Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Back Cover

Title: Caribbean farming
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00101460/00020
 Material Information
Title: Caribbean farming
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Mona, Jamaica
Publication Date: May 1987
Copyright Date: 1969
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00101460
Volume ID: VID00020
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 3116219

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

aJOHN DEERE Agricultural
Yamada Supplies SUBSIDIARY OF
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Caribbean MAY 1987


Caribbean fruit being prepared for export


Not as simple as A.B.C. .........................................5

Caribbean Fruit for export ..................................... .6
Controlling the ripening process ..................................9
Hides and skins Valuable farm product ................ ......... 28
European Ethnic produce market ............................... 32

Growing coco in Jamaica....................................... 10
Applied research for farm products............................... 16
Caribbean sweet potato working group ............................ 19L
Management of pigs........................................... 22
Milk production in the Caribbean ............................... 24

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.
MANGING EDITOR: Tony Gambrill, EDITOR: Carol Reckord,
EDITORIAL BOARD: Tony Gambrill, Carol Reckord, Lloyd Barnett,
Dr. Richard Jores, Joe Suah, Prof. Lawrence Wilson,
ART DIRECTOR: Deryck Leslie ADVERTISING SALES: Eleanor Sutherland,
P.O. Box 105, Kingston id, Jamaica. Tel: 92-74271, 92-76184.
SUBSCRIPTION: US$11 USA, Caribbean & Latin America;
US$15 All other countries, air mail for four issues.

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Tel: (809) 92-74271


iti Not as simple as A.B.C.

In 1982 OXFAM published a book by David Bull on the
subject of pesticides and the Third World poor. Under the
title A GROWING PROBLEM, the book provides nearly 200
pages of what the International Institute of Biological Hus-
bandry calls "serious, professional study of a problem which
is steadily increasing in magnitude". The whole business of
chemical pesticides is, of course, part of the daily work of
almost all farmers and therefore very much part of our every-
day concern. The immediate reason for bringing Mr. Bull's
useful book to the attention of our readers is not only to note
that the Third World uses about 15% of the pesticides applied
Worldwide and that between 1965 and 1970 production of
nany crops (such as cotton in Central America) decreased
becausee chemical pesticides were unable by themselves to con-
-ol insect pests. A good reason for mentioning A GROWING
ROBLEM could be to remind our readers that in four Central
\merican countries (with a combined population of 15 million
aople) investigations found 14,138 cases of pesticide poisoning
om 1972 to 1975, including 40 deaths. The actual numbers
ere probably much higher. A nurse in one of these countries
ported that the farmers often tell the workers to give another
'ason for their sickness "but you can smell the pesticide in
ieir clothes".
We bring Mr. Bull's book to our readers' attention in this
sue of CARIBBEAN FARMING because it reports on an im-
)rtant area in which farmers, farm supply people and agri-
iltural extension workers have to apply serious study to com-
,ex matters if their farms are to produce certain crops.
The book recognizes the part which chemical pesticides
ave played in Third World agriculture as well as in the control
f malaria. It makes a careful examination of the human
)st of inappropriate and ill-advised pesticide use the death
nd injury of many thousands of Third World people. Two
chapters deal with the residues of pesticides in food and in
he environment. Mr. Bull observes:-
"The residue problem in local markets or in export crops
will not be solved by legislation against residues alone. More
importantly, it must be solved by improving pest control

practices. This means improving the standard of infor-
mation given to farmers. As long as pesticides continue to
be promoted as safe and profitable panaceas, as long as
warnings are given only in the small print or not at all,
as long as labels appear without instructions in local lan-
guages, as long as spraying by calendar is accepted and
integrated pest management deferred until tomorrow, the
residue problem will remain as will other problems of
inappropriate, uncontrolled and excessive pesticide use.
Nevertheless, better pest management practices may
result from the realisation of a residue problem. Many
Third World countries lack the facilities to monitor residues
and only become aware of a problem when they are in-
formed by a country which imports from them and which
monitors those imports for residues."
Marketing not so simple
In our Caribbean for many generations the local effort was
deliberately simplified to allow unskilled workers and barely-
skilled managers to produce such commodities as raw sugar,
rum, hides, pimento and other spices. Even after newer crops
brought the need for improved production technology, the
areas of crop financing and marketing continued to be managed
far away from the fields where crops were grown.
A few weeks ago, a group of swine producers in Jamaica
were invited to a meeting with the management of Grace
Food Processors, the company that buys and processes their
hogs. There was a great deal of helpful veterinary and ma-
nagement advice to the farmers at this meeting. There was
also friendly identification of the people and services which
the Grace Company has lined up to help their contract farmers
do better business for themselves and for Grace. With all the
goodwill and extension help, farmers who came to that meet-
ing must have realized that in these days of high bank rates,
low consumer buying power and general uncertainty, neither
they nor Grace- can afford to make any costly planning mis-
takes. Members of the Grace team passed out good advice -
but in the not-so-long run it is the farmers' kriow-how that
must earn money for them. For example, at a time when sow
Cont'd.on p. 11

Caribbean Farming May 1987

Caribbean fruit for export

Banana boxing plant also serves for packing cantaloupes and pawpaw.

For the past hundred years and more,
cultivated acres across the Caribbean have
been devoted for the most part to the
production of sugar cane, bananas, coco-
nuts and beef cattle. The harvesting of
these crops certainly of the sugar cane
and bananas has had a great deal of at-
tention and development money. Similar-
ly, the area of post-harvest care and hand-
ling has seen many millions of dollars
spent on boxing plants, cable-ways, mech-
anical reapers and factory machinery.
When the diversification consciousness
began to take hold, it was not surprising
that the planning was for vast acres (of
whatever crop was planned) to take the
place of the vast acres of sugar cane.
Accordingly, the need for elaborate
and expensive packing plants and equip-
ment was quickly recognized by those
who planned larae-scale production.

visited a farm in Jamaica which has been

Cantaloupes travel comfortably with plastic
foam dividers.

growing sugar cane and bananas on a large
scale for a long time and which is mov-
ing quietly and cautiously into the world
of alternative crops. Barnett Estate has
many hundreds of its acres close to the
city of Montego Bay in north-western
Jamaica. The farming activity has to com-
pete with the industrial and tourism
sectors as employers of local labour. Still-
high interest rates make it necessary for
farm management to plan carefully be-

fore and during all operations. During
the past few years, the management has
put in some acreage of mango interplant-
ed with paw-paw (papaya) as well as some
fields of cantaloupe. The mango trees
have not yet come into bearing but
some quantities of the other two fruit
varieties are now beina shipped by air ;o
the United Kingdom and North America.
The first impression the visitor has if
this new operation is the use of local aid
available resources at most points. Sure y
in the packing house there are stacks )f
new cartons in which the fruit is pack d
for market. There are also foam divider -s
and soft plastic sleeves the dividers'. )r
cantaloupe and the sleeves for paw-pz v,
to prevent brusing in transit. The pai <-
ing-house is one which has been u'd )r
banana shipments over many years. T ie
work tables and tanks and field boxes, "e
all borrowed from the banana operatic i.
The tanks are used to wash the frL t;
there are, too, one or two chill tanks wh' :h
remove the field heat from the harvest d
fruit by passing them through an i 3-
water bath.
This is a pilot-scale project which is it
the same time big enough to prodL :e
shipments of a ton or two. Harvesting is
by hand and fruit travels from field o
packing house by tractor-trailer cle r-
ly the same well-worked farm track )r
which ploughs the land, cuts the furro 's
and does the dozen-and-one other fai n
chores. At all levels, packing-house wo <-
ers (and presumably field workers as we )
are people who have worked as a tec n
under the same management for son e
time and the change from packil g
bananas involves rather more care bi t
essentially the same processes for t a
new crops. The varieties grown by tl 3
Barnett enterprise are standard expo t
types. There are no imported exper s
with expensive pre-feasibility studies an.l
no sounding of trumpets at any stage.

