Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Back Cover

Title: Caribbean farming
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00101460/00014
 Material Information
Title: Caribbean farming
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Mona, Jamaica
Publication Date: November 1985
Copyright Date: 1969
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00101460
Volume ID: VID00014
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 5
        Page 6
        Page 3
        Page 4
        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

Versatile Toft



379 Spanish Town Road, Kingston 11
Telephone: 92-39251.

Caribbean Chemicals & Services (Jamaica) Limited




Jamaica's Leading
Full Service
Farm Supply Company

We stock a wide variety of Herbicides, Fungicides,
Insecticides, seeds, fertilizers and feeds supplied by
world-famous companies such as ICI, Ciba-Geigy,
Ferry Morse, Peto Seed and others.
We are agents for an excellent range of agricultural
equipment from hand tools to knapsack, mist-
blowers and boom sprayers.
We provide technical services for all our products
and equipment, operating a repair and recondition-
ing workshop at our Kingston depot.
We offer a comprehensive range of farm, garden
and pet care products in small consumer packages
for retail shops, supermarkets, hardware stores,
and farm outlets.
"Serving Jamaica's farmers for over 50 years"

f a
235 Marcus Garvey Drive, Kingston 11. Tel: 92-35675-7, 92-36843 L M T
2 River Bay Road, Montego Bay, Tel: 95-21022
Savannah Plaza, Constant Spring Road, Kingston 10, Tel: 92-68586





EDITO RIA L ............................



PIMENTO- QUEEN OF SPICES................

New potential for the Caribbean. ...............



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DENBIGH SHOW 1985 best for a long time ................................22


NEW JOHN DEERE COMBINE ..........................................24

REMINISCENCES (Letter to the Editor) ....................................25


A TALK WITH PETER MILLER .........................................26

HONEY PRODUCTION IN ST. KITTS .....................................27

REPAHA Training Livestock technicians ..................... .............. 30

TROPICAL ROOT CROPS SYMPOSIUM ................................... 31

IN PRAISE OF SHRUBS ................................... ............ 32

COVER PHOTO: A farmer lifting
coconut seedlings from the nursery.
Photo courtesy of the Coconut Industry Board.

CARIBBEAN FARMING is published with financial assistance from The
Jamaica Agricultural Development Foundation, four times a year, by
Creative Communications Inc. Ltd., P.O. Box 105, Kingston 10, Jamaica.
Telephone: 92-74271. Telex: 2431 CARISHIP JA. Cable: CAROGAM JA.
MANAGING EDITOR: Tony Gambrill, EDITOR: Carol Reckord,
EDITORIAL BOARD: Tony Gambrill, Carol Reckord, Daphne Brown,
Dr. Richard Jones, Joe Suah, Prof. Lawrence Wilson.
ART DIRECTOR: Deryck Leslie. ADVERTISING SALES- Eleanor Sutherland,
P.O. Box 105, Kingston 10, Jamaica. Tel: 92-74271, 92-76184.
PRINTERS: Glade Printing Service Ltd., Kingston, Jamaica.
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S 4
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2 38-39 Caracas Avenue, Kingston Export Free Zone
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Tel: (809) 923-6880, (809) 923-6885.

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Telephone: 984-3061-7,
Telex: 8484, THERMOCO.

Chelre Electric (Condut) J. E. Neef Kanab Hardw-
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John F. Should (Housnere) Gedden Grant Division Telephone: 2382
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Telephone: 21039, 21440 Telephone: 2031-33 Castries, St Lucia
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White Park Rood P.O. Box 287 T. Geddes Grant (St. Vincent) Ltd.
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Caribbean Farming, November 1985



WIMIft-fton left



*pqAa m;

Creative Communications Inc. Ltd.
P.O. Box 105, Kingston 10, Jamaica
Telephone: (809) 92-74271, 92-76184
Telex: 2431 CARISHIP JA.

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The only publication of its kind in
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Subscription rates per year:- postpaid US$11 USA, Latin America, Carib. Islands
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Also send me the 1985/86 CARIBBEAN PORTS HANDBOOK postpaid US$36 [
and/or the next four issues of CARIBBEAN SHIPPING postpaid US$16 ]E

ihe nineteen-eighties seem to have
;ght to farmers (and particularly
would-be farmers) in the Caribbean
sep consciousness of the all-import-
of feasibility studies, farm plans,
puters and all the tools of pre-
n and planning. The value of these
?es can hardly be questioned all
ner of highly successful and res-
Ad people are registering for two-
courses in modern management
computerr orientation.
here are, of course, some situations
which these precision/planning
es fit very easily and naturally. An
cor, for example, whose original
ess activity is trade or manufactur-
industry, naturally continues to
ld on these tools of his trade when
,eds the call to leap into farming
come twice a millionaire. Bankers
financee business enterprise always
to brighten up when a client pro-
a farm plan with income and ex-
ure projected into year 12. Pro-
the greatest dependence on this
n hard-and-soft-ware magic is
when the investor is persuaded to
e into unknown country be it
inds, winter vegetables or fighting
For all these purposes (and many
Sthe man or woman who risks

time and money in agri-business is fool-
hardy to venture there without careful
and complete paperwork. There are still
people who put their life's savings into an
investment because they heard of some-
one who knew somebody whose friend
sold $4,000 worth of produce last week
or the week before. A farm magazine is
probably not the place to comment on
that sort of speculator.
In the Caribbean, by comparison with
some other parts of the world, we seem
to have kept our farmland in one or
another traditional crop for decades -
sometimes generations at a time. Under
such a system, farm management from
year to year did not involve the agility
of planning that is required nowadays
for growing row-crop vegetables or foliage
plants. Also, under the system by which
prices for our major crops were fixed,
a farmer might well say; "What's the use
of knowing exactly how much a ton
our fruit costs to produce if there's
little we can do about it?"
Roughly speaking, the knowledge pro-
vided by the planning apparatus can be
described as know-what- and it seems to
be in good supply for many of the bold,
new, big farming ventures of recent times
in the Caribbean. These ventures are
generally associated with crops for
export, large-scale production, high tech-
nology and a substantial element of

The high-tech, specialist farms have
become a necessary part of the farming
scene but they should not be allowed
to monopolize the resources of credit,
machinery, chemicals and equipment, re-
search and marketing services. The
security and permanence of rural life
still depend on large and small family
farms with their diversity of crops,
stable work force, flexibility in decision-
making and history of ownership and
management passed from generation to
generation of the same family. This con-
tinuity of management generally brings
with it strong ties with local people and
villages, local knowledge of soils, weather,
markets, labour as well as the instinct
born of custom and familiarity with the
land and people. These represent a
different, but complementary, kind of
knowledge which will in time reach
out for the help that know-what can
Recent events have shown that even
the best laid plans and the highest avail-
able technology cannot guarantee success
and survival over the long term. The
slower, less spectacular farmer and his
smaller farm are as good a team as any for
the public purse to support. They will be
there feeding the nation and holding
it together for a long time to come. N

GLORIA Agricultural and rde
G LR Spraying Equipment

Agricultural Chemicals-
Garden and Houshold nsecticides,
Pesticides and Rodenticides-
Veterinary Products

Caribbean Farming, November 1985


Coconuts Regain Farmers' Favour

Photos courtesy of the Coconut Industry Board

Coconuts are once again an
interesting and profitable crop
for Jamaica's farmers. After the
trying years when lethal yellow-
ing disease shrivelled the crowns
of acre after acre of JAMAICA
TALL palms, hope has been
restored to growers with the
development of new, resistant
varieties of coconut. When the
banana industry fell upon hard
times, farmers found it to their
advantage to pay more atten-
tion to their coconuts. The
chief incentive to greater at-
tention to this crop, however,
has been a bold new planting
programme administered by an
Industry Board which has the
respect of growers and devoted
service from its staff members
asked Roy Williams, General
Manager of Jamaica's COCO-
tell some of the story of Jama-
ica's coconuts in the nineteen

Nowadays coconuts have come to the
attention of farmers as a crop with good
possibilities. It is well known that in these
days of high interest rates and increas-
ingly expensive farm materials, farmers
have tended to shy away from crops that
involve long term investment in favour of
crops with returns in the short-term the

so called "cash" or "catch" crops.
In view of this and in view of the
necessity of resuscitating the coconut
industry in a very short time the Coconut
Industry Board, with the consent of
Government, introduced the Copra Pro-
duction Acceleration Programme. The
acronym is COPRA. This programme
was designed to make Jamaica self suffi-
cient in coconuts for all purposes -
especially copra, which is the main pro-
duct of coconuts. The copra is used for
making edible oils, soaps and some forms
of edible fats. In order to encourage
growers to get into the programme the
Board promised and is giving all planting
materials free of cost.
We will provide seedlings of the MAY-
PAN variety (a cross between the Mala-
yan Dwarf and the Panama Tall) for
marginal lands on which hardly any-
thing else will grow. This MAYPAN
will do well on the hilly or marginal
lands much better than will the Mala-
yan Dwarf. We will give seedlings of
Malayan Dwarf for the alluvial soils.
Some people are prejudiced against the
Malayan Dwarf but the evidence of
hundreds of thousands of them growing
and bearing in excess of a hundred
nuts per annum is there for all to see
in the island. We will also give all the
fertilizer free in the first five years at
the end of which the trees should be in
production. In the sixth and seventh
years we will give half the cost of the
fertilizer because, of course, the grower
is then getting production from his fields.
We also encourage growers who have
trees more than seven years old to come
into the programme because in most in-
stances those trees were not getting
the type of care which they need and
they tend to be inferior palms. On bring-
ing them into the programme we give
them one-third of the fertilizer they
should get this is free of cost. We also
give the farmers for palms less than five
years old a weed control grant of 32
cents per plant to help take care of the
shrubs and weeds.
In the 6th year the assistance is half
that amount.
We find that the response to the pro-
gramme is very good; more than 9,200
farmers are participating. Whereas in the
past coconuts were more or less con-
fined to the eastern end of the Island,
we are now covering the entire island.

We have officers located in 18 different
sections and farmers are finding that
the coconut is a crop for which prices
are not influenced by the fluctuations of
world markets. As a result a number of
cane farmers and banana farmers are
moving into coconuts very quickly and
there is a great demand for seedlings -
especially MAYPAN.
We started rehabilitating with the
Malayan Dwarf because it was the nly
variety resistant to lethal yellowin at
the time when the disease was ramr int.
We have since found out that the I. ala-
yan Dwarf is not the commercial ype
of coconut that the Jamaican Tall w s -
the meat is a little thinner, it has
more water, and most important of
all, it does not do well on mar nal
lands. It tends to succumb to varia ons
in climatic conditions and it is ery
badly affected by drought. I must say
in its favour, though, that many i ore
plants can be accommodated or an
acre of land than the Jamaica Tall al ws
and the production is just as g od.
The Dwarf bears much earlier ar it
is more easily reaped. Of co rse,
because of this it is more suscep ble
to praedial larceny. The Mal /an
Dwarf has to be farmed and I n ght
say that all coconuts have tc be
farmed. People used to believe that iey
could just plant the coconut and ave
it to fend for itself but the p. per
agronomic practices must be obse red.
You have to keep the plants free om
weeds, you must fertilise, you iust
space properly; all of this makeE for
good coconut farming and farmer! are
developing this know-how through the
efforts of our extension staff an( the
Planting Officers I mentioned ee lier.

The MAYPAN being a plant o big
canopy cannot be planted as clo~e as
is planted about 80 palms to the acre
while the MALAYPAN DWARF moy be
planted up to 120 to the acre depending
on the terrain. The yield from both
would be about the same per acre because
the MAYPAN has more meat. Both palms
can be inter-cropped and we have deter
mined through experiments, crops thai
will do well in the establishment period
as well as crops that will do well as per
manent intercrops. For instance, banana!
Caribbean Farming, November 198-

Intercropping coconut with banana.

ar the long-term standard crop with
wh ;h coconuts are grown and we are
nc telling farmers just what spacing is
re, ired if they are going to have per-
m ent as against temporary banana
in cropping. In any case, no bananas
sh id be closer than seven feet to any
cc nut palm.
another inter-crop is cocoa which has
n( been very popular in Jamaica but
is nothing we are encouraging because
th .vo crops go well together; the coco-
nL are not impeded by the cocoa and
th ocoa gets the benefit of shade from
th )conuts. Other inter-crops are pump-
kii sweet potato, peas, pineapples,
co and corn but the one thing we
sh. 1 be sure of is that climbing plants
me not be allowed to impede the
grc. 1 of the coconut.

