
used in hatcheries in the U.S.A.,
Malaysia and Israel amongst others.
In this system brackish water from the
rearing tank circulates continuously
through a biological filter and then back
to the tank. The biological filter uses
bacteria to remove the nitrogenous sub-
stances excreted into the water by the
growing larvae. One such type of filter
in common use is essentially a container
filled with small (2-3 cm) fragments of
substances such as crushed coral, oyster
shells, or polystyrene fragments (Lee,
1982). The circulating water is made to
pass through the crushed material where
bacteria resident on its surfaces break
down the ammonia and nitrites in the
water. Compressed air passed through
pipes embedded in the crushed material
prevents the development of anaerobic
conditions in the filter. Other kinds
of filters are used including ones in
which a series of rotating plates re-
places the particulate material.
The initial density at which larvae
are stocked in rearing tanks varies.
A number of hatcheries start with 150-
160/litre (Martinique, AFRC Hawaii)
(Pers. comm.) and then at day 12
in the cycle reduce the number signi-
ficantly (50-60 in Martinique, 40/litre
in AF.R.C.). Some hatcheries start
with low densities (40/litre) and retain
this density throughout the cycle.
The time taken to metamorphosis,
(that is to say the time taken for a full
cycle) also varies from hatchery to
hatchery as does the survival rate. The
following figures for hatcheries in a
number of countries illustrate this

Prawn larvae feed constantly and are
given finely particulate food consisting
of any of the following or combinations
thereof: Freshly hatched brine shrimp
nauplii, frozen brine shrimp nauplii,
fish flesh, squid flesh, roe of the mullet
Mugil sp and egg custard/protein
combinations of various sorts. A typical
egg custard/protein combination mixture
is one used at the Chacheongsao Fisheries

Station in Bangkok Thailand (New and
Singholka, 1982). It consists of 2 kg
blended mussel meat mixed with 4
eggs and blended once again before
cooking over boiling water. The choice
of food depends on the hatchery but
with the exception of the brine shrimp
nauplii and the mullet roe, all other feeds
have to be passed through stainless steel
sieves so as to obtain particles of the
required size.
Feeding regimes vary from hatchery
to hatchery but there are general trends
which are apparent, thus on days 1-3 no
food is given, or if any, only 24 hour old
brine shrimp nauplii is used.
Post day 3, larvae are fed 3 or 4 times a
day followed by a final feeding of brine
By day 8 all hatcheries are on 4 or 5
feedings a day. When mullet roe is used, it
is introduced at this stage. As it is oily,
this type of food is usually given just
before the daily water change (Malecha,
The last feed of the day is always of
brine shrimp nauplii. They are added to
the water in a concentration such that 1-5
nauplii/ml is found after feeding is com-
pleted. The amount of food given is based
on the presence or absence of residual
food from the previous feedings. At the
AFRC hatchery in Hawaii it is estimated
that the number of brine shrimp nauplii
used per larva per day was between 5 and
15 whilst the amount of fish flesh (as a
slurry) used varied between 0.042 and
0.21 ml/litre/day (Corbin et al, 1983).
Brine shrimp nauplii are obtained by
hatching eggs (or cysts) bought from
commercial suppliers in a number of
countries. Eggs are hatched in water of

salinity varying between 120/oo and
180/oo and one of the most convenient
methods makes use of a circular tank
with a conical bottom (New and Sing-
holka, 1982). The walls of the tank are
opaque except for a translucent segment
just above the beginning of the cone.
Eggs are added to the water in such a
tank at a concentration of 1 mg/litre
(depending on quality) and the suspen-
sion is vigorously aerated for 24 to 48

Country Length of Cycle Overall Survival Reference
Martinique 37 days 70% Pers comm.
Hawaii 25 30 days 50% Pers. comm.
Israel 24 days 75% Cohen, D. and
A. Barnes, 1982.
Thailand within one month 50% New, M.B. and
Singholka, S.
Tahiti 30 35 days Above 75% Aquacop, 1982

hours. One hour before harvesting 50
ppm of formalin may be added as a
disinfectant to the suspension. At
harvesting, the top of the tank is
covered and aeration is stopped. The
nauplii gather at the translucent region
of the tank wall and may be run out
by removing a pipe which blocks the
centrally situated exit. The brine shrimp
nauplii are collected in a 250 um plank-
ton net set in a bucket. A batch is
started each day.
The hatchability of brine shrimp
eggs can be increased by a process of
decapsulation previous to hatching. New
and Singholka (1982) describe the
method developed by Sorgeloos for
doing this which invloves soaking the
eggs in a decapsulation solution made
up of 3 litres of commercial hypochlorite
solution (clorox) in which 148g of
commercial sodium carbonate has been
dissolved with 3 litres of water.
The eggs are treated with this solution
until the suspension becomes orange
whereupon they are filtered off, washed
thoroughly, re-suspended in 2 litres of
water containing Ig technical thiosul-
phate. After subsequent filtration and
washing, the eggs are set up for hatching.
In Martinique the eggs are washed in
Eau de javelle for 1 hour before hatching
(Pers. comm.)
Features of the larval environment
other than salinity and oxygen concentra-
tion which are controlled are:
Lighting and
Many hatcheries use heaters to keep a
constant water temperature w;tri:: the
range 260 310C. Temperatures below
260C reduce the rate of growth and over
31 C. become increasingly more lethal
(New and Singholka, 1982.
Although exposure to direct sunlight
appears to be harmful to the larvae, light
of that spectral quality is essential for
larval development, consequently,
hatcheries are constructed so that light
can be allowed when in necessary (New
and Singholka, 1982).
This is controlled by scrubbing the
walls and siphoning out the debris from
tie bottom of the tank regularly. Some
hatcheries regularly add streptomycin
and bipencillin to the larval rearing water
at levels between 1.25 and 2.5 ppm every
2 or 3 days (New and Singholka. 1982).

Some hatcheries further regularly
maintain a level of 10 ppm of the Sodium
salt of E.D.T.A. in the larval rearing
water. This is believed to improve pro-
ductivity (New and Singholka, 1982).
Between larval cycles, all equipment is
sterilized in a solution of potassium per-
manganate at pH3 and all tanks disin-
fected by one of several methods. For
example the tanks may be sprayed with

250 ppm formalin, exposed to sunlight
for one day, flushed and rinsed before
using again or they may be treated with
a solution containing 60 ppm clorox
or 6 ppm commercial bleach powder for
one day followed by flushing, rinsing
then drying in sunlight for one day. A
final flushing and rinsing is given before
use (New and Singholka, 1982).

Research into Livestock

By K.E. Wellington,
Alcan Jamaica Company
This paper was presented at the 18th
West Indies Agricultural Economics Con-
ference held at the UWI campus, Mona,
Jamaica and will be published in the Pro-
ceedings of this Conference.
The Secretariat of the Society is
located in the Department of Agricul-
tural Economics and Farm Manage-
ment, UWI, St. Augustine, Trinidad and
Persons wishing to join the Society or
to obtain copies of the Conference Pro-
ceedings may contact the Department.
Historically, Caribbean agriculture has
been dominated by a plantation economy
focussing on crop production for export
and for local consumption. These activi-
ties which utilize most of the more fertile
lands have generated employment for a
significant percentage of national popula-
tions. Technological advances have come
through research and have benefitted
these enterprises to varying degrees -
sugar, banana, coconuts, cacao have had

organised commodity research pro
grammes for decades. Although inadL
quate in many respects, regional agri-
cultural research has focused heavily
on crop production and while some
national programmes consider livestock
the levels of support leave much to be
In a study of animal production
systems in the Eastern Caribbean, Ar:hi-
bald, Singh and Osuji (1981) noted :hat
although animal production is an impor-
tant part of the lives, well-being ind
cropping activities of the small far ler,
traditionally the animal sector has een
regarded as an appendage of crop iro-
duction or as an independent act sity
that requires little or no official ai en-
tion. These researchers were of the
opinion that livestock can play a n uch
greater role in farm income and fz nily
nutrition if various constraints arn re-
moved from animal farming. Some, but
not all of these constraints are )f a
technological nature.
Continued on nex ;age