Switching from bananas

What were the reasons for such a big
banana-growing farm complex giving at-
Caribbean Farming May 1987

tention to a package of relatively-
unknown crops.? According to a member
of the Barnett management team one
chief reason was that the reforms in the
Jamaican banana industry were slow in
coming. Farmers had been hanging on as
best they could during the years of deli-
beration and change of policy with
constraints tightening on them year by
year. Finally' it came to a point that the
banana price did increase and the foun-
dation was set for what may.become a
better-run industry. However, by this
.time the situation required massive re-
planting and rehabilitation measures be-
cause the fields had generally become
ri n-down and exhausted. "Faced as we
wt re with an unavoidable major invest-
ml it in any case, we decided to look
be )nd bananas and in the direction of
a w other crops which we could begin
on modest acreage and watch carefully
OL banana lands also happen to be on
the )est soils at Barnett so we decided
to ie the new crops the benefit of good
soi vith access to irrigation water".
,e fruit from Barnett is packed under
the state's TALLYMAN label in cartons
of e to eight fruit. In this trade, ex-
pla d Peter Kerr-Jarret, the present-
gen ition director of this family opera-
tior uniform size is very important to
the .staurant trade buyer who gets a

sizeable share of this sort of fruit. The
Hawaiian Solo variety of paw-paw is
favoured for its size uniformity as well as
for its tidy shape and size and excellent
flavour. The Solo seems to stand up to
the common diseases of paw-paw and
yields under Jamaican conditions are
good. Trees of this variety begin to bear
fruit at a height convenient to the reap-
ers. The Barnett system of growing Solo
Paw-paw in the rows of mango seems to

make many sorts of sense; in course of
time the paw-paw will be removed to al-
low the mango trees room to spread. As
might be expected, Mr. Kerr-Jarrett is
growing some other types of melon and
paw-paw for comparison and with an eve
to the future. One of the important
differences between the old plantation
crops and what Mr Kerr-Jarrett is now
growing is that there is no national or
regional research and plant-breeding or-
ganisation for growers of paw-paw and
melon these farmers have always to be
doing some research and development
work on their own.
Variable price
There are, of course, other differences
between the production and marketing
systems with the new crops. With ship-
ping by air two or three times a week,
there is clearly far less room for error or
carelessness at any point. The relatively
small shipments go by passenger air-
craft these don't wait for loads that
are "slightly delayed". As a matter of
fact, while some growers have been
able to negotiate air freight rates that
they can live with, there have been com-
plaints that airlines are not always
positive in assuring the shipper that space
will be available for any given flight and

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Between the uncertainties of pest and
disease control in the field and the fluc-
tuations of the market three thousand
miles away, growers complain of all sorts
of weaknesses in air freight services. Bet-
ween Jamaica's international airports (at
Kingston and Montego Bay) and the air-
ports at New York and Toronto there

Tallyman pawpaws are fitted with plastic mesh

seems to be a chronic shortage of air
cargo space. During the summer months,
when flights are fewer, the situation be-
comes worse. As yet, there is only a pro-
mise that the Norman Manley airport
(Kingston) is beginning construction of
refrigerated storage warehouse to ac
commodate cargo that is held-over from
one flight to another.
AGRO-21 is a Jamaican Governmen:
corporation which is promoting increas-
ed investment in the Island's agriculture:
(including horticulture, fish farming and
the livestock industry). The Corporation
has conducted a number of workshops
at which very useful discussion has been
held between growers, air freight agents,
airport administration and agencies such
as Jamaica National Export Corporation,
another service organisation of the govern-
ment of Jamaica.
A useful AGRO-21 workshop in
February of this year examined the orna-
mental horticulture sector of Jamaica's
export agriculture and the information
brought out facts which must be of use to
people who grow fruit, vegetables and
any perishables for export. Not the least
valuable product of the AGRO-21 work-
shop were the summaries of marketing
studies commissioned by the Corpor
ation and a price list of various markei-

related papers they have for sale.

New crops and workers' security
On farming estates such as Barnett,
management and workers can afford to
put in time and energy on the new crops
- demanding as they are of both. The
fact is that these are pilot-scale operations;
the bread-and-butter crops sugar cane,
coconut and banana provide the all-
important back-stop in case anything goes
wrong with the new ventures. This would
seem to be the way to do it avoiding
the multi-million dollar losses and whole-
sale lay-offs of workers that were part of
the winter-vegetable collapses of recent
An obvious question to Mr Kerr-
Jarrett was how he saw the new crops
becoming part of the picture on small-
er farms. . I certainly hope that there
will be an important place for the small
farmer because I think it's idle to dis-
cuss the future of agriculture in Jamaica
without direct reference to this category
of farmer. A few large farms are certainly
not going to support by themselves an
agriculture sector in the future. However,
having said that, let us remember we're
all going through a process of experi-
mentation. The larger farms whether
private sector or government may be
best to use as guinea-pigs so that small
farmers are not led to dive into this or

Peter Kerr-Jarrett shows
solo pawpaw.

that crop and face bitter disappointment.
Farmers have long memories and agri-
culture may be set back many decades as
a result of any bad experiences at the
small farmer level across the country.
"I would hope that once these experi-
mental farms have determined what crops
can be grown successfully in a particular

Ice powered chill bath for cantaloupes.

area, this information will travel oul and
the small farmer will want to profit om
that knowledge and begin planting \v iat-
ever is compatible with his soil type and
Year-round market?
Cantaloupe is a vine crop that i ex-
ported during the winter months E id is
grown in rotation with other crops Mr.
Kerr-Jarrett hopes that paw-paw wil find
an export market year-round and that
mangoes will be sold whenever they e in
season. Among the grower/shippe ; of
perishables, the fruit people seem tc iave
chosen the good part compared Nith
the folk who are dealing with vege ibles
and/or ornamentals. These latter art very
much more sensitive to hightempera Jres,
delays in delivery and rough handling .
Growing fruit for export also r akes
available some quantity of the same fruit
for the local market, which include; the
tourist trade now a high priority as a
growth area in the islands of the ( aril
bean. It seems reasonable to hope t iat
variety of fruit, grown on sloping la id in
the cool uplands as well as on the irri
gated plains, will give to the export fruit
trade of the future a better chance: for
long life than bananas and citrus frui
were able to provide for the Caribbean.