3 important that coconuts get the
rigi fertilizer and the right amount -
to nulate growth, for formation of
tru, material and also to encourage the
pro :tion of enough female flowers
to r duce a good crop. We have worked
out ,at the 12-4-28 fertilizer which is
use( .-y banana growers is suitable for
coco its under most local conditions.
For ,conuts, fertilizer should be applied
ever six months. For the first year you
wou: give the plant 1 Ib 1/ Ib at each
appi, ition. In the second year 2 lb. per
plan- and in the third year 3 Ib. per plant
and -ie fourth 4 Ib per plant. From then
on th:- application should be 4 Ib per year
per plant. Some palms (depending on
where they are planted) may need a little
more potash or a little more nitrate and
here again the officers of the Board are
able to help the farmer by advising on
fertilizer use. There are some cases
where farmers apply more than 4 Ib -
but, generally speaking, 4 Ib per plant is
As far as coconuts are concerned,
growers don't have to wonder if they are
going to sell their produce once they
row it this is one of the few industries
here all that can be produced can be
old in Jamaica. As a matter of fact,
ibbean Farming, November 1985

the main purpose of the coconut indus-
try is now being bypassed and other
markets are being satisfied first. In
1984 we calculated that no more than
912% of the coconuts produced were
sold for copra the remainder went
out in jellies (water coconuts), dry nuts
for cooking and for producing crude
oil. This last has been a good cottage
industry in these hard times produc-
ing an edible oil for the market as well as
a by-product used as food for humans
and feed for pigs. Of course we want the
farmers to sell the coconuts for copra
and this is an integral part of the copra
programme the grower who signs an
agreement to plant coconuts also com-
mits 50% of his coconuts for copra. In
1980, we projected to plant 500,000
seedlings per annum and we have been
fluctuating around this figure. For in-
stance, in 1983 we planted 700,000; in
1984 we planted 489,000 and in 1985
we expect to plant just over 500,000
seedlings. I might mention that unlike
other commodity organizations where
farmers sometimes complain about short-
age or absence of planting material, the
Coconut Industry Board has not found
itself being unable to supply seedlings.
What does happen is that farmers -
knowing what the MAYPAN is want
to plant MAYPAN instead of DWARF -
but we produce the seedlings in a bal-
anced way so that if we have too much
of a draw on MAYPAN we may have
DWARFS getting overgrown in the nur-
sery. We can't allow this to happen be-
cause the MALAYAN DWARF will do
well on the good land.

Going back to production, I want to
say what the production is like. In 1984
we calculated that production was about
128 million nuts which should produce
some 19,000 tons of copra but of
that amount the Board received only
1628 tons of copra, the remainder going
into areas I mentioned before. In 1983,
although we calculated the production
to be just 116 million we got slightly
more copra, in fact, 2,602 tons. This year

we expect the crop to be about 136
million nuts and up to the end of August
the copra production was 1404 tons.
I might point out that production since
July has gone up tremendously and
month for month it is double what we
used to get during the first six months of
the year. We hope to end up at about
2,400 tons this year. This increase is
really due to two main factors. Firstly,
the Board has written to growers re-
minding them of their obligation to sell
50% of their coconuts for copra and
reminding them also that the Board has
recourse if they do not follow this re-
quirement. Secondly, we have put crude
coconut oil on the market and this has
diverted some of the nuts that have been
going to the crude oil boilers. Every
year new trees are coming into bearing so
we should have more production year by
year and in the absence of a hurricane
we expect this to continue. We originally
expected that by 1990 we would have
reached self-sufficiency for copra and for
jelly coconuts which the country needs
and that after that we would be going
into exports. From where we are now it
would appear that that date is going to
be set back by a couple of years because
we had a hurricane in 1980 which
severely affected the trees and they have
taken some time to recuperate.

One of the important features of our

Coconut nursery,

U' - ~-
,~ ~;ti. ~..,4ti'

industry is the identification of growers,
however small, with the Board itself.
Many other crops have growers' associa-
tions; the coconut industry has none.
This Board is a combination of
Government Board and growers' associa-
tion four members of the Board are
nominated by Government and five are
elected by growers to serve them on the
The Board keeps a register of all
coconut growers who apply; if they have
100 coconut palms or more they are
required by our Regulations to apply
for registration.
As long as the grower plants any
coconuts we have a record of his opera-
Our extension officers serve the
farmers they give technical advice, in
many instances they deliver seedlings at
the farm gate as well as fertilizer, 'rat
blocks' for rodent control and herbicides.
Growers know that if they lose
their documents the Board will be able to
tell them how many plants they are sup-
posed to have and what were their
deliveries of nuts to the copra factories,
year by year.
o The Board also gives growers advice
on all their farm problems and it has
reached the stage where growers are com-
ing to the Board to ask us to develop
farm plans for their holdings; this we do
for them.
We do not make farmers believe
that the Board is for the service of any
one category of grower or solely as a
Government regulatory body.
The operations of the Board are fi-
nanced by a cess levied on all the finished
coconut products sold in the island and
this cess is not only used for running the
office and for services to the farmers but
it also provides the fertilizer, free plants,
the herbicides and the weed grant. The

Board also provides a form of in-
surance covering coconut palms in the
field. Each grower knows that as long as
he supplies coconuts to the factory he
has a certain amount of insurance for
which he pays no premium. If he believes
that this is not adequate he can also
buy additional insurance from the Board
at the very low premium of 0.75%.
We started our research department in
1959 and it has grown tremendously
to the point where we now do research
on all aspects- of coconut growing. As a
matter of fact, at one time we had the
largest collection of coconuts anywhere
in the world. We had more than 35 dif-
ferent varieties. Most of them have died
because of exposure to lethal yellowing.
Our research is known worldwide and
from all over the world there are re-
quests for the services of our officers as
consultants in all aspects of coconut pro-
duction. The Board finds that our re-
search has been of benefit worldwide
and so we make information available
quite freely. In point of fact, the MAY-
PAN hybrid was developed here in
Jamaica by our research staff and now
the name is known in many parts of the
world and even in the United States of
America where they are trying to propo-
gate the MAYPAN they use plants and
pollen which we sent them. Similarly, we
have given assistance to the industry in
Costa Rica, in Colombia and most recent-
ly in the Eastern Caribbean. Of course
research in Jamaica is basically carried
out to solve the problems of the grower
in Jamaica which can be a little dif-
ferent from those in other countries of
the world but we continue to be part
of the international consultation for the
good of the industry.

At present we have twenty copra

factories in production and of
these eight are what we call commit :ial
in that they buy coconuts from i her
growers in addition to drying their .vn.
Only three of the twenty factories ave
CHULA driers and even where ere
are CHULA driers, "there are also .me
MALAYAN driers in use. At the me
time there are sixteen driers w ch,
though not currently in use, ca be
brought into operation at short r .ice
if they are needed. Thus our total fa 3ry
potential is thirty-six.

All the copra from the twenty ora
drying plants is made into edibi oil
and fats. The by-product of this ro-
cess is coconut meal, which is all sed
locally in the compounding of feec for
livestock and poultry.
Coir is the fibre made by shre ing
the coconut husk; in the past, i, vas
the material chiefly used for stt ing
mattress. This purpose is now serve. by
synthetic foam but some coir is k ally
made into mats and some is exp( ted.
When coconuts were plentiful i. the
past, there were two factories which ised
to produce high quality charcoal rom
coconut shell for export but wit; the
decline in the industry (largely d to
lethal yellowing disease) this prodL :tion
A small industry exists for curio mak-
ing from coconut shells and there ued to
be some production of shredded co::onut
meat sweetened and unsweetened.
This was, of course, mostly for export.
Another export, this one very much alive,
is of nuts for planting these are shipped
by the Coconut Industry Board to a
number of countries where they help
to replace diseased fields or to re-
establish farms depopulated by hurricane.

Caribbean Farming, November 1985

Forestry can be profitable

By Guy Symes, Managing Director,
Forest Industries Development
Company, Kingston, Jamaica.
in most agricultural communities
around the world, farmers have long
appreciated the direct and indirect
benefits which can be derived from
for .ts and woodlands. The use and value
of .ees will never be replaced whether as
a F .rce of timber for buildings, fencing
an- 'uel, fruits and nuts for food, or as a
me s of shelter and protection against
tht diverse forces of nature. The bene-
fic effect of trees in conserving soil
an; *ater resources continues to be of
inc ;sing importance, and it is now
bei recognized that certain tree species
car prove the fertility of soils. How-
evw farmers are probably less aware of
the ;auty of forests and of their real
poi :ial as an additional source of
inc e. This article will attempt to
inc e the financial benefits which
can a derived by growing trees for
pre based on an acutal situation in
Jan a.
acted by the Jamaica Govern-
met afforestation programme, Mr.

Peter Phillips planted 14.4 acres of pine
trees in 1962 on his Palmyra Property
near Corner Shop in the Parish of
Clarendon. Since then additional plant-
ings of 4.5 acres in 1968 and 5 acres in
1973 were established. The property
originally consisted of ruinatee" vegeta-
tion on shallow, infertile limestone soil,
which was unsuitable for agriculture.
Mr. Phillips therefore became a partici-
pant of the Forest Department's private
afforestation scheme and maintained his
project with the modest Government
subsidy provided. In 1981, he approached
FIDCO and enquired whether the timber
was ready for harvesting. The Company's
inventory team did a sampling of the
trees and determined that 13.6 acres of
the 1962 stands were mature and con-
tained an estimated volume of 35,000
cubic feet of round timber. In other
words, this agriculturally useless land was
able to produce a crop of wood at the
rate of 135 cubic feet per acre each year.
The value of the standing was assessed
at $30,000 i.e. $2,206 per acre.
Naturally, Mr. Phillips was quite amazed
at the result of his faith and foresight and

--casbs L0ll IIILU pIn1I bLd5IUb.
offered the timber to FIDCO. The Com-
pany agreed to purchase the timber and
undertook to replant the land after har-
vesting, provided the next crop of mature
timber would be made available to the
Company. The harvest was subsequently
scheduled for 1985 and in view of
changes in the market price for timber an
increased stumpage of $1.10 was agreed.
In order to expedite the operations,

available now



31 =

r Parts


P.O. Box 220
one: 667-3471/

Caribbean Farming, November 1985

View of Carib pine forest covering hilltop of Palmyra property, Corner Shop, Clarendon.

Mature pine trees, planted iya ininnea i/to.
FIDCO employed a logging contractor
to fell, extract and transport the timber
to Twickenham Park Sawmill where the
logs couid be scaled and graded. The re-
sulting yield of timber was 43,551 cubic
feet i.e. 9,000 cubic feet more than ori-
ginally estimated. Mr. Phillips has there-
fore actually earned $47,906 or $3,522/
acre from the stand planted in 1962. This
timber has produced 250,855 board feet
of lumber saving Jamaica approximately
US$75,000 of imported lumber.
Although this example is the only
documented case of a private landowner's
earnings from forestry in Jamaica, it
clearly indicates that a reasonable income
can be earned from farm forestry. There
are numerous.cases of farmers harvesting
Blue Mahoe and Honduras mahogany
trees which had been planted during the
1950's and 1960's. For example, Dr.

Percival Broderick harvested some 60
mature mahogany trees earlier this
year and was able to use the income
towards continued development of his
farm. Why then, can we not obtain
greater participation by farmers in
forestry? Is it because of the size of
their holdings or the length of time
before the trees mature? Obviously, it
has little to do with the cost of planting
which apparently still attracts a modest
subsidy from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Whatever the reason, strategies are needed
which would facilitate the expansion of
wood production on private lands. The
demand for wood and wood-products
is continuously rising, and prices will in-
crease with scarcity of supply. Inspite of
the age of high technology, softwoods
are still required for construction and
housing, fine hardwoods for furniture,

and no one can deny firewood now has
the potential to reduce consumption of
expensive fossil fuels. Small farmers need
to become aware that their crops can be
grown in mixtures with certain legumi-
nous trees which can have a beneficial
effect on their soils. The concept of
"Agro-forestry" is gaining ground in
certain developed and developing coun-
tries and the principles can readily be
applied here.
Most likely the reluctance of farmers
to get involved in forestry is due to
the absence of a developed market
structure and the uncertainty of the I ng
gestation period. Regrettably there is
nothing that can be done to shol en
the rotation age of most valuable tr as.
At present, the optimum econc lic
harvesting age for pines is 20 yf rs.
Genetic improvement and fertilize on
could probably reduce this perioc to
16 years. Some hardwoods ke
Eucalyptus and Gmelina can be harve ed
for timber after 10 years or 12 y rs,
while fuelwood species can be harve ed
after 4 years. Fine hardwoods, w-
ever, require in excess of 20-30 a' rs
and cannot be justified only on econ. lic
grounds. However, farmers c ild
identify reasons for planting hardw ds
other than to provide a future inc, ie.
The point is that tree crops require r ;re
time than other agricultural crops, id
forestry can utilize marginally produ: ve
The problem of an organized me .et
is therefore the real crux of the ma er.
In Jamaica we have seen countless m
production schemes where the fan rs
output has met the targeted quant ies
without the facilities being in plac to
purchase and market these ci ps.
Forestry is therefore at the lowest en of
the scale at the present time. Howt er,
the example of Mr. Phillips is w rth
considering as FIDCO was able to ab )rb
his output. The Company now prod ces
about 7 million board feet of pine lur ber
annually from about 500 acres of pl. ita-
tions and could absorb the yield 'om
another 500 acres by running a se( )nd
shift. If the private landowners can iro-
duce 1000 acres of timber annually ;:om
a total plantation of 20,000 acres th nn a
new sawmill would be required. FID[CO
only supplies 10-15% of Jamaica's lumber
demand and thus the production trom
this area of private forests could readily
be accepted by the local market. While
there will be future fluctuations in
demand according to prevailing
economic conditions, the market
potential is there, and the market
structure to utilize and distribute lumber
is in existence and growing steadily. *
Caribbean Farming, November 1985

Pimento Queen of Spices

The allspice or pimento tree is native
to the Caribbean where it was discovered
on the first voyage of Columbus. The
Spanish explorers, who had been in
search of an ocean route to India to
develop the European trade of spices and
other valuables, quickly seized upon the
rn ny riches the New World offered.
They named the tree, from which
ib ck pepper-like berries could be hand,
mienta" (Spanish for pepper or
r )per-corn) and quickly developed
z rade in dried berries to Europe. Al-
1 ugh the tree was present throughout
t Caribbean Islands and in parts of
( itral America, the spice became most
F ciated with Jamaica where it was
r st prevalent. Sir Hans Sloane, the
t ious British physician and naturalist,
I; !d among its common names "Jamaica
p per". The name "allspice" originated
ii the Seventeenth Century to reflect
t fact that the berry contains essences
o cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon, all
v in'this single spice.
1 an era prior to refrigeration, all-
s[ : was highly valued for its meat

curing properties. By the beginning of the
twentieth century, Jamaican exports of
the spice were averaging about 4% of
Jamaica's total export earnings. In recent
years, average annual exports have been
about 2,400 tons accounting for appro-
ximately 1% of Jamaica's export earnings.
The intervening years saw a decline in
production, due to the destruction of the
tree population by disease and bauxite
mining, and a decline in market demand
due to the widespread introduction of
refrigeration. Additionally, the countries
of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras
appeared after World War II as significant
competitors of Jamaica on the world
Nevertheless, the Jamaican Allspice in-
dustry has been gradually organizing itself
to retain its pre-eminent position as
supplier of over 60% of the world's con-
sumption of this important spice.