Caribbean Farming, August 1986

Recognising that research is the
engine that drives the wheels of
technology, the more advanced
countries of the world allocate over 2%
of their Gross National Product to agri-
cultural research; developing countries
on the other hand devote only 0.2% to
0.3% (Arnon, 1975). The relatively low
priority accorded to agricultural re-
search in general and to livestock research
in particular is one sure reason for the
disjointed state of affairs in that industry
Thus, with all the untapped resources
and potentials that have been identified
by scdfes of experts, the nutritional
requirements of the region are largely met
through importation. Most of the food
imports are products of animal origin
wh.ch could be produced in the region if
po! ies designed to encourage self-
suf ciency are pursued.
l- search and development is a neces-
sary ind vital link in the technological
chai which is needed to improve agri-
culti al production. However, the
regic al governments in the Caribbean
have >een tardy in their support of the
Rese ch and Development Programme
of C RDI which is an institute of their
own eation. National livestock research
progr nmes are being pursued with less
than equate zeal and/or enthusiasm and
are, i most cases, accorded low priority
for fi Ince and staffing. In Jamaica, for
exam 3, the activity in the livestock
indus / is minimal at this time and a
hithe ) vibrant programme of livestock
resea; ) which served the industry well
is bei 4 de-emphasised.
It well known that rates of return
on ih stment on various types of agri-
cultu I research have been substantial.
Decis n makes need to be aware of this
fact id researchers themselves should
ensur that economic benefits are pro-
jectec where possible.
Be abuse of the long-term nature of
most ivestock research programmes and
especially those involving cattle, it is
difficult to obtain financial commit-
ments for the life of the programme and
unless the programme generates sub-
stantial income to aid its upkeep and
maintenance financial problems are likely
to be encountered.
It must be admitted that the economic
fortunes of the Caribbean place many
constraints on scarce resources. In
setting priorities, indigenisation ought
to be stressed, research in animal pro-
duction needs to be emphasised and the
potential to convert grasslands, crop
residues and waste products into valuable

Caribbean Farming, August 1986

animal protein developed. Continued
neglect of research and development in
the livestock sector will be to the peril
of the region.
The constraints to livestock produc-
tion in the Caribbean may be grouped
into the following categories:
1. Institutional
2. Physical
3. Financial
4. Personnel
Policy constraints represent a major
bottleneck and policy makers need to be
reminded that one cannot switch off
and on a livestock production system
as is the case with water, electricity or
some chemical processes. The low
priority usually given to livestock at the
planning level is not consistent with the
great potential which the industry holds.
Pricing policies represent a most im-
portant constraint and so too is the
import policy. Security assumes great
significance in the light of increased inci-
dences of predation while marketing is
perhaps the single most important con-

The tropical climate, while .a great
advantage in many respects, is a major
constraining factor in terms of high
temperature, solar radiation and rain-
fall. Agriculture is largely a rural based
activity. Acceptability, suitability and

availability of land for animal pro-
duction are serious constraints in some
areas. Availability of feed is a constraint
in some islands and cost of imported feed
ingredients places pigs and poultry, in
particular, at a serious disadvantage.
Although there are few infectious
diseases in the region, ecto and endo
parasites are prevalent and present a
serious constraint to production. Mineral
deficiencies are encountered and have to
be corrected. Genetic potential of local
stock is not well documented and high
potential exotic stock are not adapted to
local conditions.
Today, the cost of capital and the
amount involved are major deterrents
to investment in livestock. The financial
returns to an investor are not spectacular.
A low priority is given to providing funds
for livestock research in the region. Pro-
ductive agricultural research requires con-
tinuous and long-term financial support,
and timely release of funds for expendi-
Specially trained research scientists are
needed to conduct research and each re-
search organization needs to consist of a
minimum critical mass of scientists.
Although there has been a wealth of
local expertise in livestock production
except for a few isolated cases, teams
have not been developed and continuity
has been lacking.
Livestock researchers in the region,
need to be confident and assertive. Un-
Continued on Page 20 17

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. *. 19 17 F o nrsl< t" .--. "' ./ ' '
, '" ""= -" .' '
. -, : , .. ... .- ;* .. .

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The story behind
good tractors and
great dealers.
For years, Ford has been
the best-selling* brand of
tractors in the Caribbean.
That's not surprising.
Ford tractors offer fea-
tures and performance
proven in all kinds of
work, from simple tasks
around the farm to heavy
tillage in tough soil. And
Ford dealers, like Jamaica's
Kingston Industrial, offer
a commitment to quality
service that keeps custom-
ers coming back.

There are Ford dealers
throughout the Caribbean.

Hadeed Motors
St. John

For nearly 70 years, Ford h as

more than just a good tract )r

Simple operation,
steady performance.
Farmers know the long-
standing Ford reputation
for power, ease ofoperation,
serviceability and depend-
ability. That reputation,
which began early in the
century with the famous
Fordson, is enhanced
today with the new line of
Force II tractors.

American British Canadian Motors, Ltd.
Charles McEnearney & Co. Ltd.
Velox Equipment Ltd.

These new tractors rep-
resent the latest evolution
in Ford tractor design.
You'll find everything you
need to work quickly and

A history
of service.
Caribbean farmers also
know they can count on
their Ford dealer for more
than just a good tractor.

R.E. Yrausquin
Acme Garage
Compania Santisteban C. Por A.
Sto. Domingo

Kingston Industrial like
all Ford Tractor dealer,
has a history of comm -
ment to the finest serv :e
support. Their mecha ics
are trained by Ford in dl
aspects of tractor mairw e-
nance and repair. The:
technicians work with
specialized Ford tools md
equipment. They'll gi e
your tractor the attent )n
it deserves.

McIntyre Bros. Ltd.
St. George's

3* 7W


, J

of ered Caribbean farmers

Tl iat's why we are number one.

Dei endable
par ; support.
To y ur Ford dealer,
part: are more than just a
side! le-they're a competi-
tive Jge.
Ti at's why Kingston
Industrial maintains a
large inventory of Ford
maintenance and replace-
ment parts. Like all Ford
dealers, they can supply

Behrmann Motors S.A.
Kingston Industrial Agencies

nearly all the parts you're
ever likely to need.
In the rare instance
that a needed part isn't in
stock, they can get it fast
from a centrally located
Ford parts depot.

Ford's commitment
to Caribbean farmers.
Finally, your Ford dealer
has the support of one of
the world's best-known

Technimat S.A.
Fort de France
Clemente Santisteban, Inc.
San Juan

companies behind him.
Ford's commitment to
the evolving needs of
agriculture includes
mechanization research
and development programs
that never cease, in good
times or bad. It's a commit-
ment you'll find in the new
range of Force II tractors.
Kingston Industrial has
been working with Ford
since 1912. Like Ford

National Agricultural Corp.
Beachcomber Ltd.
St. Vincent Motors, Ltd.
Amos Vale

dealers throughout the
Caribbean, they've been
helping farmers grow for a
long, long time.
And they look forward
to growing with you for
many more years to come.
*Based on figures from Systematics

More than
just a good tractor.