Caribbean Farming May 1

uWrlngy niwwalldn

Controlling the ripening process

By Ena C. Harvey, M.Sc.
Food Technologist.

h, this issue we reproduce the full text of a
p .er by Mrs Ena Harvey, Food Technologist
w :1 the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute
(C RIRI). This paper was among those present-
ed it a seminar held by CARIRI in March,
1i 3. Theme of the seminar was: THE KEY
Cc -s of the papers from the Seminar are avail-
ab from CARIRI. Thir postal address is
C/ IRI, Tunapuna P.O., Trinidad & Tobago.


ie challenge of delivering high
qu ty fruits and vegetables to the con-
sul r is essentially one of being able to
ma pulate the postharvest physiology
of e produce. Harvested fruits and vege-
tal ; are living systems which sustain
the basic metabolic processes by utili-
zin limited reserves stored prior to har-
ves This ongoing process results in
prc essive deterioration which eventually
lea, to senescence and death.
opening marks the transition from
ma ration to senescence. It may be
def ed as a complex process during which
frul and vegetables undergo charac-
teri ic changes in composition, morpho-
log. aroma and taste. Some of these
cha. les include:-
the loss of chlorophyll (green
colour) and the appearance of red,
orange, blue or purple colours
due to the development and un-
masking of carotenoid and antho-
cyanin pigments.
-changes in organic acids, carbo-
hydrates and proteins which are
reflected in the development of
characteristic flavours and aromas.

the development of wax on exter-
nal surfaces.
changes in respiration rate and
ethylene production.
The ripening process, once initiated,
s selfgenerating and irreversible. Thus, al-
aribbean Farming May 1987

thoug;i many of the above changes result
in an increase in the consumer appeal of
the produce, they are an indication of
its approaching senescence and reduced
economic life. The capability to mani-
pulate the ripening process is therefore
essential for orderly and profitable
marketing of fruits and vegetables.
In order to develop such a capability,
it is first necessary to have a basic under-
standing of the mechanism of the ripening
process so that appropriate strategies can
be developed for manipulation of the
physiology of the produce in practical
Ripening is characterized in many
fruits by a dramatic upsurge in respiration,
called the climacteric, which is thought
to provide the energy requirements
necessary for producing the changes in
composition and texture. Such climacteric
fruits are also distinguished by an increase
in ethylene production, coincident with
the rise in respiration, which triggers
some of the events associated with ripen-
ing, and which also has important effects
on the acceleration of senescence. Non-
climacteric fruits do not exhibit these
increases in respiration rate or ethylene
production, but can be induced to pro-
duce a climacteric-like respiratory increase
by treatment with ethylene or other
unsaturated hydrocarbons. Ethylenedoes,
however, accelerate senescence in non-
climacteric fruit. Table 1 lists common
examples of climacteric and non-cli-
macteric fruits and Table 2 gives relative
rates of ethylene evolution of fruits
at 26C.
Based on the above, it is apparent
that delay or initiation of the ripening
process is possible through control of
the rate of respiration and regulation of
ethylene production.

Control of Ripening

Ideally, handlers and distributors of
fruits and vegetables should aim to main-
tain fruit quality and maximize its
potential shelf life by delaying the
ripening process up to the marketing or
retail distribution stage, at which time,
ripening can be initiated under controlled

conditions to meet consumer specifica-
Delaying the Process
Respiration is the overall process by
which stored organic materials (carbo-
hydrates, proteins, fats) are broke into
simple end products with a release of
energy. Oxygen (02) is used in the process
and carbon dioxide (CO2) is produced
by the commodity.
Ethylene is a plant hormone which
regulates many aspects of growth, ma-
turation, ripening and senescence. It can
originate either through biosynthesis
within the tissue or from external sources
such as the exhaust from internal com-
bustion engines, cigarette smoke, infected
and decomposing materials and rubber
materials exposed to heat or ultra violet
The factors which affect both the
rate of respiration and its associated meta-
bolic processes, and the synthesis and
action of ethylene overlap to a great
degree. Both processes are affected by
temperature, the availability of 02 and
CO2, the presence of inhibitory sub-
stances and stresses, which include
physical injury, infection and moisture
stress. The control measures available
for delaying ripening may be classed
under the following headings:
Temperature Management and Han-
Use of Supplemental Technologies.

Temperature Management and Handling
The rate of respiration is directly
related to temperature. For most commo-
dities, respiration rate doubles or triples
with every 100C increase in temperature.
Temperature management is thus the
most important tool available for reducing
respiration rate and the rate of associated
reactions which lead to product deteriora-
After harvest, fruits undergo a series
of handling operations, each of which re-
sults in a finite loss and all of which have
additive and cumulative effects on quality.
Physical abuse and the imposition of
Con't. on p. 13

Growing coco in Jamaica

J.R.R. Suah (CARDI)
M.A. Montague (Minag)

The coco Xanthosoma spp. otherwise
known as tannia is a popular root crop in
Jamaica. The cormels are boiled and eat-
en, and occasionally the young leaves
cooked as a vegetable. The crop is easy to
grow, can withstand adverse weather con-
ditions, has few important diseases or
pests and the planting materials are not
difficult to obtain. It is grown mainly by
small farmers for their own consumption,
some sold in the local markets and there
is an expanding export trade. More farm-
ers can grow this crop and the inform-
ation contained in this paper should help
to increase coco production.


The best area for growing coco is an
unshaded field with well drained fertile
soil on which no coco or closely related
crop was grown for some time before. It
should be cleared of bush, weeds, stumps,
stones etc. and ploughed or forked. In
some areas farmers may prefer to prepare
individual mounds or ridges without
general tillage.


Coco varieties are commonly divided
into two categories, hard and soft. Farm-
ers should make their choice depending
on their own preference, the availability
of adequate planting materials or the mar-
ket requirement.


It is important that the planting mate-
rials be selected from healthy heavy pro-
ducing plants grown in disease free fields.
Weak or diseased plants will not produce
well. Many farmers use sprouted cormels
or suckers, and plant tips, while others
use bits of the corm each with at least
one sprouting bud as planting materials.
Unsprouted cormels can also be used
especially for mechanical planting. A
simple field nursery that can help to in-
crease planting materials is described

1) Select a cool shaded well drained
area on the farm or near to home
for the nursery site.

2) Clear the area of debris that can
provide hiding places for insects,
slugs, snails and mice.

3) Obtain some medium sized stones
free of soil, small wooden posts or
bits of bamboo and arrange these in
a raised*bed or platform. A size of
six feet long by six feet wide is
enough to provide planting materials
for a small field.

4) Cover the stones or wood with a
thin layer of mulch consisting of
dried bush or grass, banana leaves
or any clean dried material, none
of which should be collected from
the ground or from an, area with
diseased coco.
5) Place a single closely packed layer
of corms on the bed and cover these
with clean mulch; up to five such
layers can be placed on one bed.

6) To keep the cover layer of mulch in
place, put clean stones or wood on

7) Keep the nursery damp by oc-
casionally sprinkling with clean
water during extreme dry weather.

8) Observe the corms regularly to note
when sprouting begins.

9) When the sprouts are four inches or
longer, each corm can be cut into
bits each with at least one sprout,
and these used as planting materials.

Coco can be planted any time of the

year depending on the availability of
planting materials, the weather (wl re
farrrters depend on rainfall for irrigatic i),
timing of the market, or the sequence a
cropping system. The holes can be ug
before or at the time of planting and he
spacing depends on the cropping syst -1.
In pure stands the ridges, holes or mou ds
can be dug thirty to thirty-six inc ies
apart and the plants set the same dista ce
along the row or ridge.
Wider spacing can be used in ir er-
planting and spot planting done espei al-
ly among perennial crops. The plan ng
material should be set in the hole nd
covered with about one inch of soil r es-
sed firmly around it. Although the c op
can withstand shade, too much will re ult
in tall weak plants.