The allspice tree grows widely
throughout Jamaica, from sea-level to
altitudes above 3,000 feet and in varying

types of soil. However,it is mostly con-
centrated in areas of low humidity and
free draining limestone soils below 1,500
feet. It is known for its hardiness and
capacity to thrive in areas of varying
rainfall, temperature and altitude and
other environmental factors.
There is considerable genetic diversity
within the genus (PIMENTA Lindl.
1821). At least six Jamaican species are
known but the commercial allspice is
almost exclusively of the species Pimenta
dioica. Nevertheless, the predisposition
to hybridization which is evident in the
tropics has complicated the picture.
This tendency, besides environmental
and cultural factors, probably accounts
for much of the wide variation in the
productivity of individual trees of the
commercial species. The annual yield of
dried berries per tree varies between 2-
100 Ibs.
An outstanding characteristic of the
allspice plant is that there are separate
male and female trees with only the latter
giving berries.
Traditional farm practices that are still


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Caribbean Farming, November 1985

prevalent significantly reflect these
botanical characteristics. Due to its
unpredictable yield many farmers have
the tendency to treat the crop as a side-
line harvested from trees propagated by
nature and even large farmers do not rely
on it as a major source of income. The
trees have, by the natural inclination of
their hardiness and by the clearing of land
by man, become concentrated on
marginal lands.
Prior to 1968, the propagation and
distribution of Allspice was done exclu-
sively by the germination of seeds
through natural agents such as birds and
bats, or by man in nurseries.
These natural agents consume the
ripe berries and during the process of
digestion the fleshy pulp or pericarp is
removed and the undigested seeds excre-
ted in spots where they germinate and
become trees.
Sowing normally takes place under
trees, beside fences, cluster of shrubs and
other points convenient to these agents of
distribution. Under these conditions, the
success rate of germination is very low,
Additionally, the erratic distribution
pattern of the trees makes their proper
care difficult.
Seedling germination in nurseries has
been undertaken by farmers for many
decades and, in the 1950's and 1960's, by
the Ministry of Agriculture for distribu-
tion to farmers. This method is relatively
slow and the sex of a seedling is unknown
until five to six years after germination
when female trees normally begin fruit-
ing. Thus there is a 50% chance that the
seedling will turn out to be barren (male)
tree of little value to the farmer.
This method of propagation retarded
efforts to establish the cultivation of
pimento in a systematic manner. How-
ever, in the absence of a proven success-
ful alternative method of propagation,
seedling germination was widely practised
until the late 1960's. During the period
1955-1965, 290,000 seedlings were distri-
buted by the Ministry of Agriculture to
farmers throughout the island.
Since 1968, the Ministry of Agricul-
ture has been cultivating grafted plants
and approximately 160,000 have been
distributed to date. An average of 10,000-
12,000 grafted plants per annum are
being distributed.
Grafting by using sections from trees
of a known sex, has
1. Made it possible to increase the pro-
portion of female trees placed in
a systematic pattern with male
trees which ensure pollination.
2. Encouraged the propagation of

high yielding, disease resistant
plants whose berries are high in oil
content of a suitable chemical
3. Simplified the cultural practices of
spacing, spraying, fertilizing and
4. Made more feasible the possibilities
of inter-cropping and reduced the
arrival of an initial crop from 5 to
3 years.
While the full economic impact on
the farming of allspice is still to be deter-
mined, it is useful to note that at current
prices guaranteed by the Government,
and given attainable average annual yields
from these, the potential annual gross in-
come is over JS$10,000 per acre.
Prior to World War II, the Jamaican
allspice export trade was conducted by a
loose collection of large farmers and
merchants who sold directly to overseas
purchasers. During World War II, when
poor shipping connections and turmoil
in the markets interrupted the normal
trade, the Government intervened to
assist the farmers in marketing. Ex-
porters were prohibited from exporting
allspice and a centralized marketing
operation was set up and run by the
Government. That system, with a few
modifications, remains.
The island's entire crop is now pur-
chased by the Export Division of the
Ministry of Agriculture at prices fixed for
each crop by the Minister of Agriculture.
The crop is stored in a central warehouse
located in the capital city and main sea
port of Kingston where it is cleaned and
readied for export.
Since 1978, the export marketing
has been exclusively for the Ministry of
Agriculture by the Jamaica Export Trad-
ing Company Limited (JETCo), a Govern-
ment trading house under the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade.
This central control of the local and
foreign marketing of allspice has given the
Jamaican allspice industry notable
strengths. Domestically, it has destroyed
the role of speculative merchants and
allowed farmers to receive a stable price
and a higher percentage of the overseas
price, than in previous years, for a pro-
duct which has an assured market. This
significantly contrasts with the state of
the ginger industry in Jamaica whose
trade is still in hands of speculative mer-
chants who provide an unreliable market.
Exports of Jamaican Ginger has declined
from a high of over 1,500 tons per
annum in the 1950's to less than 200
tons per annum in the 1980's.
Overseas, the "single seller approach"

has enabled the negotiation of better
prices as much from the availability of
better market information as from the
ability to regularly deliver a product of
consistently better quality. Economies
of scale are particularly useful in the areas
of market research and sales promotion
since these require necessary but large
expensive allocations to be effective.
Jamaican Allspice is now to benefit
from a nationally directed public rela-
tions programme in the U.S.A. in .he
whole range of spices and other nati ral
flavouring materials, only oregano end
vanilla have similar programmes.
Such programmes are shortly to be
extended to other markets in Canada -nd
Europe. I

Caribbean Farming, November 198!

Cassava Drying

new potential for the Caribbean

by Jack Reeves
The success of several cassava drying
projects on the northern coast of Colom-
bi, may have bearing on the development
of similar industries in the Caribbean. The
pr jects have faced head-on the problems
o.i reduction, processing, marketing and
m iagement-fundamental factors asso-
ci ad with drying industries.
results show that with the proper
cc bination of planning, technical assis-
ta a, and progressive government
p: :ies, cassava development can be a
b i to the overall economy of a region
ar can lead to increased locally pro-
di d food and feed for animals as
w as increased income and employ-
m .
according to Dr. James Cock, head of
th 'assava Program at the CIAT, Cali,
Cc nbia, "Several countries in the
Cz bean could develop their own pilot
pr ct cassava-based industries in the
ne 'uture."
r several years Cock and his asso-
cia at CIAT have maintained that the
fo dable challenges of social and eco-
no development in some areas of the
we could be met by boosting cassava
pr action. The root is a dietary staple
for Ilions of people; however, its poten-
tial a carbohydrate source for humans
is t :arted by problems related to con-
sen ion and storage.
I ;sava can be cultivated on marginal
lank iith low agricultural inputs. For this
reas 1 it has been largely grown as a
farr food crop and to sell at local
mar ts. Perishability is a major problem
sine, the root begins to deteriorate within
hou of harvest. Solving the problem of
stor:.Ie was one of the big challenges to
the C:IAT team.
C!AT scientists, working first of all in
the Cauca Valley and then'testing techni-
ques on Colombia's Caribbean coast,
have overcome the microbial and physio-
logical deterioration problems. Freshly
harvested roots are dipped for five
minutes in a solution of thiabendazole, or
Mertect. It is a common and relatively
inexpensive fungicide and is used by the
food industry to treat bananas and pota-
After dipping, the roots are sealed
in plastic bags. The moisture and Mertect
Preserve the root for up to two weeks
with negligible deterioration in quality
Caribbean Farming, November 1985


The cassava is chipped using and adapted Thai-type machine powered by a
7.5 hp motor with a capacity of 2-4 tons per hour.
INSET:- Farmers bring their cassava to the plant where it is weighted before processing.

ana taste. "This process makes it possible
for the farmers to transport their product
to suburban and urban markets and
guarantees a high quality product to
vendors," Cock notes.
The 'north coast project' goes back
nearly a decade. As part of an integrated
rural development program (Desarrollo
Rural Integrado, or DRI), it proposed
to improve farmers' standards of living
by coordinating the activities of govern-
ment agencies responsible for agri-
cultural credit, national training,agri-
research, and credit for small-scale
cassava processing plants. The ultimate
goal was to increase the production of
food staples and to assist the small
farmer in purchasing inputs and in mar-
keting. The departments of Sucre and
Cordoba in the north coast were desig-
nated target areas for the first phase of
the project.

The initial attempt to increase cassava
production was not very successful. Cock
describes the results: "We were very dis-
appointed in the outcome. Production
increased in the beginning, but then the
market became saturated, then prices
plummeted. Many farmers abandoned
their crop in the field."
The DRI established a post-harvest
committee that would counter this trend
and find ways to guarantee a market for
cassava. Meanwhile, a study has begun on
using chipped and dried cassava as a sub-
stitute for imported cereal grains in the

local feed industry. It concluded that
cassava could be profitably produced for
animal feed if the cost could be held at
the same level and if production would
exceed 8 t/ha (the average yield in South
America is around 12 t/ha). Yields can be
greatly increased by improving manage-
ment practices. With new varieties and
good management yields can be in-
creased to over 20 t/ha.
The analysis was based on a number
of less than scientific assumptions, Cock
maintains. Recognizing this fact, the in-
vestigators recommended that rather than
launch into a long study to try to verify
the assumptions or unravel the ups and
downs of the market why not plunge
right into the problem and develop a
pilot project using existing knowledge
about cassava production? In short, to
determine if chipped cassava could be
economically produced.
In 1980, a group of small farmers in
the Sucre region built a 300 m2 drying
floor which became the proving ground
of a cassava industry that could supply
chipped and dry cassava to the local ani-
mal feed industry. Researchers from DRI
and CIAT worked together with the
group to refine and modify processes.
At the same time, DRI began nego-
tiations with the largest feed mill in
the area to guarantee a price for the dried
cassava chips, provided the farmers could
guarantee a supply. They presented their
case with data obtained from the farmers'
group and an agreement was reached.

After spreading the fresh cassava chips uniformly over the concrete floor
at loading densities of between 10 and 12 kg/m2 they must be turned
periodically to ensure even and rapid drying.

Dried cassava chips are collected and packed into sacks ready for ship
to the concentrate factory.