Charles McEnearney & Co. Ltd.
Port of Spain
Armstrong Ford
St. Croix

fortunately, as a group, they are demoral-
ised and therefore lacking in motivation.
Livestock researchers in the Caribbean
played a supporting rather than a lead
role in the advances made in the poultry
industry during the 1960's and 1970's.
The tremendous boom resulted from
imported day old chicks or hatching eggs
produced through hybridization,
imported feeds and medication and
technology acquired mainly through
raining on the North American conti-
nent. Significant as these developments
are, the almost total reliance on imported
inputs render the industry rather vulner-
able. Turkeys, ducks and other birds
have been reared in the region but have
not benefited from any significant local
research inputs. Gluts and shortages have
characterized the swine industry and
cost of production is sensitive to the price
of imported feed ingredients.
Small ruminants, sheep and goats in
particular, are popular in the region. The
breeding of these animals has been aided
casually and infrequently by man. Sparse
attention is paid to their nutrition and
health, while systems of husbandry have
evolved through tradition- rather than
through the application of research
findings. There is no doubt that appro-
priate development of small ruminants in
the Caribbean is desirable. Availability of
suitable lands, the fecundity of the
species, the existence of adapted stock
and the food value of these animals are
factors in favour of developing their
full potential. Work with sheep includes
the Barbados Black Belly, St. Elizabeth
and Virgin Island breeds, while goats are
being investigated for both meat and milk
In some isolated cases, sustained work
has been done with cattle both for beef
and milk production but even in these
areas, the extent of research into systems
of production is quite limited. Some
success in animal production in the
Caribbean that are worth highlighting
(a) The development of the Jamaica
Hope Breed of Dairy cattle.
(b) The development of the Jamaica
Red Poll Breed of Beef Cattle.
(c) The development of the Jamaica
Brahman Breed of Beef Cattle.
(d) The development of the Jamaica
Black Breed of Beef Cattle.
(e) The development of the Senepol
Breed of Beef Cattle.
(f) The development of the Buff-
alypso in Trinidad.

(g) The development of the Barbados
Black Belly Sheep.
(h) The Cuban Experience in Dairy
Cattle Production.
(i) The Use of Artificial Insemination
in Cattle.
Through sustained research which be-
gan in 1910, the Jamaican cattle breeds
were developed. These breeds are adapted
to the tropical conditions that prevail
in the region and are resistant to tropical
animal diseases (Ministry of Agriculture,
Jamaica, 1972, 1979, 1983). The Sene-
pol, developed in the Virgin Islands,
conibined the tropical adaptability of the
N'Dama cattle with the productivity of
the Red Poll (Merck & Co., 1985).
Through breeding and selection within
the Buffalo population of Trinidad, the
Buffalypso has evolved as a productive
beef animal (Caroni Ltd., 1971). The
tropical woolless Barbados Black Belly
Sheep is a prolific breed which is adapted
to local conditions and is in great demand
(Fitzhugh and Bradford, 1983). The work
in Cuba involves the use of Canadian Hol-
steins on Bos indicus cattle and upgrad-
ing the progeny which are used for dairy
production with beef as a spin-off. The
results are very encouraging (Prada,
1978). Artificial Insemination as a tool in
livestock improvement is being used but
needs wider application.
These innovative achievements in
technology have created a fund of know-
ledge and expertise that ought not to be
despised, admittedly far more is needed
but for the moment activities appear
to have plateaued and motivation is re-
The traditional method of defining
livestock research activities in terms of
breeding, nutrition, health, husbandry,
processing and marketing has yielded
results and there is good reason for
these disciplines to maintain their
identity. Isolated work, within a disci-
pline, however, may be sterile because it
may not be compatible within a system.
Work in systems involves team work.
The work of an interdisciplinary team is
geared at synthesising the things that
have been studied individually in order
to study the whole.
Given the complexity of livestock
production systems, it is necessary to
define the areas to be researched and
have the appropriate specialists on the
teams. If, indeed, mathematical
models can be used to describe the
system, quick calculation methods can
be used and here the computer is a valu-

able asset. This approach in no way re-
places quality research, good adminis-
trators or creative minds; on the con-
trary, it requires them.
The building of multidisciplinary
teams is one sure way of stimulating
interest, ensuring continuity and im-
proving quality of work. The region has
been fortunate to have had individuals
who were motivated to pursue certain
lines of research, at times working against
great odds.
Today, we are less than fourteen
years away from the year 2000. It is
an appropriate time for stocktaking.
We must review the methods used in the
twentieth century and develop systems
appropriate for the twenty-first century.
Already scientists are engaged in bio-
technology and. genetic engineering. It
is necessary to. consolidate our achieve-
ments and build upon them rather than
encouraging stagnation and drift.
Presented at 18th West Indian Agricultural
Economics Conference, Jamaica, April 3-10,
1. Archibald, K. Singh, R., and Osuji, ;.0.,
1981. Animal Production Systems ir the
Eastern Caribbean. Consultant Report No.
7, Caribbean Agricultural Research and
Development Institute, Trinidad, 219 p .
2. Arnon, I., 1975. The Planning and Pro-
gramming of Agricultural Research, AO,
Rome, 122 pp.
3. Caroni Ltd., Trinidad, 1971. Birth c the
4. Fitzhugh, H.A. and Bradford, G.E. (ed)
1983. Hair Sheep of Western Africi and
the Americas Genetic Resources fc the
Tropics. A winrock International S Jdy,
319 pp.
5. Merck & Co., 1985. Cattle Breeds c the
World, 234 pp.
6. Ministry of Agriculture, Jamaica, 197: The
Development of the Jamaica Hope aeed.
Animal Husbandry Bulletin No. 2.
7. Ministry of Agriculture, Jamaica, 979.
The Development of the Jamaica Re Poll
Breed. Animal Husbandry Bulletin No. 3.
8. Ministry of Agriculture, Jamaica 983.
The Development of the Jamaica Bra imen
Breed. Animal Husbandry Bulletin No. t.
9. Prada, N., 1978. Selection Programn for
Dairy and Beef Production through rtifi-
cial Insemination In Cuba. FAO/ iDA
Seminar on Breeding and A.I., Ha ana,

Jamaica's Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Percy
Broderick takes a look at some modern irriga-
tion equipment on a farm In the island's central
plains. Photo courtesy Agro-21

Caribbean Farming, August 1986

Low-cost rice technology
Reprinted from "Co-operation South" assessed ways of increasing farmers' in-
A fresh approach to farm technology comes while avoiding negative effects
by the International Rice Research In- on biological resources. An example
stitute (IRRI) promises to lower produc- would be rice varieties with high yields,
tion costs for millions of small rice low use of expensive petroleum-based
farmers and reduce environmental inputs, and high inbred resistance to
damage. major pests and diseases instead of re-
IRRI has built up a network for test- quiring pesticides.
ing and exchanging rice varieties of Research on rainfed rice continues to
several hundred research institutions receive greater emphasis of IRRI breed-
worldwide since it was established by ing programmes. This is because modern
1960 as the first centre, supported by rice technology has so far largely by-
Consultative Group on International passed the vast tracts of rainfall land,
Agricultural Research (CGIAR) (see crop, and because of the high costs of
Cooperation South 85/1). installing irrigation and drainage systems
Working hand in hand with the Philip- (from US$3,000 to US$10,000 per
oipn Ministry of Agriculture and Food, hectare).