Coco has survived as a small fan ler
crop partly because it requires little c op
care. It can withstand most weedy c )n-
ditions except thick grass, but does Last
in weed free conditions. Weed coni'ol
can be done manually by machette and
hoe. With practice one can also use herbi
Caribbean Farming May i98"

cides effectively. Before planting the soil
can be sprayed with a pre emergent her-
bicide such as Gesapox or Maloram. Con-
tact herbicide such as Gramoxone can be
sprayed directly on the weeds, but will
seriously burn the coco plant. Fusilade
can be sprayed over the crop to control
grass weeds alone.
The addition of lime to some soils
cives good results. It is advisable to apply
;,e lime during the preceding crop so that
i: can be washed or worked in ready for
i,,e coco. Slaked lime, gypsum or marl
,.- acceptable sources.
Although the crop will produce well
fertile soil, it responds favourably to
t addition of organic matter and to
f .ilizers. A general fertilizer recom-
n ided fo common root crops for the
p :icular area should be used. It is best
a iied in split doses, two ounces per
p :t at the time of planting and two
o ,es six to eight weeks after. The fer-
t, ir should be placed in a ring about
f, to eight inches around each plant
a is best mixed into the soil.
mulching gives good results where
sr s and slugs are not pests. Drain-
ac may be necessary on sites prone to
fli ling, and irrigation where this is

The only important disease of coco in
Jamaica is black rot or salt peter Rosilinia
sp. It is transmitted in the suckers and
corms of the plant or in infected soil and
tools. The disease also infects coffee and
avocado and can remain in the soil for
many years. Diseased coco plants show
loss of colour and decline in vigour, black-
ening of the root and corm, progressive
decline of the corm, and eventually sever-
al plants or a whole field may disappear.
Some farmers believe that the plants sink
into the soil. Some cormels may escape
to sprout and grow later as volunteer
plants. The best cure is to use disease-
free soil, practice good crop rotation with
unrelated species and destroy or avoid all
the other carriers of the disease. Soil treat-
ment is possible but expensive
Another serious disease is the burn-
ing disease of tannia which presently oc-
curs in some eastern Caribbean islands.
No planting materials are permitted from
these countries without approval from
The most serious pests of coco are
slugs and snails. These hide during the
daytime between the leafstalk of coco or

banana plants, or under stones, stumps
and debris in the field, and feed at nights.
The damage appears as chewed leaves and
stalks, shiny slimy trails and strings of
dung on the plant. The best method of
control is in field sanitation to remove all
hiding and breeding places. They can also
be handpicked from the plant stalks dur-
ing the day and killed or destroyed by a
spray or bait containing metaldehyde.

Some coco varieties mature earlier
than others, but the crop takes from nine
to twelve months from planting to reap-
ing. Maturing is determined by experi-
ence or by field sampling. Ripe or mature
cormels will remain dormant for a while
before sprouting begins. The crop can be
reaped by hand pulling of the plant and
digging out the cormels or by a root
lifter. Production varies but averages
about four tons per acre from pure stands.
Harvesting should be avoided during
wet weather. The reaped cormels are
cleaned and separated for size and shape
for a particular market. They should be
air dried and packed in small cartons
wooden boxes or bags for transporting.
Cured undamaged coco can be stoed in
good condition for several weeks. A

ORIAL cont'd from p. 5 _

bers on arms are going up, how will

these farmers walk

th ightrope that will hold sow numbers high enough for good
su lies to the processing plant but not so high as to over-
lo, the market and depress prices? This is certainly not as
ea as A . B .. C..

Technical talk
1 this issue of CARIBBEAN FARMING there is an article
by Vlrs. Ena Harvey of CARIRI the Caribbean Industrial
Re :arch Institute. It discusses the methods by which farmers
an( processors can control ripening of fruit and vegetables.
Mr Harvey's paper is one of a number presented at a CARIRI
wo -shop held in Port-of-Spain in,March, 1986. Papers such as
the can be of great value to the farmer. Agricultural research
rep rts are often written in technical language for a number
of ;ood reasons. For example, the English used is generally
understandable to foreign-language scientists and technicians
mor; easily than local language would be. Also, the scientist
has to use words that say as precisely as possible what he/she
Farmers who have a serious interest in what a particular
group of scientists is doing will find it worth their while to
read the research reports as they are produced rather than
wait for the work to pass through the extension workers'
information channels.
In short, it is not always possible for the farmer to get up-
to-date information on complex matters and in simple lan-
guage. This is, we maintain, another situation in which farmers.
have little choice but to put themselves to greater trouble if
they are to move effectively along some new paths to profit.
arbbean Farming May 1987

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Cont'd. from p. 9
stresses accelerate respiration rate and in-
duce the evolution of ethylene. Temper-
ature management and good handling
should therefore be applied at all of the
stages in the post-production system from
the point of harvest to consumption.
Furthermore, good postharvest ma-
nagement of fruits does not always
imply the implementation of costly and
sophisticated technologies. The methods
and techniques given below are therefore
tIcommended for their simplicity, ease of
implementation and effectiveness.

Effective Harvesting

1. Harvest in cool hours of early
morning, evening or night. This
minimizes field heat and also cuts
down on subsequent cooling costs.
!. Select accurately for maturity since
immature fruits will not ripen
successfully and are more sus-
ceptible to damage, infection and
moisture loss.
SHarvest carefully to minimize physi-
cal injury which may induce the
production of ethylene. Use proper
picking procedures; avoid dropping
fruit into containers, overfilling or
hitting containers against ladders or
trunks; use harvesting aids such as
picking poles, bags and aprons; trim
fingernails which can damage soft
fruits and also cause infection.
Use containers with clean smooth
surfaces in order to prevent injury
and infection. Use cushioning ma-
terials such as plastic liners, pads
and trays.
Use properly vented containers and
avoid tight packing since this
prevents dissipation of field heat
and aids in the build-up of respi-
ration heat.
SShade harvested produce using trees,
vines, sheds or tarpaulins.
7 Cool rapidly using methods out-
lined in the paper on "Cooling and
Storage".* Avoid chilling temper-
atures which may induce increased
ethylene production and premature
or irregular ripening.
8. Avoid delays between cooling and
loading for transportation.

Transportation from Field
1. Cover loads with light-coloured
tarpaulin leaving an air space for
free air circulation. Increase cooling
by wetting the tarpaulin.

2. Minimize the potential for injury
to produce by:
Grading access roads to eliminate
ruts, potholes, and bumps.
Reducing transport speeds to rates
that will avoid free movement of
Reducing tyre pressures and using
air suspension systems on vehicles
to reduce shock absorbance by

Preparation for Distribution

1. Use delivery systems, sorting belts
and conveying systems which are
designed to avoid injury. Fruits
should flow along belts one layer
deep; the height and number of
drops should be minimized; corners
should be smooth and well-rounded
and fruit flow rates should be
controlled to avoid unnecessary
2. Immobilize fruit within packages,
protect them from compression and
cushion against impacts.
3. Avoid exposure to undesirable levels
of environmental ethylene. Minimize
the use of internal combustion
engines in enclosed spaces. Isolate
idling vehicles from handling and
storage areas. Use electric fork-
lifts. Remove overripe and decaying
produce promptly.

1. Use loading patterns which provide
for uniform air circulation and air
temperature control, and which are
sufficiently stable to prevent injury.
2. Use compatible product mixes
which isolate ripe and unripe
fruits and ethylene-sensitive com-
modities from active ethylene-
generating ones.

Supplemental Technologies for
Delaying Ripening

Many technological procedures are
used commercially as supplements to
temperature management to delay ripen-
ing. They include (a) treatments applied
to the commodity and (b) treatments
which manipulate the environment.