In 1982, the plant moved to semi-
commercial operation. The following
year DRI began helping other farmers
organize associations, construct facilities,
and purchase chipping equipment. Six
plants commenced operation in 1983.
Between November 1983 and June
1984, with a total of 400 m2 of drying
floor, 2395 tons of fresh cassava were
processed to produce 946 tons of dry
cassava. The conversion ratio showed
that 2.53 tons of fresh cassava is neces-
sary to produce 1 ton of dry cassava. The
average moisture content of the dry
cassava, as determined by the feed con-
centrate manufacturer, is 12.7% well
within the 14% quality standard of the
The results from the pilot plant in
1982 and '83 indicated that under the
climatic conditions prevailing on the At-
lantic Coast a batch of fresh cassava chips
loaded at 12 kg/m2 of drying floor take
30 to 40 continuous hours to dry (18 to
28 daylight hours). Consequently, a
natural drying plant operating six days a
week could process three batches per
week and a total of 60 batches per
year, assuming the dry season lasts for
20 weeks. During the 1983/84 season,
seven plants operated with average load-
ing rates of 12.3 kg/m2 processed, 84%
of the theoretical number of batches
possible, producing 86% of the total plant
The average price paid for fresh
cassava roots was Col $4,980/t and the

average selling price of one ton of dry
chips was Col $18,460. With an average
conversion rate of 2.53 and processing
and transport costs amounting to
Col $5,120/t of dry cassava, the process
gave a net profit of Col $ 740/t of dry
cassava which is equivalent to twice the
minimum wage per day for a worker in
These results indicate that natural
drying of cassava on the Caribbean Coast
of Colombia is a technically feasible and
an economically profitable activity.
There are now 20 plants in operation.
Clearly there is great potential for this
neglected crop. Cock, however, stresses
an important factor. "Introducing im-
proved cassava production technology
without complementary processing tech-
nology could saturate traditional markets,
resulting in decreased farmer incomes. In-
troduction of cassa production tech-
nology clearly must be linked to im-
proved processing technology and mar-

The first phase in establishing a cassa-
va-based industry is to assess the potential
production of cassava, its production
costs, its ability to compete (after appro-
priate processing) with other products,
and the potential demand. This analysis
focuses not only on strictly economic
benefits that may accrue to a develop-
ment project, but also on the social

benefits (increased rural employer int
and improved welfare of small farn rs/
producers), and the potential stir, la-
tion of secondary industries, such as Aall
equipment manufacturers.
Cock says, "If the initial an 'sis
demonstrates potential benefits, their :he
idea must be promoted by demon: at-
ing to policymakers the validity of
establishing such a project so hat
national programs dedicate the nece ary
resources to it. CIAT has already g; led
considerable experience in the are of
assessing the feasibility of establir ing
development projects in cassava, ind
these studies have generally been vell
accepted by policymakers at the nat )nal
level." For example, Colombia, Me ico,
and Panama have requested and rec ved
assistance from CIAT in the m :ro-
economic analysis of cassava's pott itial
in their overall agricultural dev lop-
ment and have now moved on t' the
latter phases of integrated ca. ava-
based development projects.
Once a country or national prc.ram
has decided to proceed with a cassava-
based development program, then a site
or region is selected to establish a pilot
project which will test and develop the
necessary technology, infrastructure, and
institutional support. This selection pro-
cess is based on such factors as land
availability and suitability, institutional
presence, labor availability, proximity of
markets, infrastructure, and other actiF
vities that may compete with cassava for
Caribbean Farming, November 19

~~78~f~-' ~n
a il

available resources. While national pro-
grams will be responsible for site selec-
tion, the staff in this project will be
able to offer assistance and expertise to
the national agencies. Recently ir Mexico
and Panama, the CIAT Program has coll-
aborated with national agencies in just
such a role.
The studies that lead to selection of
a site and the accompanying technology
recommendations are sketchy. The cost
of refining these studies is often immense
ar i the resulting improvement in validity,
srn J. "The optimum strategy", Cock
st .sses, "is to set up a pilot project to
p; ve the hypotheses and obtain real
d, -, rather than estimates, on the
fe ability of expanding into a major
p. ;ect."

imaica as a matter of public policy is
ra ig its level of cassava production. Im-
pc id corn, will hopefully be replaced at
th ate of 35-50%, generating a foreign
ex ange saving of US$10 million. Most
of a production will be used in animal
fe, and secondarily, to reduce the need
fo ported wheat flour. Cassava flour
ca, e incorporated into bread at levels
as -h as 10 to 20% with little decline
in 'ality. The Goshen plant can only

produce sufficient flour to incorporate
5% in bread. In northeastern Brazil and
Senegal, up to 25% cassava flour is fre-
quently used in bread.
In Jamaica a goal of 5000 hectares
(1200 privately owned by small farmers,
and 3800 government owned, but most
under lease agreements) have been
selected in different parishes of the
country for cassava promotion. The
government is confident to reach the
target by encouraging rapid propagation
methods of the best cassava varieties
they have on hand, by providing credit
and technical assistance to farmers, and
by attracting larger producers into the
program. In two or three years the area
planted to cassava is expected to triple
and cassava yields to double.
If this goal can be reached, studies
show that fresh cassava can be sold at
US$33/ton (farm-gate). This can generate
a profit of US$300/ha under the moco-
cropped system and up to US$840/ha
under the system intercropping with
peanuts. To break even, the mococropp-
ing system would demand a yeild of 16
After the fresh root is processed into
dried cassava, the required price for chips
at the feed mill would be US$110 t.
This price would effectively compete

with the price of imported corn,
US$160/t. Likewise, if fresh cassava is
efficiently processed into bread flour,
the cost of cassava flour to the factory/
bakery would be US$240/t, equivalent to
the international price for wheat flour.
Summing up the potential and the
problems associated with developing
cassava drying industries, Cock says,
"Increased cassava production can only
be obtained if good technology is avail-
able for efficient production ot the crop.
A first step toward reaping the benefits
of increased cassava production must be
research and development support for
low-cost production technology. This
technology must permit cassava to be
produced at prices low enough for the
crop to be competitive with other starchy
staples and high enough yields must be
obtained to give farmers sufficient pro-
fits to make production expansion worth-
Colombia's north coast project clearly
demonstrates that the objective is obtain-
able if planning and organization is aimed
at integrating production, processing, and
marketing. The selection of an appro-
priate processing technology is of primary
importance. E

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Litchi And Its Production

J.R.R. Suah
Caribbean Agricultural Research and
Development Institute

The litchi, lichee or lychee (Litchi
chinensis) known locally as chinese
guinep, evolved in the central and western
mountainous regions of China. It spread
slowly at first and later rapidly to many
countries with climate suitable for its
production. The fruit is highly prized
especially by the Chinese and now enjoys
an expanding market at excellent prices.
The plant was introduced into Jamaica
at Castleton near the border of St.
An(,ew and St. Mary, and several plants
are growing in the area giving fair produc-
tion. It is also growing in other parts of
St. Mary near Highgate, at Mandeville
in Manchester, and near New Castle, St.

Litchi belongs to the family Sapin-
daceae. The plant has glossy bright
green compound leaves with two pairs
of leaflets. The flowers are very small
and pale green, and the plant in bloom
could be easily mistaken for mango. Most
varieties have perfect flowers but need
insect pollination especially by the honey
bee to set fruits well. Fruits are produced
in upright clusters of 10-20 each, and
when matured measure one to one and a
half inch in diameter. The peel or rind is
fairly thick and highly protective but
separates very easily from the white
gelatinous flesh enclosed. Litchi should
be reaped when ripe, as the immature
fruit will not ripen as some other fruits
do. The ripening fruit turns to a beautiful
purple red colour which later becomes
brown. The pulp is translucent pearly
white and soft in texture. The blend of
sugars and acid in it makes it a most
delectable fruit.
Because the plant is highly ornamen-
tal, it is used as a shade plant in many
places. It grows up to 15 meters in height,
is much branched and round-topped.

The litchi is a sub-tropical fruit requir-
ing some cold nights to induce flowering.
It has not produced fruits in the tropics
except at high elevations, but there are
many areas in Jamaica which meet this
requirement. The best areas are those
which have high humidity and abundant

soil moisture, and are well protected from
dessicating winds during the summer.
In many places litchi is grown with
mango and other tall-growing fruit trees
as shelter.
The crop thrives on a wide variety of
soil types and is not very exacting in its
soil requirements. Stony soils and
swampy areas should however be avoided.
Although the crop can withstand flooding
for a few days, stagnant water for a few
weeks will kill it.
In Jamaica, the crop is now grown in
the moist areas of the Wag Water River
Valley,on the Cuff Gully Gravelly Sandy
Loam (Map No. 38),the sheltered slopes
near Highgate on Highgate Clay (Map No.
43) and on the southern slopes of the
Blue Mountain on Halls Delight Channery
Clay Loam (Map No. 46).

Commercial propagation is mostly
done by air-layering from healthy fruit-
producing trees. Terminal branches about
18 to 24 inches in length should be
selected for this purpose. A ring of bark
about one inch in width is removed from
the branch where it is about half-inch in
thickness. The cambium or cells on the
exposed wood should be completely
rubbed off, and the cut surface treated
with a rooting hormone. Sphagnum moss,
coir dust or any other acceptable root-
ing medium should be thoroughly soaked
in water, squeezed of the excess moisture
and balled around the ringed portion of
the branch. A sheet of plastic of suitable
size should be tightly wrapped and tied
around the rooting medium to keep it in
place. Plastic allows the diffusion of
gases but at the same time keeps the
medium moist.
Within 12 to 16 weeks after the lay-
ering is done, newly formed roots should
be seen through the plastic wrap. As soon
as an adequate root system is formed the
new plant should be cut from the branch
below the wrap. It is essential to have a
good balance between the foliage and
root system, and this can be done by
careful timely pruning before the plant
is removed. The new litchi roots are very
brittle and tender and will easily break
away, so that great care should be exer-
cised in removing the plastic wrap. The
new plant should be potted quickly in a
well prepared potting mixture and kept
under shade in warm humid conditions

until the roots are well established in the
medium. At least one flush of new
growth should develop before the plants
are set out in the field. Air-layered plants
start bearing within three to seven years.
Several other methods of vegetative
propagation including budding, grafting,
splice grafting, inarching and layering
have been tested but have proven less jc-
cessful than air-layering.
The plant can also be propagated f! )m
seeds, but the resultant trees proc ice
highly variable fruits which are usu Ily
inferior in quality to the variety I ;ed
as the seed source. The seeds lose 1 eir
viability within a few days after they are
taken from the fruits and the result int
plants take eight to fourteen year to

It is essential that the planting ites
should be in areas which have ool
night time temperature, are sheltered and
supplied with adequate soil mois ire.
Young litchi plants should be prote ted
against adverse weather condil ins.
This is best done by providing iem
with a nurse crop such as plant or
banana or providing windbreaks of :her
fruit trees such as otaheiti apple, m igo,
breadfruit, naseberry or ackee. ind-
breaks will protect older trees a inst
storm damage, reduce evaporatior and
transpiration rates and check the ( cur-
rence of extreme dry conditions i the
Where litchi is planted in pure hands
the area should be cleared of all b shes
before the planting holes are line out.
Planting distance varies according the
terrain and other factors such as land
use. On level land a distance of 25 0 30
feet on the square or hexagonal is a' cept-
able. The planting holes should b dug
about eighteen inches cube and well
rotted humus or other organic rranure
incorporated into the planting suil. A
small mound raised to about nine inches
will prevent flooding of the plants at an
early stage of growth.
Planting should be timed for the
beginning of the rainy season. The
potted plants should not be watered for
several days before they are to be set in
the field. At planting time a hole of about
the size of the plant pot should be
opened at the top of the mound, the
potting bag removed from around the
Caribbean Farming, November 1985

plant and set firmly and straight in
the hole. The soil should be pressed
firmly around the plant and wetted
One of the major problems in litchi
production is the establishment of young
plants. If adequate care is not given, most
of them will die. A few weeks after
planting when the roots begin to grow
into the surrounding soil, a small amount
of fertilizer should be applied to each
plari, and the dose repeated every three
mo ths.
:ight pruning should be done to esta-
bli, a straight trunk of about five feet
be, :'e branching is allowed. No prun-
inc s necessary when the plant is esta-
bli Ad except to remove dead or di-
sec J branches or those branches which
crc I the centre of the tree. The removal
of e fruit clusters at harvest time is
enm' h to encourage new shoots every
:ce litchi is a slow-growing tree
tak ; up to seven years before produc-
ing :rop of fruits, it is advisable to make
use the land in the interim. Intercrop-
pin :an be done where it is not planted
am, 1 established crop, a nurse crop or
wir breaks. Carefully selected inter-
cro; can provide a good income, con-
sen soil and keep weeds under con-
trol hese will depend on the slope,

soil and market.
Litchi roots are extensive but mostly
shallow. A mulch of decaying vegetation
is desirable to conserve moisture and
prevent extremes of temperature in the
surface soil. In a fruit bearing orchard all
cultural practices should be aimed at
creating conditions for maximum growth
and yield. Cultivation of the soil is not
necessary. Weeds are best controlled by
mulching, mowing or with herbicides.
Where plant spacing allows the growth
of grass, grazing with sheep or goats can
be done.
Litchi trees like most large fruit trees
take most of their essential elements from
the soil for their nutritional needs so very
little fertilizer is needed. However in
some soils, the addition of nitrogen'en-
sures vigorous growth and high yield.

Except for an occasional attack by
mite (Errophyes sp) and odd caterpillars,
litchi is free from pests and diseases.

Litchi plants propagated by air layer-
ing come into bearing at about three to
seven years and reach peak production
in 20 to 30 years. If proper cultural
practices are maintained, a plant will
produce economically for over 100
years. A well developed plant will

produce up to 300 pounds of fruit per
In Jamaica litchi fruits start ripening in
May or June. The fruits change in colour
from green to beautiful red. Not all fruits
on a tree will ripen at the same time so
selective reaping has to be done. The
fruits should be allowed to be well ripe
before reaping for the local fresh fruit
market. When it is to be shipped to a
distance, it should be reaped when
pinkish or slight red, and the sharp
pointed projections on the skin have
become flattened.
The fruits can be picked in whole
clusters with a portion of the leafy
shoot attached. This keeps them fresh
for several days. Reaped fruits should
be kept in a cool place. If exposed to
the sun even for a few hours the fruit
quality deteriorates rapidly.
There is a ready market for the fruit
in Jamaica and no doubt a lucrative ex-
port market can be found. Litchi is sold
by the pound or in clusters. It does not
keep for long at ambient temperature
after reaping but can be stored for up
to three months in refrigeration of OoC
to 7.5oC. For this type of storage only
sound and firm fruits should be used.
It can also be processed and canned. N
on Page 31

Caribbean Farming, November 1985

Meeting the needs of Jamaican Farmers.