IRfI is now exploring such potential
as: breeding improved rice varieties that
pro uce high yields and high quality and
resi : to major pests and diseases; soil
and fertilizer management that improves
upo centuries-old organic farming
met ods of Asian farmers and utilises
low ost mechanization; and crop pro-
tect n by integrating modern and tradi-
tion technologies to reduce pest damage
to c ps.
A recent technology transfer work-
shoF at IRRI among scientists, re-
searc ers and extension officials
A *.. 1

Rice farmers have been caught in a
cost-price squeeze. Real rice prices have
been falling, while real costs of inorganic
nitrogen, the major cash input in rice pro-
duction, are increasing. Fertiliser costs
per hectare of rice paddy can equal 30
days of common rural wages. Reducing
these costs has thus become a priority
for farmers.
One solution is "green manuring": the
use of nitrogen-producing plants in con-
junction with nitrogen-fixing bacteria,

which are incorporated into the soil
before or after transplanting rice.
Among the various green manures,
Sesbania rostrata, Seasbania aculeata,
and Crotolaria juncea are cited as the
best accumulators of nitrogen. The
Sesbania species from Senegal in Africa
not only rapidly accumulate nitrogen
(over 150 kg per hectare in 50 to 60
days), but also adjust well to flooding
from early monsoon rains. The fast-
growing Sesbania rostrata accumulates
sufficient nitrogen in 40 to 50 days to
boost rice yields by more than one ton
per hectare.
Another technique is to combine
organic and inorganic fertilisers, in two-
third/one-third proportions. Already
done in China, this practice is growing
among Filipino and other farmers because
of the high cost of chemicals. Research
shows that partial substitution of
chemical fertilizers by azolla or straw
actually produces a slight increase in
grain yield.
In the Philippines, after field tests, the
Agriculture Ministry has approved six
processed organic fertilisers for mixing
with organic sources. However, the
Ministry encourages farmers to make
Continued overleaf

Caribbean Farming, August 1986

organic fertilisers in their own fields from
plant and animal wastes the most
efficient and least expensive way of
producing organic fertilisers.
On integrated pest management, the
thrust of present IRRI research is towards
pest control using biological methods/
or minimum pesticides, and involving
reduced costs. For example, at the Uni-
versity of the Philippines researchers
have isolated a fungus that can kill the
"rootknot nematode" parasite that
attacks the roots of citrus, potato and
banana. They have also found strains of
bacteria that are effective against the
corn borer pest, the diamond back moth
which preys on different vegetables, and
the larvae of the malaria-inflicting mos-
quito (achieving 100 percent kill after
24 hours). These and other organic pesti-
cides are expected to reduce small

New Low-Toxic
A new range of low-toxic pesticides
with no long-term environmental effects
are being developed in Australia for the
international agricultural market.
Australia's Commonwealth Scientific
and Industrial Research Organization
(CSIRO) is jointly developing and
marketing the range of chemicals through
its commercial company, Sirotech
Limited, and Du Pont (Australia)
The pesticides have been invented by
researchers in the CSIRO's Division of
Applied Organic Chemistry, led by
division chief Dr. David Solomon and in-
cluding chief research scientist Mr.
George Holan.
Dr. Solomon was the chief mover of
the joint venture while Mr. Holan's team
produced the first chemicals for com-
mercial development by the new com-
Since joining the division in 1966, Mr.
Holan has been a driving force in creat-
ing biologically active compounds which
can have commercial applications.
His first task was looking at the
chemical structure and biological effects
of DDT the first of the great synthetic
Using the knowledge acquired in this
study, Mr. Holan has gone on to develop
a method of manipulating compounds
and predicting the outcome of any new
His aim is to develop compounds
which are highly selective to the parti-
cular biological function he wishes to
control. With insecticides, this means
preparing compounds which have specific
toxicity (that is they will kill certain

Small combine harvester made in Santa Caterina, Brazil for use by small farmers of the area. This
technology is giving Catarinense farmers cost advantage over their large-scale neighbours in Rio
Grande do Sul.
farmers' dependence on extensive and (From an article by Domingo Abadilla,
toxic chemical pesticides, for Depthnews)

creatures without harming people or
other animals) and eliminating the hit-
and-miss approach to insecticide or
drug design.
He has had to develop correctly
shaped and -size molecules with the
right type of bonding to make the com-
pound specific.
"If we develop a methodology for
designing biologically active compounds,
then we can do a whole range of things
with it, such as attempt to design other
agrichemicals and also antibacterial, anti-
inflammatory and anti-viral drugs," Mr.
Holan said.
The joint venture between CSIRO and

Du Pont will combine the pioneering
work of CSIRO's Division of Ap:lied
Organic Chemistry and the world Nide
development, manufacturing and mi rket-
ing expertise of Du Pont.
The company's aim is to develop and
make a range of agricultural cherry cals.
Du Pont Australia has already eval ated
a representative group of the C IRO
chemicals and found them to be I ghly
Du Pont Australia will have a ) per
cent interest in the joint venture :om-
pany and Sirotech Limited will ho the
remaining 51 per cent equity on bel If of

B-H Series Harrow
ROME disk harrows give land heavy Cutting widths from 11'to 241 '
duty tilling. Deep penetration, thorough The hinge wheel harrows are ava able
mixing and minimal clogging increase to match wheel or track-type tract 's in
productivity. Higher operating speed and the 60 to 400 D.B.H.P. range.
a variety of applications increase return
on investment.
The ROME hinge wheel offset harrow * I
series combines the superior of the wheel L
Angle adjustments from 00 to 450,
.9 A01

OrroLuw VVCIwe IILat I Um I ISO. LU
12,369 Ibs.
* Weight per disk blade from 160 lbs.
to 375 Ibs.
* Drawbar pounds pull from 6,000
Ibas. to 21,000 lbs.
* Trouble-free Timken roller bear-
* Hydraulic "on the go" adjustments.

Caribbean Farming, August 1986





SAgricultural Tractors
SHaul Trucks
Back Hoes

Sprostons Industrial Materials Ltd.
is the name you can depend on for
reliable Industrial Materials of the
highest quality.
Come in and talk to us or call our
Industrial Materials Department

(rompton porkinson
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single phase 110/220 V 50 HZ
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Packing 2
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GASKETIN MAT IAL 2,3, & 4 core Armoured Cables
GASKETING MATERIAL. Fittings -BW and CW types.

iban Farming August 1986 23
^Caribbean Farming, August 1986


Exhibition for

Pigs & Poultry
The International Exhibition for Pig
and Poultry Production, called "Huhn &
Schwein', will be held on the Hanover
fair grounds from June 24 to 27, 1987.
In 1987 it will be the most important
exhibition for these two branches of pro-
duction in the world. The organizers are
the Deutsche Landwirtschafts -
Gesellschaft (DLG), German Agricultural
Society, and the Zentralverband de Deut-
schen Geflugelwirtschaft (ZDG), the
Central Association of German Poultry
"Huhn & Schwein" is held every two
years. In the course of the last few years
it has proved to be one of the world's
most important events for pig and
poultry production. At the last exhibition
in 1985, 631 direct exhibitors and 195
represented firms from a total of 27
countries displayed their products to a
highly qualified public from Germany
and abroad. More than 50,000 specialists
came to Hanover to inform themselves
on the international offer. Of this total,

Denbigh Show
Denbigh showground in the central
plains of Jamaica is the place where the
best of the Island's farm produce is dis-
played over the firstweek-end of August
each year.
The Show regularly brings forward
some of the best livestock in the Carib-
bean and is, of course, an occasion for
farmers and their friends to meet in a big
festival occasion.
In spite of devastating flood rains in


9,000 visitors came from 83 countries
from all over the world.
The exhibition programme encompasses
the complete range of production means
and requirements indispensable to the pig
and poultry production, including mar-
keting facilities.
The exhibition programme is classified
into the following sections:
Breeding and multiplying enter-
Stall instruction
Stall equipment
Equipment and accessories
Feed preparation and storage
Automation and control techniques
Production means: feedstuffs, de-
tergents, disinfectants, veterinary
products, pesticides and paints

June, decision was taken to hold Den-
bigh Show in 1986. As might be
expected, displays of fruit, vegetables and
ground provisions came nowhere near
the magnificent display put on last year -
but livestock quality (if not numbers)
did not disgrace the industry.

Our photographs are from the 1985
Denbigh Show by Jamaica Government
Information Service.