Commodity Treatments

Various coatings, dips and wraps
can be applied to the surface of the
commodity to delay ripening and sene-
scence. Their effect is based on the con-
cept that respiration rate, the production

of ethylene and the sensitivity of fruits
to ethylene effects are reduced or in-
hibited by low levels of oxygen or elevated
levels of carbon dioxide.
The films formed by the dips or wraps
restrict the movement of 02 and CO2
across the fruit's surface. As the com-
modity continues to respire, it depletes
available oxygen and produces carbon
dioxide. This eventually leads to the
creation of a modified micro-atmosphere
around the commodity which is low in
oxygen and high in carbon dioxide.
Tal ProLong and Pick 'N Save are
examples of such formulations. They are
applied in liquid form and they dry to
form transparent, tasteless, sugar-based
coatings on the surface of the fruit. Tal
ProLong has had dubious success as an
inhibitor of ripening and senescence in
tropical fruits. Trials with bananas and
other tropical fruits resulted in surface
disorders (New, 1985) and the useful-
ness of this product still needs to be
evaluated and confirmed. Pick 'N Save
reportedly retards ripening and senescence
(International New Product Newsletter,
Various plastic films, heat shrunk or
shrink wrapped on individual fruits
have also been used to delay ripening
and senescence. Trials carried out on many
tropical fruits, including oranges, grape-
fruits and mangoes (Ben Yehoshua,
1983), indicate great potential for long
extensions of shelf life of these commo-
dities at ambient tropical conditions.
This has interesting implications for low
cost storage and shipment of fruits
within the Caribbean Region.

Environmental Manipulation

The macro-environment of the fruit
can also be manipulated with respect to
02, CO2 and C2H4 concentrations by
packaging, control of air movement and
air circulation, sanitation and the use of
Modified Atmosphere, Controlled At-
mosphere and Low Pressure Storage
(MAS, CAS and LPS, respectively).

Where low levels of ethylene exist,
removal can be achieved by simple ven-
tilation; a small fan should give an ade-
quate ventilation rate of one air exchange
per hour. In cases where ventilation can-
not be used, C2H4 may be removed from
the atmosphere by scrubbing and/or
conversion to other products (Sherman,
1985). Currently, the only scrubbers in
commercial use are based on potassium
permangante absorbed on a suitable
carrier with a large surface area. A number
of commercial scrubbers are available in

Caribbean Farming May 1987 *Mrs. Harvey's paper on "Cooling and Storage" will be carried in summary in the next issue of
Caribbean Farming.

sachets, filters, blankets and specialised
trapping devices (See Fig. 1). Their effect-
iveness depends on placement and airflow
In terms of packaging, a new develop-
ment involves the use of wraps or shrouds
which can be placed over an entire pal-
letized load of packaged fruits (Figure 2).
The air in the package is removed by
vacuum pressure and replaced by a
prescribed modified atmosphere.
CAS, MAS and LPS regulate respir-
ation rate and ethylene production
through the effects of low temperatures,
low oxygen levels and elevated carbon
dioxide concentrations. LPS has the added
advantage of easy volatilization of unde-
sirable concentrations of ethylene. The
use of MAS, CAS and LPS require high
capital investment and good technical
management and their implementation
in the Caribbean situation should be jus-
tified by the value of the commodity and
the availability of the requisite financial
and technical resources.
Ethylene also has potent deleterious
effects on many perishables and the
techniques given above for avoidance
and removal of the gas should also
be used in the postharvest management
of produce sensitive to detrimental effects
of ethylene.
Some of these effects include:

Accelerated senescence and loss of
green colour in cucumber, sweet
pepper, leafy vegetables and herbs.
Brown spotting of lettuce.
Sprouting of potatoes.
Loss of leaves in cauliflower, cab-
bage and foliage ornamentals.
Loss of calyces in melongene.
Loss of florets from cut and potted
flowering plants.
Downward bending of bracts in

Initiating the Ripening Process
The external application of ethylene
to promote rapid and uniform ripening
has had great economic impact on the
orderly marketing of high value fruits
such as bananas, citrus, mangoes, tomatoes
and melons (Sherman, 1985). Many
farmers in Trinidad and Tobago have in
fact, already realized the increase in pro-
fits possible in the marketing of bananas
and tomatoes ripened with liquid ethy-
lene-producing chemicals.
The effectiveness of ethylene in
achieving faster and more uniform ripen-
ing depends on maturity, temperature

and relative humidity of the ripening
room, ethylene concentration and du-
ration of exposure to the gas.

In general, optimum ripening condi-
tions for fruits are:
Temperature 180C 250C

Duration of


90 95%

10 100 ppm.

24 72 h depending
on type of fruit and

Circulation Sufficient to ensure
distribution of C2H4.
Ventilation Adequate air exchanges
to prevent accumulation
of C02 which reduces the
effectiveness of C2 H4.

Sources of Ethylene
There are three potential sources of
C2H4 for commercial use: chemicals in
the form of liquids or gases and ripening
fruit. Liquid sources are C2 H4 releasing
chemicals such as 2-chloroethyl phos-
phonic acid (more commonly known as
Ethephon, Ethrel or Cepa) which liberates
ethylene in solutions above a pH of
about 5. This chemical is registered in
the USA for preharvest applications to
concentrate maturity or facilitate harvest
in a variety of crops. The only current
registered use for postharvest application
is for degreening of lemons in Florida
(Sherman, 1985). As a material for en-
hancing the ripening of harvested fruits,
it has the disadvantage that it has to be
applied in aqueous solution, either as
a spray or dip, an extra handling step
with attendant dangers of microbial
infection (Reid, 1985). On the other
hand, however, it has the advantage of
not requiring the construction of special
facilities, once ambient temperatures
are within the range required to ripen
the commodity.
On a small scale on the farm, fruits
can be treated with ethylene liberated
*rfm E-trel bk i dcOLI L4

generators are sold commercially and a
rough estimate of the ethylene produced
from a 1 L bottle in a 5,000 ft3 room
with one air exchange per hour, is 100
ppm for 16 hours. Ethylene gas, diluted
with inert gas can also be purchased in
cylinders. While ethylene in this form is
expensive, it has the advantage of safety
in that it is an explosion-proof mixture.
'Banana gas' or 'Ripe-gas' are common
examples of such mixtures.
In instances where ethylene may be
too expensive or unavailable, calcium
carbide can be reacted with water to
release acetylene, a gas which has a
comparable effect (12,500 times less
potent) to ethylene in ripening. Simple
generators which provide acetylene for
lamps can be used in partially-vented
spaces to ripen or degree fruits (Reid,
Traditionally, ripening has often been
stimulated by wrapping fruits in news-
paper or enclosing them with other ri:he
fruits. This technique, suitably applied,

may well provide a simple and che.p
method of ripening for many sm'l-
scale commercial fruit marketing ope a-

The methods of applying ethylene (as
in large-scale commercial operations c in
be categorised as shot, trickle and flo v-
Shot System
In this system, ethylene is introduce d
rapidly and intermittently into the ript i-
ing room in accurately measured quar :i-
ties. This can be done either by weighi ig
a dispensed amount of C2 H4 or by timi ig
the delivery from the cylinder. Frequ( it
aeration is essential in order to prev( nt
the build up of CO2 produced by the r !s-
piring fruit. There are also some diffic il-
ties with temperature management a id
with monitoring of ethylene conceni a-
tions in shot systems (Reid, 1985).
Trickle System
In this system, the ethylene is ( is-
pensed as a slow continuous stream ii to
the ripening room. It requires less frequ *nt
aeration than the shot system and is a;so

II II i-i.Illi| Uy irc ng LIIIY a IIIqaaUI nU IU ll"
Y~~~~~ G..H
titles with caustic soda in a small stain- Flow-through System
less steel container prior to closing the
ripening room. This procedure should be This system is a modification of -he
ripening room.This procedure should be trickle method in that a ripening-effecave
carried out carefully since caustic soda trckle method in that a ripening-effecve
and Ethrel are corrosive. Rubber gloves blend of ethylen and air is introduced
and plastic eye glasses should be-worn. into the ripening room and exhausted
via an outlet port. Frequent aeration is
Ethylene gas can be generated by -'not required since the constant air
heating ethylene-producing liquids in the exchange prevents CO2 build-up to
presence of a catalyst. Many of these inhibitory levels. The method has been
Caribbean Farming May 1987

proven to be a safe and efficient method
for citrus degreening and tomato ripening
(Wardowski and McCornack, 1973; Sher-
man and Gull, 1981).