C~. s v s Provides a Credit Service that
Consolidates various is timely, adequate and
yricultural Loan Programmes responsive to the needs of
urder one agency.L Agriculture.

Serves Agriculture and Agro- Wholesales Funds for Agricultural
Industry on a continuous basis CREDIT and Agro Industrial projects to
by mobilizing adequate Funds BANK People's Co-operative Banks and
for Production. participating Financial Institutions.

dEnsures an equi to the Provides Financial Counselling
distribution of Funds to the to its clients.
Jamaican Farmer.

P.O. Box 466, 11A 15 Oxford Road, Kingston 5. Jamaica W.I. Tel. 929-4000.



Beekeeping In The Caribbean

Richard A. Breyer
Box 157, Stephenson, MI 49887

E. Harris and T. Sorhaindo
Ministry of Agriculture
Roseau, Dominica.
A sweetener is a universal need. The
honey bee is, and will continue to be a
source of sweetener. The honey bee has
the ability to successfully make a
sweetener from the nectar of flowers with
bLit limited expense and guidance from
It appears there is room for all Carib-
bean nations to increase production of
honey and bee products. Their setting
is great; the opportunity exists that this
industry can become an important part
of all Caribbean nations' small farming
efforts. The Caribbean has the flora
climate, and most important, is virtually
a disease-free environment for the honey
bee. The Africanized bee has not invaded
most of the Caribbean Island nations.
These distinct advantages give a solid
base upon which to build.
The economics of honey production
for family use are favourable. Honey
can be used as a sugar substitute. Based
on the Dominican honey prices of
September 1983, and the potential pro-
duction from that nation's bee industry,
a colony of bees could produce approxi-
mately 200 pounds per year with a retail
value of over $1,000 Eastern Caribbean
currency (EC). Even at the depressed
U.S. prices of honey, the value of one
colony in production in Dominica would
be approximately $540 EC.
Typing honey would give these nations
the opportunity to increase foreign ex-
ports. There is a demand in other nations
of the world for tropical honey. Types of
honey, or blends of tropical honey could
become a novelty produced in the Carib-
bean and marketed in other nations of
the world. Good marketing efforts are
necessary and need further development.
Becoming a beekeeper is rather inexpen-
sive, especially when we compare it to
most other agricultural endeavors. At
present in the Caribbean, honey produc-
tion is the most economical, reliable agri-
cultural enterprise. The basic equipment,
a hive tool, smoker and veil, costs about
$65 EC-$24U.S. The cost of a complete
hive is about $400 EC, or $148 U.S.
Therefore, the basic equipment necessary
for one hive is approximately $465 EC
or $172 U.S. Production from one hive
the first year should range between 6 and
10 gallons. The second year the produc-

tion should increase to its full potential
range of 12 to 20 gallons. At the current
price of $75 EC per gallon, this would
indicate a return to a Dominican beek-
keeper of a range of $1,400 to $2,250
EC, or $521 to $833 U.S. per hive.
After the basic equipment expenses
and extractor rental, the cost of produc-
tion would be $467 EC or $173 U.S. This
would give a net over a two-year period
of $348 to $660 U.S. These figures do
not take into consideration any trans-
portation charges, home use of honey,
and other miscellaneous costs such as
bottles. Currently, discarded beer and
liquor bottles are used. This substantiates
the fact that the small farmer, by inte-
grating a colony of bees into his farming
system, can increase the well being of his
family through the use of honey for his
own family diet, by selling it, or a com-
bination of the two.
Beekeeping does not deplete the soil
nor reduce the country's resources. It
adds to the well being of agriculture
by its presence. Trees produce more
fruit, plants more flowers, and bees as
pollinators increase the success of most
agricultural crops.
With a personal desire and persistence,
most anyone can learn the basic skills of
beekeeping in just a few lessons. These
basic skills, along with the guidance of an
experienced person such as an Extension
Bee Officer, makes success possible.

Early in 1983, Mary And ws,
Michigan State University Directc of
International Extension Training, Nas
contacted by Errol Harris, Deputy: iief
Agriculture Officer, Ministry of Ag cul-
ture, Division of Agriculture, Dom ica,
for assistance to revitalize and fu other
develop the Dominican bee indL try.
Therefore, my mission to work vith
existing beekeepers and to train lew
beekeepers in Dominica developed.
My background is in general ac cul-
ture. In Michigan, my responsibil y is
County Extension Director for T no-
minee County, Michigan. This is k iere
beekeeping became a hobby for me The
Upper Peninsula has a lot of agrici ture
and could be classified as a small farm
After arriving in Dominica, the local
Extension Officers arranged a tour f the
entire island so that I would be :ome
better acquainted with their bee ind stry,
agriculture and Dominican p ople.
Through these same officers, an iware-
ness programme using radio, newspaper
and word of mouth was conducted to
identify Dominicans that were interested
in beekeeping. This was completed
during the first week in Dominica. During
this time existing beekeepers were identi-
fied and a personal visit was made to each
to become acquainted, answer questions,
discuss techniques and their problems.
We also talked about markets for honey
Caribbean Farming, November 1985

and determined local beekeepers' needs.
A mailing list was developed and an inven-
tory ot hives and equipment of each bee-
keeper was completed. Information was
also gathered to determine how large the
industry could expand. Based on these
visits and the information gathered, three
sessions for the experienced beekeepers
were scheduled. A general session was
held for them to become acquainted and
for me to present some techniques that
th'-y may consider adopting. It appeared
th,- management should be refined
bc re production would increased. There
w; a problem with the wax moth that
nc Jed to be addressed. Two additional
m tings dealt with approved practices,
di: ssed the potential of new marketing
m iods and explained various honey
pr lucts and how they were made. A
d( ;ion was made at one of the meet-
in to form a steering committee to
dr lop a honey cooperative. Since that
tir one has been established by the
D, inican beekeepers.
another series of classes that ran
co drrently with experienced beekeep-
in! lasses, those interested in becoming
be ?epers were given the opportunity
to attend two different class sessions.
Or series of classes was held during the
me ing for those that were not
errm yed and an identical session was
he: late in the afternoon and on
we ends for those that had conflicting
we schedules. All class sessions used
sli equipment displays, demonstra-
tio and field trips as part of the
pre station. Each student had the
opi tunity to help collect swarms and
to ork a hive. There were also de-
mo, rations with hands-on opportunity
to ike all equipment necessary to be-
corr a beekeeper. A local beekeeper
was rained and engaged to demonstrate
how to make hive body, frames and
four :ation with class members assist-
ing learn the skills. Class members did
con, ruct their equipment.
T chniques in collecting a colony from
a tr,-? were demonstrated and once the
colony was collected it was given to the
student who found it Swarms were also
collected and became the property of
the persons) who discovered them. All
class members attending had the oppor-
tunity to learn a wide range of these
skills. Each session of the class grew
larger in number of participants, indi-
cating a growing interest.
There are a large number of un-
managed wild colonies in Dominica due
to the hurricanes that devasted apairies
and the land in 1979 and 1980. Also,
because of a lack of management by
existing beekeepers, a lot of wild
Caribbean Farming, November 1985



colonies were established from swarms.
These, of course, were of no great benefit
and in some instances, a nuisance to
The beginning beekeeper classes
included Dominicans from all walks of
life. Bankers, youth, business people,
small farmers and even one gentle-
man 86 years of age enrolled in the
beginning course of study and completed
it. An indication of the success of
this venture can be illustrated by the
increase in the number of hives and bee-
keepers. An example one person,
Charles Stevens, had four hives
established from swarms as a result of
taking the Beginning Beekeepers Course.
He began the course without any hives. A
hive and the equipment had the value
of approximately $400 EC. Today the
number of colonies found on Dominica
has increased from the original 405 in
September of 1983 to over 1,200, accord-
ing to Tony Sorhaindo who took actual
count in September of 1984.
Prior to leaving Dominica, a curri-
culum and lesson plan was developed for
the Organization of American States
(O.A.S.), offering beekeeping training
to Dominican 4-H youth. Also, a set of
slides was provided through the efforts of
Tony Sorhaindo, New Crops Extension
Officer, Roger Hoopingarner, Entomo-
logy Youth Programs, Apiculture and
Crop Pollination Specialist of
Michigan State University, and myself,
to be used by the instructor. There were
18 4-H youths who completed the more
intense three-month session taught by a
local beekeeper and Tony Sorhaindo. The
Chief Extension Officer, Errol Harris. a
beekeeper himself, has offered each
student who satisfactorily finished the
O.A.S. course assistance to secure his(her)
own hive.
Most of the Dominican bee industry
expansion this past year was from find-
ing and capturing colonies from hollow
trees, cliffs, buildings, etc., and by
division of existing colonies.
Dominica and most of the Caribbean
nations are free of disease and the Afri-
canized bee has not invaded the islands.
Every conceivable effort should be made

to keep it that way. This is a small farm
industry that can develop from within a
nation. Additional skills in packaging,
typing honey, queen rearing and market-
ing are major needs. In addition, a
package industry could be developed for
not only the Caribbean nations, but for
export. Central extraction and packag-
ing of honey is important for both
domestic and foreign markets. Import
constraints should probably be explored
to keep the Caribbean nations free of
disease and the Africanized bee.
An existing monthly newsletter sent to
all youth on the island was expanded to
include information on bees'to help the
youth learn about the importance of
bees and how to identify swarms, wild
colonies and to whom to report them.
The bee industry of Dominica is on
the move. It was fun and rewarding to be
a part of what has happened and to assist
in guiding future efforts. a

Source: Proceedings of the Caribbean
Food Crops Society Vol. XX

The potential for the production of honey
and related products for the Caribbean is great.
The climate, flora and demand for an econo-
mical, locally produced sweetener provide an
ideal setting for expanded production. Start-up
and ongoing expenses are minimal compared
to most agricultural endeavors. Although
management is needed, anyone with a desire
can learn the necessary skills. Recently, a tech-
nical assistance program between Dominica and
Michigan State University catalyzed develop-
ments for the industry on that island. Field
level Agriculture Extension Agents from the
two countries worked together to identify
potential producers, provide training, and en-
courage the development of producer support
systems. Such a technical assistance program
could be continued with Extension Agents and
experienced volunteer beekeepers who would
help local beekeepers improve their skills,
create new products and reteach other begin-
ning beekeepers. A joint program to pool
expertise and interests could be developed and
is worth exploring.

1. Breyer, RA., R. Hoopengarner, C.A. Sor-
haindo. 1983. Dominican Beekeeping. 80 slides.
2. Gentry, C. 1982. Small Keeping Beekeeping.
3. Jaycox, E.R. 1981. Beekeeping in the Mid-
west. Circular 1125.

3 " '

Denbigh Show 1985 Best For A Long Time

The agricultural show and fair held ^- r r *
each year at Denbigh on theplains of the _;- I '
parish of Clarendon in central Jamaica ;
has become well known throughout the
Caribbean for its display of high-quality
livestock, vegetable produce and displays ij
of farm supplies of all sorts.
The showground is owned and
managed by the Jamaica Agricultural
Society and is used year round as a
meeting place and training centre for
Jamaica's farming community.
During recent years Denbigh Show has
felt the effects of economic depression
- but this years Show was regarded as a
sign that better days are coming to the
Island's agriculture.
The photographs on this page show [-_ *
some of the diversity that attracts young
and old visitors from all over Jamaica and .
the Caribbean to Denbigh during the ii tf
Show week-end at the beginning of < a l


i Control Grass and other Weeds with effective, economical and long-lasting M%=
Talent kills many difficult weeds such as para grass, sourgrass, and even paraquat-resistant Commelina strains.
Talent is safe to use, gives complete kill and not just top burn, because it's translocated throughout stolons and
rhizomes, saving labour and time.
* Kill Fungi and eliminate Sigatoka disease (leaf spot), with SI( li' I
Supplied in an oil base, Sigma is easy to mix into spray oils, effectively prevents and eradicates Sigatoka disease (leaf spot) in
bananas, resulting in improved yield and at lower overall cost. Recommended by Research Departments in all banana-growing
* Get to the root of the problem and control Nematodes and the Banana Weevil Borer with nocap;
a versatile Nematicide-lnsecticide which effectively controls these pests*, the cause of extensive root damage which reduces
yields and causing toppling.
SIn some territories supplemental insecticidal treatments are recommended for borer control. Consult your local extension services.