Marketing installations: installa-
tions, equipment for slaughter-
houses, transportation means, pack-
ing machines and materials, egg
management and transformation in-
Information and extension
Data processing.
On the occasion of this specialized ex-
hibition, the DLG will organize the bird
international symposium on "po ltry
production in hot climate zones It
will take place from June 19 t. 23,
1987. Specific problems of pc ltry
production in the Near and Middle East,
in North Africa and the Far East v 1I be
discussed. The second symposium, held
two years ago, attracted 200 It ding
poultry experts from 43 countries.



A ,sRose vAc i)LEY Pitorcoa

;. '. L. C '. . .L. -
* ...'..'.-,
^ ^ ? :;., J. ;.-

Caribbean Farming, August 1986

Technology Adoption in the Windward Islands

Une ot the readable and topical papers presented at the
eighteenth West Indian Agricultural Economics Conference was
by Dr. Dunstan Campbell, who works with the Caribbean
Agricultural Extension Project (CAEP) in the Windward Islands.
A good deal of the effort in the CAEP has to do with
technology adoption treating animals for worm infestation,
fertilising farm crops, planting disease-resistant varieties, better
care of the crop between reaping and market. People doing the
kind of work Dr. Campbell and his colleagues are in concern
themselves with the numbers of farms which use the better
methods of producing and marketing.
In his paper, Dr. Campbell tells about a study that he carried
ouw in France and repeated in the Windward Islands some time
latcr. Study in St. Vincent on the adoption of banana techniques
identified certain factors which prevent effective transfer of
tec 'nology. Also this study showed that serious attention must
be )aid to the home situation and its relation to the farm to un-
dei tand why certain techniques are adopted more easily than
ott rs.

after World War II French farmers were describing them-
selv ; as being "overtaken by the advancement of technology".
It 1 ppened so quickly, says Campbell, that they were unable
to i aster the process of change. During those same years, we
hav been saying in the Caribbean we are still saying it that
we an induce the small farmer to improve his methods by
senci g him some leaflets which, in case he cannot read, will be
exp' ned to him by his school-age son or daughter. (This last is
our imment, not Dr. Campbell's).
C Campbell's study reminds us that the farmer's family is,
in fe ; an important part of the story:
Whether we look at technology adoption from the in-
ternational, regional or local occurrences it is always the
farm family which will be the focal point. It is important,
therefore, to understand how the farm family behaves in
sach situation.
Data gathered from a study of three communities in
-ural France indicate that farms seem to go through a cycle.
The cycle can be divided into three parts. The first ... high
acceptance to technology adoption. In the second part
acceptance is relatively high but decreasing in intensity and
the third part shows even further decrease in intensity (see
Fig. 1.)

Rel 4ionship between Technology Adoption and Age oF Farmers

Techlogy -
Adoption -
(Farm,,/o, ,

20 40 60 80
1900 1920 1940 1960 1980
I A IrriadiuM'Cccessor
MEI |rria-d wlft f a successor

Part 1 of the cycle can be explained by an examination
of the farmers' rationale for remaining in agriculture.
Farmers between the ages of 20-45 were preparing for their
children's education/future. They accepted as many forms
of technology as would make their farms produce at
maximum profit. In this age group the demand for money
is greatest. The former not only had to provide for his
children but also had to repay his loans.
It is interesting to note that in this group the single
farmers showed similar high levels of adoption. Their aim
was to maintain a progressive outlook so as to attract a
female companion. If the farmer was not married by
age 45 his technology adoption fell sharply.
The second part of the cycle, age group 45-55, was
critical as far as the farmer's decision to continue accept-
ing technology was concerned. This depended on the
outcome of the children's education or the children's
willingness to remain on the farm. If succession is guaran-
teed, a high level of adoption continues. If not, the level
of technology adoption will show a decline.
The third part of the cycle, age group 55-70, showed low
level of technology adoption. The main objective of this
group of farmers was to maintain their standard of living.
This study revealed two important variables in techno-
logy adoption, family goals and social pressure.

Over the last three years, observations made of farm
families in the Windward Islands indicate that farms do go
through a similar cycle as was observed in rural France. The
cycle, however, tends to be longer especially where the
family is extended. Nonetheless, there is sufficient evidence
to make a preliminary conclusion that farmers' children are
remaining less and less on the farm thus bringing the cycle
closer to that observed in France.
It should be stated that this cycle explains the adoption
of technology over time. It does not provide a full explana-
tion of accelerating technology adoption.
The paper goes on to discuss factors contributing to tech-
nology; full text will be published as part of the proceedings of
the Conference. Our present purpose is to commend the re-
searcher for his efforts in an important area and to suggest that
more of his colleagues investigate and report on the processes of
information exchange between our small farmers and rural folk
and those research technicians, extension workers and govern-
ment administrators who serve our nations.
A useful composite description of the Caribbean small-scale
farmer has been prepared for the purposes of another conference
mentioned in this issue of Caribbean Farming. After mention
of size of operation and cropping activity, the description goes
The small farmer is not familiar with improved practices.
He keeps no records, does not receive regular visits from
extension officers and does not value extension services.
He listens to the radio and feels that he would benefit
from programmes on improved agricultural production
practices. He saves in a commercial bank but does not
borrow. He does not encourage his offspring to go into
farming. His most felt need is of improved infrastructural

Caribbean Farming, August 1986

',' A ;rwM

F_ -I



Cassava for food security in Tropical Africa

In each of the geographical zones of
the world, there are certain food crops
that are identifiable with the people.
In south-east Asia, it is rice. In Europe it
is wheat while in the humid and sub-
humid tropics of Africa maize and cassava
are the real crops.
Cassava, because of its relatively easy
methods of propagation, is easily identi-
fiable with the peasants in Africa. The
stems are cut and planted on any type
of soil, fertile or infertile. It is known to
survive harsh conditions where other
crops fail. It is tolerant to drought and
extensively propagated in most African
countries that lie within the humid and
sub-humid tropics.
Cassava is a "security" crop because of
the basic food staples which it provides
for low income people. It is potentially
able to produce more calories per unit
area than any other food crop because of
its high-yielding ability, adaptation to
diverse climate and cultural conditions,
and ability to survive long dry spells of
up to 4-6 months. It generally requires
less labor, costs less to produce and re-
quires less care in management than
cereal crops. Both root and leaves are
valuable as human food and livestock
feed and the root is widely used for in-
dustrial production of starch and alcohol.
According to the FAO, Africa
accounts for an annual average produc-
tion of 39 percent of total world cassava
and for 52 percent of the total area used
for its production. In the last 10 years
Africa used about 4.2 percent of its
arable land annually for cassava produc-
tion. Cassava's importance is directly
related to its role as a subsistence crop
for the rural population. Farmers in the
developing countries do not usually have

good provisions for food storage. As
cassava tuber can be left in the ground for
a long time after it has matured and it
does not have to be harvested all at once,
it assures farmers of a constant supply of
food throughout the year without storage
What Africa needs is food security.
Food security is ability to produce ade-
quate quantities of food throughout the
year regardless of unexpected environ-
mental and political problems. Cassava
meets all these demands and many
more because of its ability to cope
relatively well with drought, discontin-
uity in cultivation and lack of fertilizer
and proper care.
However, cassava is often ignored as
good human food because of its high
starch and low protein value. People have
erroneously regarded it as inferior there-
fore a poor man's food, without neces-
sarily looking for ways of improving its
Efforts of scientists at the Intern-
tional Institute of Tropical Agriculture
(IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria, and other
national research centers in Africa are,
nevertheless, paying off in the area of
crop improvement and utilization.
Cassava clones that have resistance to
bacterial blight (CBB) and leaf mosaic
disease (CM) two major diseases
plaguing cassava in the tropics have
been released to farmers in many
African countries. In addition, a major
success has been achieved in the areas of
biological control of two major pests -
green spider mite and cassava mealybug -
through the provision of natural
predators that feed on the pests. These
are released by hand on the ground or