The factors which affect the choice
of source of ethylene are cost, safety and
legal considerations. The use of C2H4
gas requires some type of enclosure and
the cost of building special ripening fa-
cilities with precise temperature and
humidity controls should be justified by
the value of the fruit and the frequency
of applications.

Safety is a prime consideration in the
technology of C2H4 application since
einylene gas is explosive in air at con-
centration from 3.1% to 32% (31,000 -
3: ),000 ppm) (Braker, 1971). In oper-
at in only 10 100 ppm is usually used
ar it is hardly likely that explosive con-
ce rations are ever reached. Safety
dL ng application therefore depends on
th skill of the operator, ethylene source
an method of application.

lith respect to legality, in the USA,
eti lene gas is regarded as a pesticide for
re[ latory purposes. Its use in the Carib-
be. as a postharvest treatment should
the fore be approved by the appropriate
en onmental agencies.

Table I. Classification of Fruits according to
Respiratory Patterns.
Climacteric Non-climacteric

Apple, avocado
Banana, caimite, mango,
Plum, sapodilla

Cherry, cucumber

Grape, grapefruit
Lemon, orange

Table 2. Ethylene Production Rates by Fruits
at 200C.

0.01 -0.1
0.1 -1.0

1.0 -10.0

10- 100

Over 100

Cherry, grape
COcumler, ochro.
Banana, melon,
mango, tomato
Apple, avocado,
Passion fruit,


BEN YEHOSHUA, S. (1983) Extending the Life
of Fruit by Individual Seal Packaging
in Plastic film. Status and Prosoects.
Plasticulture 58, 45-58.
BRAKER, W. and MOSSMAN, A.L. (1971)
Matheson Gas Data Book (5th ed.)

Matheson Gas Products, East Ruther-
ford, N.J.
HARVEY, E.C. (1985) Recent Developments in
Postharvest Handling, Storage and Trans-
port of Fruits, Vegetables and Ornamen-
tals. Paper presented at XXII Joint
Meeting of Caribbean Food Crops Society
and American Society for Horticultural
Science Tropical Region, Sept. 8-13,
1985, Trinidad, W.I.
International New Product Newsletter (1985).
Fruit Coating, Aug. p. 1.
McGLASSON, W.B. (1985) Ethylene and Fruit
Ripening. HortScience Vol. 20 (1),
February 1985.
NEW, S. (1985) Personal communication.
REID, M. (1985) Ethylene in Postharvest
Technology. In Postharvest Technology
of Horticultural Crops Agric. and Natural
Res. Publ., CA.
SHERMAN, M. and GULL, D.D. (1981), A
Flow-through System for Introducing
Ethylene in Tomato Ripening Rooms.
Vegetable Crops Fact Sheet. Fla. Coop.
Ext. Serv. VC-30.
SHERMAN, M (1985) Control of Ethylene in
the Postharvest Environment. Hort-
Science Vol. 20 (1), February 1985.
1973. Recommendations for Degreening
Florida Fresh Citrus Fruits. Fla. Coop.
Ext. Serv. Ca 389.
YANG, S.F. (1985), Biosynthesis and Action of
Ethylene. HortScience, Vol 20 (1),
February 1985. A


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Applied research for farm


from local agricultural produce. These
products include a range of pepper sauce,
pickles and chutneys, as well as juices such
as mango and passion fruit. Canned and
frozen products have also been developed.
Product development has included the
selection of appropriate process tech-
nology for manufacturing, equipment
selection, factory layout and the design
of quality assurance systems to ensure
that the product meets required finished
product specifications. In most cases
CARIRI identifies the labelling requira-
ments for the market and also assists ;n
the choice of the packaging materials
or container. At the raw material stage
CARIRI has been actively involved n
the development of post harvest hanJ-
ling systems to ensure that produce is
harvested when mature, handled a d
stored to maintain quality, and grad !d
to meet market demand. CARIRI fo)d
technologist Mrs. E. Harvey has just co n-
Cont'd on p. 18

By Sharon Laurent
Information Specialist Caribbean
Industrial Research Institute

CARIRI the Caribbean Industrial
Research Institute was established in
1970 by the Government of Trinidad and
Tobago with the assistance of the United
Nations Development Programme, with
a mandate to provide services to the
CARIRI is an autonomous, non-profit
organization. Its main sources of funds
are the Government of Trinidad and To-
bago and income earned for projects
undertaken for clients. Occasionally grants
are obtained from organizations which
fund development activities.
The Institute maintains contact with
similar organizations internationally and
is a founding member of WAITRO the
World Association of Industrial and Tech-
nological Research Organizations.
Two areas of research are of specific in-
terest to the farming and agro-industrial
communities of the Caribbean; these are
agro technology products and services
and engineering products and services.
Work programmes have included formu-
lation, development and packaging of CARIRI Technician operates a CARIRI modified commercial bean huller which can now
traditional and innovative food products shell 150 Kg of pigeon peas per hour.
16 Caribbean Farming -May 1987

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We will advise you on available local investment opportunities. We cover
manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, film and virtually all other areas in
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Come to us for technical assistance, opportunity profiles, finding and
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new sources of finance.
JNIP maintains close links with all government ministries and agencies.
All formal private investment proposals come to us because we expedite
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Your ideas remain confidential with JNIP. Come in and let's talk.

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Mnotner recnnlclin oper-uL d Fri i;IU0fi.
shelled pigeon peas.
pleted a four part series of audio-visual
training materials on post harvest tech-
niques for farmers and vendors with the
assistance of IICA the Inter-American
Institute for Co-operation on Agricul-
Non-traditional products such as pro-
cessed spice extracts and medicinal
plant products from local plants have also
been developed.
CARIRI will also undertake the pro-
duction of food and natural products on
a pilot scale, to determine possible scale-
up problems in the individual opera-
tions and the over all process.
Accompanying photographs illustrate
part of a pigeon pea processing line set
up for a private client for his existing
frozen products plant. CARIRI set
up a simulated processing line in its pilot
plant, linking key unit operations, dehull-
ing, grading, blanching, and packaging.
This simulation allowed the client op-
portunity of identifying processing prob-


CARIRI technicians sort passion fruit on a
CARIRI -designed sorting table before the fruit
enters a soak tank.

lems and risk factors in converting a
product idea to a full scale commercial
The entire frozen peas line is now
established at the client's facilities based
on further assistance from CARIRI in
selection of equipment and advice on
layout of plant.
Engineering Products and Services
have been much in demand in the agri-
cultural sector. Smaller farm size, varying
soil types and the special nature of tropi-
cal fruits and vegetables have created a
demand for agricultural machinery and
tools of a type and size not currently
available. Since 1970 CARIRI engineers
have sought to design machines and tools
to harvest or process a variety of com-
modities including pigeon peas, sorrel,
coconuts, limes, cassava, pommerac (Ota-
heiti apple in Jamaica), and passion fruit.
Research in association with other organi-
zations has been necessary to ensure that
the agronomy for the crop has been
thoroughly investigated to ensure that
adequate production can be maintained.
In most cases it has then been necessa y
either to design equipment or modify
existing equipment manufactured ;or
crops in temperate climates to produce: a
working processing plant. In some n-
stances the work has been done foi a
client but in several others the Instit te
has under-taken the research indep n-
At this time CARIRI has erected a
passion fruit processing plant with an
operating capacity of 2,300 Kg per he Jr.
This plant is currently producing cor, ial
and is on display at CARIRI, Commer ial
Assistance Centre in Arima Trinidad.
More recently CARIRI has b en
demonstrating a coconut de-husker Je-
signed and built by the Institute. his
design is now available for licence b\ in-
terested manufacturers.
CARIRI has also provided expel :ise
to the Caribbean Development Bank for
its Caribbean Technical Consults icy
Service network which is operating an
assistance programme throughout the
CARIRI's technical information ,rv-
ice maintains a large in-house inf( m-
ation bank collected to support CAR I l's
activities since 1970 and is available to
answer questions from throughout the
region. Information on products, process-
es and machinery can be requested.
The Institute's staff of over 200,
including professionals in many dis':ip-
lines, skilled technicians and craftsmen
is available to provide research and
development services.
Caribbean Farming May 1987