All available from

For further information on supplies and use of these
products, contact: MAY & BAKER LTD.,
19, Trinidad Terrace, Kingston 5
IMay&NENBar JAMAICA (W.I.) Tel,: 929 8532-4

or our agents:
Carter & Co.,
10 &11 High Street,
Tel: 4297017

Carlsen Chemicals
96, Orange Field Rd.
Tel: 6655047

Stanthur and Co.,
Brazil Street
Tel: 22777

James Brodie and Co.,
P.O. Box 365
Belize City
Tel: 023783

P.O. Box 142
Tel: 465-2511

Trinidad Hosts Joint Meeting on

Tropical Food Crops

The Caribbean Food Crops Society
and the Tropical Region Division of the
American Society for Horticultural
Science held a joint meeting at the Hilton
Hotel, Port-of-Spain Trinidad between
the eighth and the thirteenth of
September last. Host institutions for
the occasion were the Caribbean Agricul-
tural Research and Development Institute
(CARDI), the Ministry of Agriculture,
Lands and Food Production, Trinidad
and Tobago and the Faculty of Agricul-
ture of the University of the West Indies.
Technical sessions of the meeting dealt
with the papers under a number of group
Vegetable Crops
Breeding and Propagation
Root Crops
Weed Control
Post Harvest Studies
Cereals and Grains
Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition
Farming Systems
Agricultural Development
Pest and Disease Control
There were more than one hundred
papers and poster set displays presented

by many of the veteran researchers of
the Caribbean Region and the American
mainland as well as by newcomers to the
A bound (paperback) volume of the
abstracts of papers presented to the
meeting has been prepared and in due
course the organizers expect to make
available the full text of papers presented.
The following mini-summaries are of
some of the many papers which will be of
interest to farmers in the Caribbean and
other tropical areas:-
BELIZE Joseph McGann of CARDI re-
ported on trials which showed that Cow-
pea varieties Vita 3 (red seeded) and
Laura B (black eye) consistently yielded
more than 1500 and 1100 kg/hectare
(14% moisture) respectively. Other
varieties yielded in excess of 1500 kg/ha
but have been evaluated during only one
cropping season. Variety California 5 was
found to be susceptible to seedling and
pod rot diseases; this variety also showed
uneven maturity.
Daly told the meeting of the process lead-
ing to breeding of the CARAIBE tomato
variety, which is resistant to Pseudomonas
solanacearum, an organism causing
Bacterial Wilt. CARAIBE is also described
as heat tolerant and as carrying resistance

to Stemphylium (Gray Leaf Spot) ant
Fusarium (Races 0 and 1).

ST. VINCENT F.D. McDonald o
CARDI discussed the effects of four crop
ping systems on the population density
of the root-knot nematode Meloidogyn
incognita in carrots. Inter-croppin
cabbage-carrot, chive-carrot and onion
carrot produced reduction in the nemr
tode population by 31, 36 and 53% res
GUYANA Leonard Sawers and Hafi;
Rahman of the National Farmers' 0 gani
station outlined an approach to de ilop
mental credit and the settlemer o
young farmers in new areas. Their ape
discussed some of the problems c thi
sort of settlement in the light of e peri
ence in Guyana over the past 25 yez -.
TRINIDAD R.A.I. Brathwaii re
ported on tests of a new selective erbi
cide ASSURE for the selective c ntrc
of annual and perennial grass weec in
wide range of broad-leaved crol in
cluding vegetables. None of the erbi
cide treatments caused any ap aren
damage to crops or any significar tain
in crop products. Annual and pe inii
grasses were controlled by rates c 0.0!
to 0.1 kg. active ingredient per hec -e.I

New John Deere


A refined, heavy-duty cutting plat-
form highlights the list of special rice
features offered on the New John Deere
1055R Combine.
Specifically designed to handle thick,
wet, and tangled crops, the reel features
numerous pick-up fingers mounted on six
durable metal bats.
Specially-hardened auger flights and
high-carbon stainless steel elevator hous-
ings resist corrosion and abrasive wear.
Streamlined design also contributes to
field efficiency. Sleek new side panels
conceal a 3000-L grain tank that empties
in less than two minutes. Panels lift
easily and lock into position, allowing
safe access for daily and periodic service.
A 6-cylinder, 117-hp (SAE) John
Deere diesel engine coupled to an easy-
shifting 4-speed transmission provides
reliable pulling power on soft ground. U

'p .~ra)it6u~r- .'~

Caribbean Farming, November 1S


wvid Valdes-Scott has been recently
ap inted Export Sales Manager of
Cc ty Tractors Limited.
vid has considerable experience of
ex t affairs world-wide, gained during
se\ il years with Howard and more
rec tly International Harvester where
rec ,al responsibilities included the
Mi' e East, Latin America, Africa and
tht -ited States of America.

Rei, ted from CERES, the FA 0 Review
on culture and Development.


It was with great pleasure that I re-
ceived my copy CARIBBEAN FARMING
recently. Inevitably one recalled Carol
Record and Tony Gambrill who were
involved in the early days and are still
hard at it.
I came into Port Royal Harbour on the
Golfito on April 12th 1961 and I remem-
ber standing next to the Rev. Eric
Renough watching the Blue Mountains
come into view. I worked at UCWI as it
then was until after it became U.W.I. I
had trained as a botanist in England and
it is easy to recall my astonishment and
delight as I discovered Hardwar Gap,
Mahogany Vale, the Cockpit Country and
of course the bewildering diversity of
Jamaican agriculture.
I remember Winston Stuart and John
Haughton and the late Stan Glasgow and
this extraordinary crop you have -

TEL: 664-5444.

aribbean Farmin, Fl,4o r wer 198


Jamaica was my home for nine years.
There are endless memories. I will indulge
I went with George Proctor to the
Cockpit Country to collect Pimenta
obscure. His car windscreen broke and
our return journey began with a proces-
sion of aromas from peoples' cooking
pots. It was really nice and we tried to
work out what people were having. And
then, it began to rain and with no wind-
screen the water was literally shovelled
onto our laps. We arrived home, cold, wet
and it must be admitted, amused,
Geoffrey P. Chapman
Wye College, London University,
Keep in touch, Geoff and the best of luck
to you, too.

1. I -
.F _Y.

f k ..

A Talk With Peter Miller

We are fortunate in that we have some
very good and tasty indigenous fruit -
which are exotic in the eyes of North
Americans and which we can use to pro-
duce these jams and jellies. And we
should take advantage of that fact.
When we try to sell our guava jelly in
the United States, we try to sell it next
to Kraft in the supermarket for a dollar
a bottle. This is the wrong approach be-
cause we're not going to fight Kraft. So
then, the question is; "Where should we
sell it?" We have to produce a high
quality guava jelly which we already
do and then it has to be marketed in a
special way on what is known as the
up market. The up market in the United
States is so big that we could get enough
business' to satisfy all the plants in
CARICOM that produce guava jelly -
that's a fact. But you have to recognize
one thing if you're going to market,
you've got to know the marketplace -
and you're better off getting people from
there who are marketing people and
who know their market. That's another
stumbling block we keep fooling our-
selves when we think that we can do this
marketing ourselves. Get the right people
and get it done. There are enough success
stories around the Caribbean . TIA
MARIA is made in Jamaica and is a
household word in almost any part of
the world. Look at PICKAPEPPA
SAUCE it's in demand in the United
States now in the gourmet shops. I've had
similar success with my sauce out of
Barbados. You have ANGOSTURA
BITTERS from Trinidad . let's recog-
nise that we have some special products
in the Caribbean. And let's treat them as
special ... Let's stop going for this mass
market situation . banging our heads
against a wall all the time. Our govern-
ments spend a lot of time trying to sell
sugar and trying to sell things that they
see as big volume .. and we get virtually
nothing for it All we get is some foreign
exchange because we all know that we're
selling the sugar at a loss.
But if we encourage the small oper-

ators to go out there and entrench them-
selves in these up markets where the
volume may not be as great but the mark-
up is good, we will still achieve what we
want we still get the foreign exchange
and we're now making real earnings for
the CARICOM region.
Of course one of the things we'll have
to do is to look at such things as pro-
duction sharing. . because as big as a
processor in one country may think he is,
he may find that when he gets into this
marketplace and the demand starts to
grow, he may not be able to keep up. The
thing to do then is to have affiliates or
some joint venture thing going within
CARICOM where he would call me up
in Barbados or call the next man in
Dominica and based on a certain
standard of quality we would
produce the shortfall. These are some
of the things we have to look at if we're
really working on a regional programme.

Some years ago, the political direc-
torate of the day in the (CARICOM)
region came up with what I thought was
a revolutionary and fantastic idea when
they came up with the idea of the Carib-
bean Food Corporation. If you go back
and examine what they wanted to achieve
by having this corporation, one cannot
fault it. It was a desirable thing, it still is
a desirable thing but for some reason
it never really got off to doing the job it
was set up to do. I'm not going to say
that I profess to know all about CFC -
but that alone is a worrying thing because
there is not enough information being put
out by this organisation.
Now let us look at something in the
Caribbean . We talk about various
countries within the region concentrat-
ing on various crops and products to
feed the region as a whole . the intent,
as I understand it, was that we were
going to have an organisation that would
concentrate on looking at feeding the
Region and that all of us would parti-
cipate in this programme to feed the
Region. I am not going to blame the
CFC for the things that have not
happened because we must be honest
and recognize that some of the politi-
cians themselves have caused this prob-

lem. As a simple example you have
St. Vincent a hundred miles from Barba-
dos, St. Lucia a hundred miles from
Barbados and Grenada a hundred miles
from Barbados and all of them with
flour mills with individual capacities great
enough to supply all four islands.
So the CFC starts off against some
serious odds. Then we have to ask
ourselves: "Why is this continuing?"
Either we have to sit down and make
the decision to stop the nonsense I've
just described and let the CFC really
do its work . or we're going to ask
ourselves the question; "Is the CFC
really equipped to do the job that i- was
set up to do?"
Certainly to my mind, being ir the
food industry and being involve in
private sector organizations these last
eight years or so, I don't have a ireat
knowledge of CFC. And this v would
have to be strange, you would hr e to
wonder why. It's not that I'm no, in a
position to acquire the knowled .
the question is; "Is the information ieing
put out? Are they working closely with
the organizations which matter in arms
of being able to get their job d ne?"
My answer to that is: "They are :ot. I
will emphatically say that they're r t...
because if I've been involved in thesee
organizations for such a period o time
- and I have not felt them next: me,
asking questions, getting inputs . to
determine what to do next, then must
wonder who are their constituent Are
they working for us, the people the
Caribbean, for us the farmers ar f the
processors? How are they goii ] to
achieve any of the beautiful goal that
were set for this organisation? The e are
the things that we, the people w o are
to participate in these very progr, names
that they are setting up, have to k ow. I
am a food processor and all n col
leagues in the food processing bI iiness
ask me: "What is the CFC? %V ;at is
happening with it?" So that alor tells
me that there is a serious problem some
where in there. I use CFC as an ex mple;
there are many other organisation s and
institutions in the Caribbean who'i per
formance does not satisfy us. I nd it
could well be simply a lack of co! imun
ications, it could be a lack of will -n thi
part of some of the leaders within somT
of these institutions . and I'n not
pointing a finger at any particular indi
vidual. It could well be that there is a
type of political interference that doe;
not permit the organizations to work
Some years ago, we put a very strong
case to the government of Barbados: We
told them that there was no need to hav
tomato ketchup coming from third
countries. At that time there wen
Caribbean Farming, November 1985

twenty-seven brands of ketchup on the
supermarket shelves in Barbados; fifteen
brands were coming from within the
Region, the other twelve were coming
from the United States, Canada and
Europe. There was one from Brazil which
did not have an English language label. I
kept collecting data and the government
kept asking for more. Finally, I had a
meeting with the Minister of Trade and
he s-id: "We have looked at your sub-
miss o-n from all sides and we have only

one difficulty and it is this we still have
to let some brands in. You see, we have
a very lucrative tourist trade and the
North American or the European who
comes in will want to see his brand on
the supermarket shelves and in the
hotels. Also there are some con-
sumers who don't worry about price -
and they will want to buy the premium
brand." Well, that's what the Minister
said but I don't agree with him. When I
go into a German restaurant and see a

bottle of ketchup on the table, I don't
know nor care what brand it is. I use it
- and similarly, a visitor to the Caribbean
will use the ketchup we give them pro-
vided the quality is good. And there is no
mystery to the making of ketchup and its-
composition. So what we have to do is
maintain premium quality production for
those who want and where people
insist on brand names we can always
enter into licensing arrangements with
manufacturers. N



Sin St. Kitts

Jerome C. Thomas tells the story of a suc-
cessful bee-keeping enterprise in the
island of St. Kitts where Ralph Vanier
has transformed a hobby into a com-
mercial business producing honey and its

lo I Self sufficiency in honey production
S has now been achieved in St. Kitts with
_wi-1 the advent of the Caribbees Honey Com-

I ess for pests. More for people.

I ess for pests.More for people.

i tore for the farmer.

V 're helping Mother Earth give you her best.

R.ckfort, Kingston 2
Tel: 92-87230-9, 92-87300-9

These and many other internationally
proven chemicals are provided
M by Shell to Jamaican farmers.

di~~ P;E~I-

aribbean Farming, November 1985


low -, AI

S'i, '-

pany Ltd. Caribbees Honey Company
Ltd., is family owned and is operated
by Ralph Vanier and his wife together
with a field manager, two young men
employed as assistant bee-keepers and
one or two helpers.
The commercial operations of Mr.
Vanier's company consist of five apiaries
situated mainly in the higher lands of
the island. Each apiary has 50 or more
hives and a hive consists of a series of
wooden boxes resting one on top of
another. Each box is about one foot high
and the queen bee is confined to the
bottom two boxes which are called brood
chambers. These sometimes rest on a
smaller box which is used as a pollen
trap. Three or four boxes rest on top
the brood chambers and these are known
as supers. Each super holds nine combs
which are made of pure beeswax and are
imported from the United States. The
worker bees store their honey on the
combs and this is later extracted for
commercial uses. The queen bee is
prevented from moving from the brood
chambers to the supers by a wire grid
known as a queen excluder which allows
the workers to pass through but not the
For many years, hybrid American
queens known as Starline, were imported.
These were found to be very expensive
and many were lost in the post. The
survival rate was also found to be not

very high and the progeny appeared not
to be hybrids. The local queens have
however been found to be more produc-
tive and have replaced the American
queens. Queen rearing is very specialized
and only within the last year have local
queens been reared successfully.
Extraction and processing of honey
and its by-product, beeswax, are done in
a small processing unit that has been
established in the basement of Mr.
Vanier's home. Here the supers, which
are the boxes containing the combs that
hold the honey, are brought in from the
field. The wax cappings that cover the
honey on the combs are first removed
and the combs are placed in a
machine known as a centrifugal extractor
which extracts the honey from the
combs. The extractor currently used can
hold thirty combs as compared with a
much smaller extractor which was
previously used and had a capacity for
only three combs. After extraction, the
honey goes into a clarifier which is a
heated rectangular shaped vessel. Foreign
objects are removed from the clarifier and
the honey then goes to a filter where the
honey is strained. The strained honey
is transferred to a container and stored
for 24 to 48 hours to remove air
bubbles. The honey is then poured into
bottles and is ready for sale. Extrac-
tion occurs once every two weeks during
the period June to December.