from the aircraft on cassava farms.
Of interest is the sweet variety MS
30001 whose flour has been found uit-
able for baking bread. Although pot Jlar
in Colombia and Brazil, not much was
known about its baking ability in Ni iria
until IITA published its findings ii the
1984 Annual Report that cassava our
could either be combined with whe t as
composite flour for bread or used 100
percent by adding an improver (Pent ,an)
to produce good-quality bread. In ddi-
tion, cookies, chips, cake, and bi: uits
are now being made from cassava Per-
haps the most popular food from c; ;ava
is gari. It is synonymous with fo. i in
many tropical African homes. In Ni ,ria,
gari forms a staple for many fai lilies
especially in the southern states. Stu ents
in many homes including boE Jing
schools, find it as a ready relie for
hunger by simply soaking it in water and
adding sugar, peanut, palm kerne and
sometimes milk or fried bean :ake
(akara). Gari is also served with c( >ked
cowpea (bean) seasoned with oil, whilee
sometimes it is also combined with aize
dough to make porridge served ; an
accompaniment to soup and stew with
meat or fish.
The flour is also processed into lany
dishes including fufu, amala or ta ioca
served with bean stew or vegetables The
tender leaves serve as good vegetab e in
Sierra Leone, Togo, Nigeria, 'aire
and some East African countries.
According to Janet Kwatia of the
University of Science and Technology,
Kumasi, Ghana, in the language of the
Ewe people, cassava is called "agbeli"
which literally means "there is life" -
an indication of the hope for life that
people have in the crop.

Caribbean Farming, August 1986

r__ I



Streak-infected maize in the middle, streak-resistant variety at right and left.

Major award for research to IITA
T International Institute of Tropical agricultural research centers have co- 19
Agri Iture (IITA) has won the 1986 operated to develop more than 100 str
King 3audouin International Agricultural varieties of streak resistant maize which all
Rese ch Award for research work that have been made available to thirty-six an
has i 1 to a breakthrough in combating national programs for further multiplica- va
maiz, streak virus (MSV) one of the tion and distribution to farmers.
most serious diseases of maize in sub- In Nigeria alone by 1985, five open nc
Sahai 1 Africa. pollinated varieties and eight hybrids na
Th announcement was made at a resistant to MSV had been officially cc
recent meeting of the Technical Advisory released. They are currently being multi- tri
Comr ttee (TAC) of the Consultative plied by the National Seed Service cr
Grouw on International Agriculturagl (NSS), headquartered in Ibadan. pr
Resea :h (CGIAR) held in Cali, In 1985 sufficient seed for 100,000 ha tu
Color )ia, South America. was produced. It is estimated that by A
Th King Baudoin Award was esta-
blishe by the CGIAR in 1980 to recog- International Aquacu
nize ( rtstanding achievements by "inter- I Ln1 Uaion l AquacU
nation I centers in agricultural research The Third International Exhibition
aimed at increasing food production in and Conference on Fish-Farming Tech-
develc 'ing countries. The selection of niques will be held in Verona, Italy 9-
IITA )r the award is a major honor for 12 October, 1986.
the ir titute, African national research The Exhibition will include equip-
progre is and farmers. ment and products related to fish farm-
Th( Award winning project involved ing and is expected to attract 15,000
a ten- ear research effort by a team of visitors.
entom logists, pathologists and Associated with the Exhibition will
breede s, who conducted a sustained be an international conference on
research 1 to combat MSV. disease control on fish farms. Addresses th
Car::ed by leafhoppers of the Cica- will be presented on: tr
dulina genus, MSV was first observed in
southern Africa in 1900. It has since --- '
spread to all parts of the maize growing
regions of the continent. Characterized
by yellowish longitudinal lines on maize
leaves, the disease retards photosynthesis ,
leading to serious yield reduction. The
affected maize plants remain stunted \
and eventually wilt. If the attack occurs
at the early stages the infested maize
plants may not produce grains at all.
Based on the success of the project,
IITA and the International Center for
Wheat and Maize Improvement
CIMMYT) in Mexico, and many African

Caribbean Farming, August 1986

)86, about 250,000 ha will be under
eak resistant varieties, while by 1990
2 million ha of the Nigerian maize
eas will be seeded to MSV resistant
The new streak-resistant varieties are
)w being made available to African
itional research programs and seed
impanies for multiplication and dis-
bution. Maize is no longer the risky
op it was for many farmers and the
actical benefits of effective agricul-
ral research are being passed on to
frica's maize farmers.

Iture Exhibition
* Disease and risk control in modern
farming systems
Transfer & Introduction of Aquatic
Organisms International Regula-
Quarantining and Required Tech-
Disease in relation to the culture
The area around Verona is regarded as
ie heart of the Italian fish-farming indus-


Good Forage

for better


-The reproductive behaviour of cattle
(that is, the age at which they first con-
ceive and the rate of reconception) is re-
lated to the quality of the forage they
eat. This conclusion was reached by tro-
pical pasture scientists following a three-
year study. On-farm trials were carried
out at two locations. Heifers that grazed
the native savanna under traditional
management were compared with those
which had access to improved pastures.
The latter grazed the CIAT-developed
combination of Andropogon gayanus, a
grass, and Stylosanthes capitata, a leg-
On one farm studied, the percentage
of births at the first conception and at a
later reconception were compared. While
no differences have been found to date
in the proportion of heifers conceiving
for the frist time when they grazed the
improved pastures, conception did nor-
mally occur at a significantly lower age
(one year earlier). Even with the dif-
ference in conception which implied
more stress due to lactation, animals that
had grazed on the better forage were
Striking results were found at the se-
cond farm. The weights and ages at the
first conception reflect the limited po-
tential of the native savanna. Savanna-
grazing cows had their first conception
and gestation at three or more years of

Centrosema is a nitrogen-fixing legume that is being used in association with grasses to produce
superior pastures in the tropics.

age, while cows eating A. gayanus/S.
capitata were already giving birth at
that age.
Farmers at both farms, whatever the
grazing system, commonly supplement
the diets of the cattle with minerals.
Comparing the performance of heifers
in the savanna with those in A. gayanus/
S. capitata fields, it is clear that given
the equal levels of the mineral supple-
mentation, quality forage is the deter-
mining factor in the reproductive beha-
vior of heifers.

A major arm of CIAT'S Tropical
Pastures Program is to develop pastures
(grasses and legumes) that will grow well
in the savannas under low fertility condi-
tions. These pastures containing N fixing
legumes that increase soil fertility and

raise the forage protein level, make
marginal lands agriculturally more pro-
The grass/legume combination, s. a
rule, produces more and better qu lity
forage which contributes to grt iter
animal weight gains. CIAT's Tro ical
Pastures scientists are identifying the )est
combinations of grasses and legum to
produce the best forages, especially, for
the tropical American savannas. 1 iese
vast, underused tropical lands coul be-
come the new frontiers of the catt in-
Brachiaria spp. (B. decumbens i hu-
midicola, etc.) are commonly used :the
acid poor soils of tropical Am rica.
Farmers prefer these grasses for :heir
good productivity and, especially for
their high competitive ability a iinst
weed encroachment in the pastures. ind.
ing compatible legumes with these I ghly
aggressive grasses to increase produce vity
and persistence of pastures is one ( the
important challenges of this res arch
Arachis pintoi, a species of per nnial
peanuts, is especially effective /hen
grown with the highly aggressi: B.
humidicola and B. dictyoneura. t is
tolerant to heavy grazing. Cattle li e it;
however they do not eat it to the ( sion of the Brachiaria species. The le ume
content in all Brachiaria species/A. 'ntoi
mixtures recovers well under a rotal onal
grazing system: 7 days grazing, 21 days
A pintoi is a prolific underground
seed producer. This is important in any
legume/grass combination to warrant
the persistence and stability of the
botanical composition through time.
The average in vitro digestibility of
A. pintoi associated with Brachiaria
species is 60.0%. Mean crude protein in
A pintoi ranges from 14.8% to 16.6%.
Continued on Foge 30
Caribbean Farming, August 1986