Caribbean sweet potato working group

Report No. 4 April 15, 1987

The CSPWG is a voluntary association
of persons interested in developing the
sweet potato in all aspects, in the Carib-
bean basin especially, but elsewhere as
well. The purpose of this group is to fo-
ment the activities and interests of its as-
sociates by introducing them to each
other; sharing information, -techniques,
research ideas,, and worries; exchanging
s-eds, storage roots, and cuttings; des-
c ibing varieties, including their strengths
and weaknesses; arranging research; dis-
c ,sing topics of mutual interest; present-
ii literature references; requesting help,
ir 3rmation, or materials.
The future of the CSPWG. As of this
d; e, your coordinator has retired. I
st, ted to work as a boy of 15, and I
n am 59 years old. The greatest
pi !essional interest of my life has been
th sweet potato. I was and still am in-
te' sted in this crop because I believe that
th sweet potato has more potential than
an other crop for feeding the poor in
th hot, humid tropics. The sweet potato

is or cpn bfe a tropical spinach, a starchy
staple food, a sweet dessert, a frozen
puree, a dry instant breakfast food, a
fast food (french fries), a snack (chips),
a multiple purpose flour, a starch, an
animal feed, and a basic industrial raw
product. The world needs better sweet
potatoes today; it will need them even
more in the future. This belief is the
source of enthusiasm that has domi-
nated my life for more than six years. I
sincerely regret this change. I want to
work with the sweet potato in the future
but in a way that will permit me to deal
with certain commitments to myself
and my family. I am uncertain as to
whether I can continue with the CSPWG,
and I am thus uncertain whether the group
itself will continue. I would like to find
within the readership (now 150) a leader
who can commit himself to this effort,
and I would like to see the membership
give him the backing he deserves. If you
wish, you can write me as follows:
Franklin W. Martin, 2305 E. 2nd St.
Lehigh, Floride 33936 USA (Phone,

813-369-7743). Without institutional back-
ing and secretarial help, however, my
hands will be full and my contribution
Using what we have. The Caribbean
needs the organization to use what it
already has. Our advanced selections
are varied in color, texture, taste, sweet-
ness, storability, and potential uses. The
technologies we and others have developed
await the imagination and the energy to
put them to work. We have not even
shared from island to island what we
know, what we have, and what we do. The
Caribbean needs the CSPWG, but an im-
proved and strengthened version, one in
which key people interested in our crop
take an active part. The readers of this
newsletter can foment the use of the sweet
potato in the Caribbean, if they so wish.
Example of a successful regional sweet
potato group. In the United States sweet
potato trials are conducted annually by
members of the National Sweet Potato
Collaborators Group, that includes per-

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Zaribbean Farming May 1987



sonnel of Agricultural Experiment Sta-
tions in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas,
California, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missi-
ssippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico,
North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Caro-
lina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and the
United States Department of Agriculture,
Agricultural Research Service. This group,
.organized in 1939, has contributed
greatly to sweet potato improvement
through cooperative efforts. Current data
are discussed at meetings held each year
around the first of February, and dis-
tributed to members.
Breeders can enter any new selection
which they consider worthy of consider-
ation for testing at 20 or more locations.
All locations do not provide yield tests but
usually supply information on aspects
such as disease and insect resistance
or baking and canning qualities. New
entries are grown in observational trials
the first year. These trials consist of 25
plant plots that are not replicated because
of the limited amount of propagating
material usually available. The obser-
vational trials typically contain about
6-10 selections, plus 'Jewel' and 'Cen-
tennial'. At the annual meeting the mem-
bers vote whether to retain an entry in
the observational trials, test it in the ad-
vanced trials, or drop it from further
consideration. An entry may remain in
the observational trials more than one year
but usually a recommendation either to
advance it or drop it is made after two
Advanced trials are usually conducted
at the same locations as the observational
trials but have four replications of 25
plants. These trials usually contain only
three to six selections, and 'Jewel' and
'Centennial'. Harvested roots are weight-
ed by grades and the percent US No. 1
calculated by dividing the weight of US
1 by the total marketable weight (culls
and cracks not included). US grades are
given below as examples of standards
desirable for any regional trial:
US No. 1, roots with 2 to 3.5 in. dia-
meter and 3 to 9 in. length, free of
defects and well shaped; canner, roots with
1 to 2 in. diameter and 2 to 7 in. length;
jumbo or oversize, roots that exceed the
diameter and length requirements of US
No. 1 but are of marketable quality; and
cull, roots 1 in.or larger in diameter and so
mishappen, cracked or unattractive that
they do not fit as marketable in any of
the other grades. Grading boards with
three holes of 1, 2 and 3.5 in. diameter
assure uniform grading standards.
Observations at harvest are made

available to other members to assist in
evaluations and any unusual conditions
encountered are noted. This provides
valuable information on performance
under such stress conditions as periods
of drought, cool or wet weather during
harvest, and severe disease or insect in-
festation. Notes are also provided on
storage qualities, sprouting character-
istics, culinary qualities, and production
factors including disease and insect
reactions. About 6 or 7 stations present
results from taste panels of baked and
canned samples. Baked roots are rated on
a 1 to 10 scale for eye appeal, color
intensity, color uniformity, freedom from
discoloration, smoothness, moistness, lack
of fiber, and flavor. Weighted baking and
canning scores based on all subsidiary
traits using a 1 to 10 scale are then com-
puted for each entry and the controls.
Data from each location and summaries
are included in the annual progress
The members of the group vote
whether to drop a selection from further
consideration to retain it for testing the
next year, or to recommend that the

originator name and release it for com-
mercial production. Recommendations
from the group are not binding on the
breeder, who may release a selection the
group has dropped from further consider-
ation without a recommendation for re-
lease. There are many instances where
such deviations from the national group
evaluation are well justified. There may
be a pressing need for a new cultivar
with resistance to some specific pest or
disease in a limited production area, or
a selection may appear very well suited to
special environmental conditions of mar-
ket needs of a particular area.
The national trials provide much more
information on potential cultivars than
any individual station could obtain. A
reasonable good estimate of yield stability
can be made because of the many envi-
ronments sampled in the two or three
years of trials. Comments by the other
scientists about performance of the
selections under various growing conci-
tions are of special value in decisions
about release of new cultivars, especial y
when extreme stress conditions ha e
been encountered. The trials also qi e


Station Name of Some characteristics

SPV-43 Sunny Potential varietal release, light orange, low sweetness, hic
yields, yield stability

SPV-14 Papota Variety release, white, feculent flesh, low sweetness, higi
SP-52 Ninety-nine Exceptional clone, not sweet, white fleshed.
SPV-55 Toquecita Potential variety release, white fleshed, sweet high yield'
yields, excellent at the table and processed as puree, goc I
common storage life.



Potential variety release, beautiful purple roots, white fl sh,
moderate sweetness, high yield.