Honey is also extracted from the wax
cappings that were first removed from the
combs. The cappings are then placed in
a wax melter from where the wax is
collected and later sold. Wax is a by-
product of the processing.
The pollen grains collected from the
bottom of the hives are first frozen for
24 to 48 hours. This process kills minute
insects that may have been collected in
the field. The pollen is then cleaned,
placed in jars and frozen again,
after which it is available for commer-
cial use.

St. Kitts Apiaries Company _td.,
has a relatively small staff consistir:3 of
Mr. Vanier and his wife, a field mar ger,
two assistant bee-keepers and one o two
helpers. Mr. Vanier is presently not
very active in the field work but prc ides
most of the technical advice. His .ife
takes care of the clerical duties.
Most of the daily activity i the
responsibility of the field manage Mr.
Douglas Lewis. Mr. Lewis has ,een
assisting Mr. Vanier with extraction nce
1962 when extractions were doi on
Sunday. Mr. Lewis was a bank up
until 1982 and started working reg arly
with the Company from May o that
year. He has since been involved all
operations. Two young men an em-
ployed as assistant bee-keepers. Oi has
been on the regular staff for three ears
and the other for eighteen months.

Honey production during the past
three years has increased from 56 1 kg
in 1982 to 9253 kg in 1984. T1 ;has
been associated with a marked de line
in natural honey importation in ) St.
Kitts from 204 kg in 1980 to 28 1982. The foreign exchange r vings
resulting from the increased hone pro
duction is relatively small mainly b ,ause
only small amounts were being imr ,rted.
However, much greater potential fo earn
ing foreign exchange does exist.
Most of the honey produced i; sold
locally mainly to the brewery for :se in
its malt production. Local demand, how-
ever, only accounted for about half of the
1984 production and some exports have
been made to the neighboring islands.
All of the wax produced is used locallY
in the Batik industry.
Mr. Vanier describes the honey pro'
duced by the Caribbees Honey Company
Ltd., as being the best in the Caribbean
and probably in the world. He is seeking
external markets for the surplus produce
tion. I
Caribbean Farming, November 1985

Cocoa Farming

The Smart Choice .

YOU CAN .- .
* Earn at least J$50.50 for every box of cocoa
you produce
* Guarantee yourself a higher dollar return from
every acre of land when you plant cocoa with
other crops.

For further information, contact:
The Cocoa Industry Board
P.O. Box 68
Marcus Garvey Drive
Kingston 15

the one
forAGRO 21"
The Progressive Automoile Manufacturer frThe


SSole Distributors in Jamaica:
SUZUKI 24 Hanover Street, Kingston Jamaica. Telephone 92-23833

aribbean Farming, November 1985


~-li -~ a .

a. ~a~


REPAHA Training Livestock Technicians

the rounds of farm schools and other
agricultural training institutions in the
Region. We will report what we observe
in a series of stories beginning with this
account of the REGIONAL EDUCA-
based in Guyana. REPAHA is fortunate
in having as its director veterinarian C.L.
(Peter) Bent, who has given a lifetime of
distinguished service to his own country,
Jamaica and to the Caribbean. We
are grateful to Dr. Bent for the informa-
tion supplied below.
As discussions and plans for increasing
meat and milk production in the Carib-
bean were taking place during the past
decade, it became increasingly clear that
a serious shortage of veterinary man-
power existed. Young people educated in
this field in Europe and North America
usually chose to remain in those areas to
earn good money. In addition, the
numbers of places available to students
from the Caribbean for veterinary train-
ing were steadily dwindling.
At Inter-American meetings in 1971
to 1973, Ministers of Agriculture gave
the matter their attention and such
agencies as the World Health Organiza-
tion, Pan-American Health Organization
and United Nations Development Pro-
gramme contributed to the work which
led to the development of REPAHA and
the opening of the Centre in Guyana in
September 1975. Funding for technical
assistance was by UNDP and the execut-

ing agency was PAHO/WHO. Up to
1978, the University of Guyana, Guyana
School of Agriculture and Ministries of
Agriculture and Health provided tem-
porary accommodation. In 1978 REPAHA
began to occupy its new quarters at
Mon Repos provided by the Govern-
ment of Guyana.
REPAHA is a co-operative effort of
UNDP, PAHO/WHO and sixteen Carib-
bean governments. Assistance in the form
of scholarships has been given by a
number of agencies Canadian Inter-
national Development Agency (CIDA),
Commonwealth Fund for Technical Co-
operation (CFTC), European Develop-
ment Fund (EDF), PAHO/WHO and
Since the opening in 1975 a total of
258 Animal Health and Veterinary Public
Health Assistants have graduated from
REPAHA; their performance in the field
has been considered very satisfactory.
UNDP funding of this Project ended
in December, 1984 and eight Caribbean
governments have signed the document of
responsibility for REPAHA. One govern-
ment has indicated that it will sign -
bringing the total to nine. Sixteen stu-
dents enter their second year at the
Centre with the new academic year in
September, 1985. There are 25 applica-
tions on file for entry this year.
Application for admission to the
REPAHA two-year diploma course may
be considered from:-
a) Students who have gained the
General Certificate of Education at
Ordinary Level in at least three subjects,



one of which must be either cher stry,
physics, biology, zoology, bota ; or
health science.
b) Students who have gained : :om-
parable certificate.
c) Mature students recommend I by
their Ministries of Agriculture, wh have
passed a relevant examination set b their
The REPAHA course extend over
two years of three terms (each velve
weeks) of lectures, laboratory an field

During the preparatory term :f the
first year, course work includes :tures
in English (Communication) and :tures
and laboratory work in Biology, emrnis-
try, Mathematics, Physics ano Farm
Machinery. These are in addi in to
Animal Husbandry. lectures an prac-
tical sessions, which continue du ng the
whole two years of training.
Pre-clinical work added dur ig the
second and third terms of the fi .t year
introduces students to study and ; practice
in anatomy, microbiology, paras tology,
pharmacology and physiology.
For the second year of the course,
lectures and laboratory work include
medicine, pathology, public health, sur-
gery, principles of economics, extension
services, rural sociology. This year also
introduces all-practical "clinical cycles"
with special attention to public health,
herd health and laboratory practice. I

Caribbean Farming, November 198

, 1

Tropical Root

Crops Symposium
The 7th International Symposium of
the International Society for Tropical
Root Crops (ISTRC) was held this year
in Guadeloupe from the 1st to 6th July.
The Symposium was sponsored and
hosted by the Institut National de la
Recherche Agronomique (INRA) under
the chairmanship of Dr. Lucien Degras.
The Symposium was dedicated to the
mer ory of D.G. Coursey, late director
of !e Vegetable Crops Section of the
Tro: cal Development and Research Insti-
tute in London, who had contributed
grez y to root crop and yam research in
part jlar, and who had been an active
mer er of the ISTRC from its incep-
t is usually the case, the meeting
broi it together society members and
indi luals involved in root crop research
fron all regions of the globe. Research
repc ; covered a wide range of topics
inch ng cropping systems, fertilizer
trial weed control, pests and diseases,
phy; iogy, tissue culture, breeding,
stor; and processing. Information was
presto -ed both in technical sessions and
post displays. Technical sessions in-
clud presentations on techniques of

Z.'A A A..

yam tissue culture, the use of minisetts
or very small tuber pieces for yam pro-
duction, the relationship between the
type and size of planting material
(including bulbils) on yield and a descrip-
tion of field diseases and postharvest
pests of yams and their control. interest-
ing information was also presented on
sweet potato production and on starch-
sugar transformations in certain varieties
of sweet potato. Systems of cassava
production, postharvest handling and
storage, flour quality and nutritional
aspects of cassava consumption were
also highlighted.
Poster displays were lively and in-
formative with good visual appeal and
were a worthwhile contribution to the
Additional activities included an all-
day field trip which took participants
across a considerable proportion of the
island. The trip included visits to root
crop farms and INRA. It also included
a stop at the College de Sainte Rose, a
secondary school at which agricultural
activities form an important part of
the curriculum. Here, a lively and well-
informed group of students awaited the
arrival of conference participants and
with bubbling enthusiasm proceeded to
explain the excellent displays they had
prepared for the occasion.

A a'mq A w m r n l



"Of the island's 660,000 acres of forest land. Jamaica requires 60,000
in productive commercial forest to become self-sufficient in wood and
wood products. This acreage, if developed over a 25 year period,
would allow the country to achieve maximum substitution of lumber
imports at savings of J$8.8 billion."
Managing Director
Forests for our Future
- A W16

Forest Industries Development Company
39 Lady Musgrave Road
Kingston 10
Telephone: 92-76216, 92-78888.

ean Farming, November 1985 31

'4Q.lidson6,' W.. (97) Lydhee.Miiisry
'offAgricultureiExterslIon Parphlet -
S5 (ob'in,. M., I54) aych into
Florda Ag. Exte sionSto. n .5atibn .
6. Kok, J.B. and -A:J. Jouber ji' 67) Prd-;
duce Better 'Lichee. Farmihg. ih Soi-h"
-. Africa. April 1967 pp 6-9.. -
7. Mortensen, E. and E.J. Ballard (1968)
Litchee. Handbook of Tropical and Sub-
tropical Horticulture. p.4.
8. Singh, 'R. (1958) The Lichee in India.
India Council of Agri. Research Farm
Bulletin 44.
9. Yee, W. (1959) The lychee In Hawaii.
Hawaii Agric. Extension Circular 366.
10, Young, T.W. and R.H. Harkness (1961).
Flowering and Fruiting Behaviour of
Brewster Lichee in Florida. Proceedings
of Florida State Hort. Society 74: 358-
11. Stephens, E.W. (1955) The Lichi. Queens-
land Agric. Journal Vo. 81. July tO De-
cember 1955 pp. 19-20.

In Praise of Shrubs

by Noel Vietmeyer
Shrubs are a botanical resource with-
out a constituency. Too tall for agricul-
ture, too short for forestry, they fall
between the disciplines. Agricultural
textbooks do not discuss shrubs nor does
forestry literature. Institutes of agronomy
and forestry research abound, but try to
find one for shrub research. Shrubs are
either too woody, too branchy, too
thick, or not thick enough. And therefore
their potential as resources is overlooked.
Yet shrubs can provide many valuable
resources: food for people, feed for
animals; ingredients for drugs and medi-
cines; wood for fuel, fibre for paper pulp,
materials for housing, fencing, tools, and
handicrafts; as well as industrial products
such as rubber, resins, gums, oils, and
rope. On top of that, shrubs are one of
the most promising answers to the Third
World's massive shortages of firewood.
Shrubs are small many-branched trees.
Like other classes of plants, they may be
annuals or perennials. Many grow in the
most derelict terrain. A number of them
(notably legumes) fix nitrogen that
benefits soils and neighboring plants.
Shrubs have particular promise for devel-

oping countries because they are one of
the most vigorous and tenacious of
all life forms. Their often deep tap-
roots and extensive lateral-root systems
allow them to tolerate drought and
barrenness, often providing the means
of survival for livestock and wildlife. This
is because grasses die when the upper
soil dries out, but the shrubs' deeper
and more extensive root system reaches
underground moisture and keeps them
flourishing. "If you had to choose one
life form that has the most security it
would be shrubs," notes United States
agronomist Charles Driver.