S ^^^0-----0
180 -
t /- \


100 -

79 80 81 82 83 84


We Rose to the Occasion

| j "r

*. i i 1 i Hi i L ^

"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
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Mutual Life Building, 30 Market Street. Montego Bay, St. James. Telephone: 952-3420

Caribbean Farming, August 1986


Good Forage for better reproduction

The great potential of A pintoi as a
legume pasture compatible with the
aggressive B. humidicola and B. dictyo-
neura is very encouraging.
The number of animals that a pasture
can support depends on several factors.
Simply stated, the stocking rate per
unit of land depends on the pasture's
yield and the nutrition value of the forage
In some marginal lands of Latin America,
5-10 hectares may be needed to sustain
one animal, if it feeds only on native
Tropical Pastures Program scientists
are increasing the stocking rate with
pasture management technology that
is based on the use of new grasses grown
in association with nitrogen-fixing leg-
umes. This has resulted in a stocking rate
of three or more animals per hectare.

The measure of success is shown in com-
parisons of daily or yearly weight gains of
the animals.

For example, in a four-year study of
improved pastures grazed by young
steers eating only native savanna grasses,
each animal gained an average of 75 kg
per year. When grazed on only an im-
proved grass, the gain averaged about
130 kg. But when grazed on an im-
proved grass/legume association, live-
weight gains approximated 187 kg/yr.
Grass/ legume associations increase
weight gains because the association im-
proves the productivity of the grass and
the efficiency of utilization. Animal
nutrition studies show that animals
grazing the association select a nutrition-
ally better diet than those grazing only on
grass. The better diet is also responsible
for higher weight gains.

Improved pastures with grass/legume
mixtures have consistently produced
nearly 44% higher gains per animal and
15% higher gains per hectare than grasses
alone, with the major benefit coming
during the stressful dry season.
For six years, CIAT Tropical Pastures
Program scientists have been evaluating
a forage grass, Brachiaria decumbens,
alone or with Pueraria phaseoloides, a
legume. The results of this study are
shown in Figure 1. They verify other
findings supporting the value of the grass/
legume association as a weight producer
in heifers.
The grass/legume association has
shown higher and stable animal yields
over six consecutive years, whereas
animal yields on the grassalone pasture
have been far more variable, with a ten-
dency toward smaller weight gains during
the last three years.

Rice Production and Demand in the Caribbean

Present rice production and pro-
jections for 1995 for eight countries in
the Caribbean region are shown in the
Table. The region is a net importer of
rice due principally to the large deficit
in Cuba. Guyana and Surinam are large
exporters due to a low intemal demand
as their production is approximately 50%
of that Cuba or Republica Dominicana.
Haiti has a deficit of approximately
60,000 tons/year even though they have a
sizable production taking into account
their resources. Jamaica has a rice deficit
of approximately 100,000 tons/year due
mainly to the lack of any significant
domestic production.
The current rice deficit of 180,000
tons/year in the Caribbean region may
reach 700,000 tons in 1995 unless large
production increases are obtained. How-
ever, there appears to be little probability
of significantly improving the situation.

Rice is a major component of the
Cuban diet; however, importation may be
the only method of satisfying its large
internal demand. There is not enough
water to support the amount of produc-
tion currently under irrigation; conse-
quently, the potential for expansion is
very low. Some improvements in yield
can be expected due to better manage-
ment practices and improved varieties.
However, this will not result in substan-
tial increases in production.

The situation in Republica Domini-
cana is similar to that in Cuba lack of

water resources to permit expansion.
Some improvements in yield can be ex-
pected during the next 10 years but this
additional production cannot satisy the
amount required. The Republica Domini-
cana either has to drastically decrease
consumption (feasible only if an alter-
native food source is available) or face
large importations in the near future.
Haiti does not have the potential for
significantly increasing production
beyond the current level of 100,000
tons/year. Consumption is already
moderately low and will probably not
decrease within the coming years due
to the lack of a substitute food source.
Importation is perhaps the only
means of meeting internal -needs. How-
ever, Haiti may not be able to afford
an annual importation bill of US$35
Jamaica's deficit of 100,000 tons/
year can be reduced slightly by stimulat-

ing national production which pre-
sently is essentially nil. However, i will
be very difficult to increase prodL tion
to a level where imports of rice c. i be
significantly reduced.
In Summary, the Caribbean reg )n is
at present a rice importer (ap rox,
180,000 tons) even though Guyan and
Surinam have large surplus produ :ion.
The forecast is toward larger d, icits
in 1995 that may approach 80 ,000
tons/year. There does not appear a be
any viable method for reducing. the
large imports projected for uba,
Republica Dominicana, Haiti and
Trinidad/Tobago. CIAT can only assist
in improving management practice, that
can economize production. Loce im-
proved varieties are good. Conseqi ;ntly
the Caribbean region is of low priori / for
the CIAT Rice Program since the lajor
problems limiting production are be lond
our ability to resolve.

Table: Rice production and projection of demand for the year 2000 of eight countries of the
Caribbean region*.

Consumption 2000 Demand Excess/Deficit
kg/capita Population thousand of tons -
Country 1985 level (millions)
Cuba 84 11.6 974 474
Dominican Rep. 81 9.3 753 303
Guyana 153 1.2 190 +107
Surinam 100 0.7 69 + 181
Haiti 25 9.6 240 140
Trinidad/Tobago 55 1.5 83 61
Belize 54 0.3 14 6
Jamaica 38 2.8 106 105
*Assumesan increase in population and no increase in consumption.

Caribbean Farming, August 1986

The next step up from a PC
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productivity of an IBM
personal computer and the
power of the System/36
family can be yours with
the IBM System/36 PC.
It's small enough to fit
on a desk, yet powerful
enough to handle programs
written for both the
System/36 and the IBM PC.
And it's affordable
enough for a business of
any size.
It can be a standalone
computer for a small
company or corporate
department, or part of a
distributed network. The
System/36 PC supports up
to 6 workstations including
one or more IBM PCs.
So if your dreams are big
but your office is small, the
IBM System/36 PC is the
Perfect step for you to take.

For more information call:

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Telephone: 92-63170
(incorporated in Delaware U.S.A. with Limited Liability)




The only quarterly publication in the
,Caribbean region that deals with
Tropical Agriculture

Rate: US$11 U.S.A., Latin America, Caribbean
US$15 All other countries
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Mail to: Caribbean Farming
c/o Creative Communications Inc.
P.O. Box 105, Kingston 10, Jamaica, W.I.
Tel: (809) 92-74271


Sweet Potato Research Notes

NO. 2.

The CSPWG is a voluntary association
ot persons interested in developing the
sweet potato in all aspects, in the Carib-
bean basin especially, but elsewhere as
well. The purpose of this group is to
foment the activities and interests of its
associates by introducing them to each
other; exchanging information, tech-
niques, research ideas, and worries;
exchanging seeds, storage roots, and
cuttings; describing varieties, including
their strengths and weaknesses; arranging
cooperative varietal tirals; arranging other
cooperative research; discussing topics of
mutual interest; presenting literature re-
ferences; requesting help, information, or


The virtues of the sweet potato. Too
often here in the Caribbean we look out-
side for guidance on what we should do,
what we should be, and even what we
should eat. We often look down at our
heritage, including the sweet potato, a
crop that was here before Columbus. But,
the sweet potato, has virtues that
shouldn't be forgotten. It is easy to pro-
duce. It is versatile in its use. It is nutri-
tious. Improving the sweet potato and its
culture is within our grasp. That is the
reason for which the Caribbean Sweet
Potato Working Group was established.
This and each report of the group will
emphasize how we can do so.
CIP is working with sweet potato. The
International Center of the Potato in
Lima, Peru has now committed itself to
the development of sweet potato as well.
With the scientific expertise that will now
be dedicated to this crop, we can expect
to see breakthroughs, In time, a steady
stream of new varieties will be available
to test alongside our own and those
developed at the Tropical Agriculture
Research Station (TARS) in Mayaguez,
Puerto Rico. But, to test new varieties
well, we need to use the best techniques
possible. This does not mean expensive
inputs, but the use of knowledge avail-
able. The Caribbean needs CIP, but we
also need our efforts.
Potential for earliness in sweet potato.
The cultivator from the Philippines,
'BNAS-51', is characterized by rapid pro-
duction and excellent yields at 32
months. There exists in the Caribbean a
variety called 'Six Weeks Potato'. In the
first screening for earliness at Mayaguez,

hundreds of seedlings were found that
produced well at three months. Sweet
potatoes that produce early not only can
take advantage of short rainy seasons, but
can also avoid severe weevil damage of
late varieties. In attempts to improve
culture of sweet potato in the Caribbean
we should be learning what varieties
can produce early. But the long term
approach is to breed such varieties, an
effort just begun.
How to produce more sweet potato in
the Caribbean. There are 3 major ways to
produce more sweet potato in the Carib-
bean, improve cultural techniques, use
better varieties, and control better the
wevil and other insects. In the next issue
of this report the coordinator will discuss
the first subject, better cultural tech-
niques, and in subsequent reports the
other two subjects will be also discussed.
Comments from associates are very highly
welcome and will be used for the discus-
How to renovate sweet potato foliage
as a source of cuttings. A major problem
in all parts of the Caribbean is that sweet
potatoes are planted for the main com-
mercial crops after the rainy season
begins. But the foliar material at'the end
of the dry season is at its worst. Planting
from old material results in frequent
death of the cutting, slow establishment,
and later and lesser yields. Some farmers
deal with this problem by waiting for new
growth of old vines after rains begin.
They may add fertilizer to stimulate
new growth. This means that plantings
are delayed. Recently another method
was tested in Puerto Rico. About a
month before rains were expected, a bed
1/100th of the size of the expected
planting was prepared, and fertilized.
Short cuttings of two nodes, each con-
taining one leaf were planted at intervals
of 5 centimeters and were watered fre-
quently. The majority sprouted and at 4
weeks the bed was filled with abundant
fresh foliage. To establish the field
planting either entire uprooted plants or
cuttings taken from the fresh vegetation
were used. Production from these plants
was earlier than usual and yields were
good. The technique merits further
study and wider trial.
Choosing a variety of sweet potatoes
for tropical situation. Every investigator
of the sweet potato would like to answer
the question, "What is the best variety?"
Unfortunately, there is never a simple
answer to this question. Often the best is
to grow several varieties for different
purposes or seasons. Thus, the choice of

the "best" variety for a particular region
involves judgement of many factors.
Some of the most important are:
Marketable yield. Farmers will not
grow a crop that won't make money.
The variety must yield well of sweet
potatoes that can be marketed.
Attraction to the customer. Unless
stimulated or taught, few consumers
will buy something entirely new. At-
traction exists, in part, in the eye of
the consumer. One must know con-
sumer preferences.
Table quality. A variety of sweet
potato may be purchased once, but
will not be purchased again, if it
doesn't satisfy at the table.
Keeping quality. Unless sweet potatoes
are produced year round, keeping
quality under common (uncontrolled)
storage must be as good as possible.
Other uses. When a variety of sweet
potato has many uses, it is more
The way to select sweet potatcjs is
through varietal testing. This ma" in-
volve introduction or collection, :om-
parative observational trials, repli ated
yield trials, and trials of farmer and
consumer acceptance. In an area di-
verse as the Caribbean, trials shou 1 be
made of a wide collection of mater Is at
first. As local preferences are learn d, it
is then possible to select cane date
varieties for testing more closely.
There is never an end to the n d to
test, and no variety is ever knov per-
This report needs your S' EET

Franklin W Martin, Coordinator
Tropical Agriculture Research Station
Box 70
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00709-0070

Caribbean Farming, August 19861

Jamaican Cocoa

Commanding PremiumPrices

You too can earn high profits from cocoa.
Invest in cocoa. Improve your old fields. Plant new trees.
Grow this top-grade Jamaican commodity for
export. It can mean more money for you and Jamaica.
For more information contact:
The Cocoa Industry Board
Marcus Garvey Drive
P.O. Box 68
Kingston 15 Telephone 1B23-6411/2/3

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Pesticide testing at U.W.I.

Farmers in the countries served by
the University of the West Indies are
among those who stand to benefit from
the work of the Pesticides Research and
Monitoring Group of the UWI. This is a
team of scientists of a number of depart-
ments chairman of the Group is Dr.
Ajai Mansingh of the UWI's Zoology
Department. Headquarters are on the
Mona Campus of the UWI, where a
laboratory and greenhouse unit includes a
number of outdoor tanks for work with
fish. Our photographs show .some new
equipment for testing material such as
soil, plant tissue and water to detect
contamination with very small amounts
of foreign substance such as chemical
insecticide or weed-killer. Some of the
newest and most sophisticated equip-
ment such as the gas cromatograph
machine in our group photograph was
donated to the University by the
Japanese International Co-operation
The studies being carried out by
members of Dr. Mansingh's Unit in-
investigation of coffee pests. This is
being done in collaboration with CARDI

and is funded by the Coffee Industry
work on the diamond-back moth -
a serious pest of cabbage and other leafy
vegetable crops. This work is funded by
the Jamaica Agricultural Development
Foundation. In keeping with modern
practice, the study includes an attempt to
find species of living organisms which
will feed upon or infect the moth in one
or another of its life phases. This will
help to reduce the farmers dependence
on toxic chemical insecticide.
population studies of the citrus
fiddler beetle and research on chemical
control of this pest.
collaboration with Jamaica's Scien-

tific Research Council in deve )pin
chemical formulations suited to the soil!
climate and natural environment f th
islands of the Caribbean.
surveys of residues of pestic lesif
the food, water and soils of the Jai !aica
environment. The Scientific Ri ;earch
Council also shares in this project.
effect of pesticide residues ,n fis
and shrimp raised on ponds in Jam ica.
Farmers' organizations and p sticide
companies in the Caribbean whc would
like to make use of the services orthe
reports of the Group are invited 1 writ
to the Group's chairman at tl UW
Zoology Department.

Jamaica's Citrus Growers' Association has Starting a New Citrus Orchard
published a series of extension booklets Pest & Disease Control
dealing with various phases of produc- Citrus Tree Nutrition
tion. The booklets are published through funds
Titles include:- provided by the European Development

Caribbean Farming, August98


IWfl Helpm

through farming.
Eat Jamaican meat. We produce beef, chicken, pork, mutton, eggs and
milk that match the highest standards anywhere in the world. And,
our livestock industry provides a living for thousands of Jamaicans,
farmers, farm- workers, butchers, retailers and many other
categories of workers. Eat Jamaican and build jamaica -
support your local livestock industry. It will mean a lot
to you in the years to come.

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 Islandwlae
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SMontego way Phone:t 52-2279

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109 Marcus Garvey Drive,
Kingston 11 Tel: 92-37311

Caribbean Farming, August 1986

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