At present, only one shrub, cassava,
is widely cultivated as a food shrub. But
there are many other interesting species
yet to be more fully explored. Among
them are chaya. pigeon pea, and ye-eb.
Chaya is a fast-growing Central
American shrub that provides large
amounts of nutritious greenery, requires
little maintenance, and keeps yielding
for years.
Chaya come in two species: Cnidos-
colus aconitifolis is found from southern

Mexico to Costa Rica; Cnidoscolus, aya-
mansa is native to Mexico's Yucata pen-
insula and to Belize. The young oots
and tender leaves of these shru are
cooked and eaten like spinach. Th are
high in protein, calcium, iron and
vitamins. The plants are propagated rom
stem cuttings, which begin proc cing
food in two or three months. rom
Mexico to Costa Rica these shru are
often planted as attractive hedges from
which the people pick their daily ood.
They tolerate heavy rainfall and rE oond
with luxurious growth. They also
tolerate drought and recover well when
the rain returns. Chaya plants tes: d in
Puerto Rico outproduced all other
leafy vegetables in total edible material.
Pigeon pea is another shrub that
produces food in this case a nutri-
tious seed.
One of the oldest of the world's food
crops, the pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan)
was cultivated in ancient Egypt and has
been used in Africa and Southeast Asia
since prehistoric times. It is probably
native to northeastern Africa but
today more than 90 per cent of the
Caribbean Farming, November 1985

world's production is in India. The crop
is also very popular in the Caribbean.
The pigeon pea produces food in
about the same time as annual food crops
- three to nine months but then
continues yielding for several years. Its
seeds are cooked and eaten like other dry
beans, and its green seeds and the
immature pods are eaten as fresh vege-
tables. As well, pods, husks, and foliage
are fed to animals. On top of that the
shrt b's stalks or side-branches provide
fire ood to cook the family's meals.

ie living plant has uses also. It
rap iy produces dense ground cover that
prc cts soil from erosion. It is some-
tim used as a windbreak and it makes a
heo that also provides food and fuel.
e pigeon pea reflects general charac-
teri, s of shrubs for vigorous and robust
grok 1. It is one of the best nitrogen-
fixi legumes and survives on infertile
soil unsuitable for other crops. Some
cul: rs tolerate toxic soils that have
exc! salt, soluble aluminium, or manga-
nes( Its deep roots find moisture and
keel it productive when other food
cro[ have succumbed to drought.
F oably the most drought-tolerant
fooc ,rub is the ye-eb.
C of the most endangered plants in
B rld, ye-eb is a shrub that could
nt ute to the world's arid zones the
y acadamia and cashew do to the
m zones. It produces an edible nut.
tiv to a semi-desert region in the
rn of Africa, ye-eb (Cordeauxia
l, survives where rainfall is some-
es inly a meagre 150-200 mm a year.
w fed, many-stemmed shrub, usually
y bout 1.6m tall, it has long roots
t 'ach deep soil moisture allow-
it remain green year-round.
Ye b seed is a nutritious nut with
h~:tnut-like flavour. Destitute pea-
s ving in the Somali hinterland rely
it ror subsistence. In season, it is a
le of the poorer nomads; during
ought it is sometimes the only
plant left surviving in the parched
baking Ogaden Desert. The seeds
e an unusually nourishing and
nced food, containing substantial
unts of starch, sugar, protein, fat,
various minerals. Eaten raw or
ed they have a smooth consistency
and taste that one author likens to
that of cashew. They are much relished,
being often preferred to the usual diet of
rice and dates.
In the dry hinterland of Somalia
the ye-eb once grew profusely. (In 1929
it was reported to constitute up to half
the woody vegetation in many areas.)
Caribbean Farming, November 1985

Today it is threatened with extinction
because of war and over-harvesting
caused by drought.
Ye-eb has only recently been grown
outside its native habitat. After experi-
ments at Kew Gardens in London, it is
now growing well in trial plots in Kenya,
Sudan, Yemen, and India. The plant
holds the promise of providing a valuable
food for local use in hot, dry areas with
low uncertain rainfall. It may prove
especially useful in many dry. countries
where irrigation is not possible,
and where rainfall is too low for the
cultivation of more conventional crops.

Ye-eb, pigeon pea, and chaya show
that shrubs have an important role to
play in providing food, but shrubs can
also provide fuel for cooking. As is now
well known, the Third World faces severe
shortages of firewood. However, what is
only now being recognized is that the
firewood crisis cannot be solved by plant-
ing trees alone. Poor people cannot
afford to wait for a tree to grow, let
alone the expense of plantation-grown
wood. To reach the people most in
need shrubs are one major answer.
The pigeon pea has already been
cited an example of a shrub that produces
fuel. And there are other examples, such
as dhaincha and calliandra. Dhaincha is a
shrub that is so quick-growing, it can
produce firewood in only six months.
A native of the Indian subcontinent.
dhaincha (Sesbania bispinosa, also known
as S. aculeta) has been distributed to
parts of tropical Africa, Southeast Asia,
China, and the West Indies. To re-
searchers outside of two or three
laboratories in India and Pakistan,
however, it is little known.
The wood is light, but it can be pro-
duced quickly and in high yield. In
northern Pakistan and in Viet Nam it
is used as a firewood crop. (Pakistani
villagers commonly use it for evaporating
water from sugar.) It matures so rapidly
that two harvests a year are possible.
Vietnamese farmers grow it to
fertilize rice fields and gather its stems for
firewood before the rice crop is planted.
Dhaincha, too, is a multipurpose
species. All parts of the plant are useful,
and the crop appears easy to produce on
a large scale with little care or invest-
ment. Its seeds contain a water-soluble
gum that produces a smooth, light-
coloured, coherent, and elastic film useful
for sizing textiles and paper and for pro-
ducts such as the mud used in oil drilling.
It can also be used in crop rotations to
fertilize and improve soil for food crops.
The living plant is used to provide wind-

breaks, hedges, erosion control, and shade
and cover for crops. Its foliage is used to
increase soil fertility, especially on saline
and wet soils. It also is reported to make
good cattle fodder.
Dhaincha stems can be processed to
provide a jutelike cordage fibre, useful for
items such as fishing nets, gunnysacks,
and sails. They are believed to have
potential as a new source of paper, since
its fibres resemble those of birch, one of
the best hardwoods used for pulping. In
Italy, one dhaincha crop yielded 15 bone-
dry tons per hectare. In the tropics,
where more than one crop can be
harvested each year, annual production
could be even higher.

Dhaincha is just one member of a
genus of shrubby legumes that deserve
much greater development. In the
Cameroons, villagers plant another' fast-
growing Sesbania shrub for firewood.
and more species are known in other
parts of Africa and Asia.
An example of a shrub's utility as a
firewood source is provided by calliandra.
This leguminous species is native to
Central America, and its seeds were in-
troduced to Indonesia in 1936. In Eastern
Java calliandra (Calliandra callothyrsus)
proved so successful as a village resource
that in 1970 the Indonesian State Forest
Enterprise (Perum Perhutani) began
planting it on a large scale as plantation
crop, so that by early 1979 about 30,000
hectares were under cultivation.
This small bush is usually quick
growing, and when it is cut down it
sprouts so vigorously that it produces
firewood on an annual basis. In Indonesia
it has been cut for fuel after only a year's
growth and harvested each year for the
next 20 years. In many parts of Java,
calliandra branches have become a
favourite fuelwood. It is used for cooking
as well as in such small industries as
those making lime, tiles, or bricks.
In the 1960s government officials
noted that villagers had spontaneously
adopted calliandra and were cultivating
for their firewood needs. Today Javanese
cultivate calliandra widely, often inter-
cropping it with fruit trees and vege-
tables. The shrub has now become so
popular in rural areas that "Kalliandra"
is now a widely used name for children.
The plant's value is dramatically
exemplified by the village of Toyomarto
in East Java. There, land that was once
grossly denuded and erosion-pocked is
now covered with calliandra forest.
Today, the villagers make a good living
selling the firewood, actually earning
more from it than from their food

Calliandra's abundant nodulation
enriches the soil in which it grows,
making it useful for rejuvenating worn-
out agricultural land. Some formerly
abandoned agricultural areas now
produce good sugar-cane yields follow-
ing four years of calliandra cultivation.

During drought or flood, or other
periods when grasses are unavailable
shrubs often supply the only forage. For
example, during the severe six-month dry
season in Brazillian savannahs (cerrados),
cattle get as much as 60 per cent of their
feed from shrubs and trees. In Ghana's
savannahs, the percentage is thought
to be higher. And it has been judged
that more animals are fed from shrubs
than from man-made pastures. In fact, in
many locales stock raising probably
would not be possible without them.
During the dry season they provide
green feed (leaves, flowers, and fruits),
often rich in proteins, vitamins, and
valuable mineral elements.
One leguminous plant (that comes
in both a many-branched shrub and
single-trunked tree forms) is leucaena,
Leucaena leucocephala. A native of
Brisbane, Australia, have been browsed
almost continuously for about 20 years
without requiring replanting.
Leucaena leaves, similar to alfalfa in
digestibility, protein content, and nutri-
tional value, are particularly palatable to
dairy cows, beef cattle, water buffalo,
and goats. Cattle near Brisbane Whose
diet included leucaena gained an average
of almost one kilogram of weight each
,day for more than 200 days. That is
about twice what is normally expected
from animals grazing in tropical pastures,
and approaches the weight increases
normally obtained only in feedlots.
Stocking in the leucaena trials was six
and more steers per hectare.
For some time researchers have
worried about mimosine, an uncommon
amino acid that comprises about five per
cent of the protein of the Central
America, this species has an irrepressible
vigour and has been much in the news in
recent years (see Ceres. Sept.-Oct. 1979).
But so far researchers have concentrated
mostly on its use as a tree crop. Its value
for feeding animals is not so well known.
Yet, in the lowland tropics forage can
be produced more efficiently and econo-
mically from leucaena thanfrom virtually
anything else. Leucaena reaches almost
two metres in height, and grazing cattle
are nearly hidden among the bushes,
with only the tops of their heads visible.
Cattle relish the leaflets and young stems

and often leave the bushes stripped bare.
But leucaena quickly regrows new foliage,
and within two weeks a "bare" field can
be ready for grazing once more.
Leucaena leaves, similar to alfalfa in di-
gestibility, protein content, and nutri-
tional value, are particularly palatable to
dairy cows, beef cattle, water buffalo,
and oats. Cattle near Brisbane whose diet
included leucaena gained an average of
almost one kilogram of weight each day
for more than 200 days. That is about
twice what is normally expected from
animals grazing in tropical pastures, and
approaches the weight increases normally
obtained only in feedlots. Stocking in the
leucaena trials was six and more steers
per hectare.
Leucaena's promise is for the humid
tropics, but fodder shrubs find their most
outstanding promise in arid lands. Here
their deep roots keep them green and
productive when grasses are shrivelled
and desiccated. A family of shrubs with
notable promise for dry lands is the salt-
Saltbushes (members of the genus
Atriplex) grow throughout the world.
They are highly salt tolerant, and many
are perennial shrubs that remain green all
year. They make useful forage -in arid
zones of the world. They resist low
temperatures, withstand heavily textured
soils, and tolerate salinity in soil or water.
Laboratory experiments have demon-
strated that Atriplex halinus, for instance,
will grow when irrigated with saline
solution containing about as much salt
as sea water. They actually excrete the
salt through their leaves. This is done by
forming small salt-filled bubbles on the
leaf surfaces. When full, the bubbles
burst, releasing the salt to the wind.
"Old man" saltbush (Atriplex num-
mularia) is an important forage plant in
arid and semiarid areas of Australia. One
of the most palatable of the atriplexes, it
is also highly drought resistant. It has
been introduced into Israel, South Africa,
North Africa, and several South American
countries for testing as a forage plant;
yields reportedly have been high.

Another shrub that has been much in
the headlines is jojoba (Simmondsia
chinensis). The seeds of this North
American desert shrub contain a veget-
able oil unlike any other to be found in
the vegetable kingdom. It is potentially
an important industrial oil with potential
uses in quenching and cold-rolling of
steel, in leather dressing, in lubricating
high-speed machinery and precision
instruments, and in the textile industry.
Already some 16,000 hectares of

jojoba plantations have been established
in the arid southwestern regions of the
United States and plantations are spring-
ing up in Mexico, Israel, Australia, South
Africa, Sudan, Argentina, Costa Rica, and
A second promising North American
shrub is guayule (Parthenium argen-
tatum). It contains a rubber that, when
purified, is virtually indistinguishable
from natural rubber from the rubber tree.
A potential souce of exports for arid
lands, it grows in poor desert soi s in
otherwise unused marginal areas.
The rubber is contained within cells
throughout the entire guayule plant and
to obtain it the whole plant is harv ;ted,
and the rubber extracted with s rtent
or floatation in water. Yields of up o 12
per cent (dry weight) have been obt ined
from wild plants and over 20 pei cent
from improved varieties. Guayule c n be
planted, harvested, and processed with
equipment already developed for otherr
Guayule, jojoba, saltbushes leu-
caena, calliandra, dhaincha, ye-eb, f geon
pea, and chaya are just nine examp is of
the exciting promise of shrubs. C :hers
include tamarugo (Prosopsis tamaru o), a
salt-resistant, drought-resistant fore e of
the Chilean desert; Cassia sturti an
Australian shrub that is proving a va: able
forage souce in Israel; Desdemodiun dis-
color, which along with other w ody
Desmodium species are promising fc ages
for tropical zones, sunnhemp (Crot laria
juncea), a nitrogen-fixing shrub of ndia
that produces a high quality fibre for
cordage or paper, vasada (Adh& oda
vasica), a goat-proof evergreen shru : of
India promising for firewood, insecticides
and perhaps medicinals, and canc lilla
(Euphorbia antisyphilitica), a nati' 3 of
Mexican deserts, this leafless shn b is
covered with a high melting wax tl at is
used to coat candies and goes into i any
industrial products.
Regrettably, many of these Lseful
shrubs are little known in most o the
world's forestry and agricultural in;titu-
tions. I

This article was originally published in
CERES-FAO Review on Agriculture and

Caribbean Farming, November 1985

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