SPV-61 Bugsbunny Exceptional clone, not sweet, high carotene content.



Potential variety release, white fleshed, excellent for fri J
chips and french fries.

SPV-65 Nojave Exceptional clone, white fleshed, not sweet, very starc /
and dry, excellent fried chips.

SPV-70 Margarita Exceptional clone, white fleshed, usually not sweet, vei
good table qualities, but poor form, does not flower.

SPV-71 Tapato Exceptional clone, cream fleshed, low sweet, very large
roots of industrial potential as puree.

SPV-73 Dune Exceptional clone, white fleshed, low sweet, very dry,
very large roots of industrial potential, starch, feed. Po
tential as an early variety (10 weeks)

SPV-93 Perla Potential early variety, (10 weeks), white fleshed, not soveet

SPV-94 Ivoire Potential early variety, (10 weeks), white fleshed, not sweet

WRAS-40 Stonecore Exceptional clone, orange fleshed, very dense, internal
resistance to the sweet potato weevil.

Caribbean Farming May 198:

workers in cooperating states an op-
portunity to observe performance of
selections prior to release. Thus questions
of growers about new cultivars can be
answered and informed recommendations
can be made.
Similar testing networkers are needed
for the tropics. Could the CSPWG do
something of this sort?
Status of the breeding project at
TARS. It is not clear what will become of
the sweet potato breeding project at the
Tropical Agriculture Research Station
(USDA-ARS, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico).
Probably the currentt selections will be
\widely tested and some will be formally
re eased as cultivars. A limited amount of
t, ting and polycrossing will take place to
p, mit seed to be stored. The best selec-
ti is will be placed in the U.S. National
S ,et Potato Clonal Repository, from
w ch certified virus-free plantlets will
sc -eday be obtainable. Seeds from im-
p! ved populations will also be stored at
th above repository. The existing mate-
riz will be distributed on request with
th proper phytosanitary certificates and
pC nits.
ome of the best clones available are
lis d, with some of their characteristics.
Ni that recently at TARS we have
be i selecting very early types that
ur .r good conditions can produce well
in 3 weeks. These are very promising as
a y of escaping heavy damage from the
sw t potato weevil. Note also the selec-
tic WRAS-40, one of the most interesting
in Jr experience.
ou can write to Sr. Jose Santiago at
m\ old address (Tropical Agriculture
Re arch Station, Box 70 Mayaguez,
Put to Rico 00709) in order to obtain
the sweet potatoes.
be Future. Some sweet potato
clo ,s bred in other continents have
alre dy been introduced to the Caribbean.
We shall see eventually new selections
froi the International Center for the
Pot-.to, in Lima, Peru. But meanwhile,
we iave a job to do among ourselves, to
communicate, to foment, to test, and to
utilize sweet potatoes for the benefit of
our region. Therefore, I cannot say good-
bye, but "Until we meet again," for I
hope to be involved.

Your coordinator

;lv.a.y,.c f -.i.,
:-. .Ma .C '- ,wh -r .c
.7 7

come to


-* ^

Franklin W. Martin.

Caribbean Farming May 1987

cIEZItura W imu

Vet advises farmers on

Management of pigs

Farmers contracted to supply but-
cher hogs to GRACE FOOD PROCES-
SORS packing plant in western Jam-
aica spent a useful morning 'talking
pig' with a consultant veterinarian and
Grace staff members. With pig numbers
on Jamaican farms rising, officers of
the Company were warning against the
danger of over-population which would
result in lower prices for butcher stock
not covered by contract.
Veterinarian Lloyd Turner gave the
meeting a number of pointers for man-
aging their herds. Farmers had visited the
Grace Company's demonstration and
testing piggery unit adjoining the pro-
cessing plant at Paradise in the parish of
Westmoreland. Among the useful features
of the unit was the new farrowing house,
where farrowing crates and heated com-
partments for piglets have contributed to
better piglet survival from birth to wean-
ing. The management expects to keep pig-
let deaths during this period down to
about 10% of piglets born a substantial
improvement on present industry-wide
figures. The farrowing house at Paradise
has 32 pens with fixed crates and is the
size considered suitable for a farm carry-
ing 100 breeding sows. In addition to
the benefits of higher weaning numbers,
the Paradise system is producing litters
strong enough to be transferred with their

dams into open pens (i.e. without farrow-
ing crates or rails) at four weeks of age.
With this improvement in farrowing
house turnover, it may be possible to
carry a few more sows in herd. On pig
farms more than on most other kinds of
farms, building costs represent a high pro-
portion of total costs; it is therefore
necessary for the pig farmer to get the
best return from his buildings in terms
of numbers of sows in herd and therefore-

numbers of weaners produced for grow-
ing out.

Commercial breeds available
Early in his talk at the Grace work-
shop, Dr. Turner drew the attention of
farmers to the variety of commercial
breeds being used to produce market
hogs in Jamaica. He reminded farmers
that the use of Duroc and Hampshire
boars on Yorkshire Large White or Land-
race sows is best for producing market
hogs rather than breeding stock. The
long lean gilt required for the breeding
herd develops'from a weaner that weighs
38 Ib at eight weeks and is not typical-
ly the product of a cross with Duroc or
Hampshire boars.
Selection of gilts for breeding is ob-
viously one of the important processes
on the pig farm and Dr Turner remind-
ed farmers that a well-grown gilt should
weigh 240 Ib at 6% months of age. He
suggested that the farmer may be wel-
advised to full-feed the animals being rai-
ed for the breeding herd instead of rai -
ing them on cost-conscious rations. Th s
full-feed programme would show tl a
farmer which animals have the genet c
quality to pass on feed-conversion ef -
ciency to their offspring.
As to the ailments which may affli t
animals at this stage, Dr. Turner had sor e
advice on mange and swine erysipel; .
Mange mites are often found in tl e
animals' ears and an effective conti )1
measure is sometimes achieved by sw ,-
bing the ear with a mixture of Asunl )
(one tablespoonful) in mineral oil (o :e
Control of erysipelas is by vaccinati, n
before breeding and again after each I t-
ter is weaned.-The vaccine is effective 1 )r
about 41 months. He suggested a drill o
be carried out after each weaning I1)
de-worm sow (2) vaccinate.

Breeding and farrowing
Farmers who include such produ, ts
as banana and roots dasheenn, etc) in
their pig rations are to be careful :o
avoid large amounts of salt in these fee, s.
Salt poisoning is not always a killing il-
ment but it can have very harmful f-
fects on the animals' general thriftin ss
and performance.
The farmer's aim, said Dr. Turn r,
should be to have gilts sufficiently well-
grown to go to the boar at 7% 8 mont is
of age. Since the plan must be to get a
large litter of vigorous piglets twice a year
from each sow, farmers have to remem-
ber that this ability comes from manage-
ment rather than from inheritance. Sows
which wean 14 pigs a year are just paying
Caribbean Farming May 1987

their way; farmers' profits begin with
the 15th piglet weaned.
Batch breeding is a practice which is
recommended particularly because it
reduces the farmer's work load. Mid-
wifery of two litters is not much more
difficult than with one litter. If a sow is
short of milk it is possible to divide her
litter between two or more other fresh-
ly-farrowed neighbour-sows. Dr. Turner
reminded farmers to watch out for newly-
born piglets trailing long navel cords.
These can be a point of infection. If the
cord is pulsating it should be tied-off,
chipped and treated with iodine. If it is
not pulsating, it needs only to be clipped
a!,d treated. This sort of help at farrow-
irj means that the farmer should be pre-
se:it. New-born pigs are very prone to
cH ailing; it is often a good idea to place
tf piglets (one by one as they are deli-
ve Ad) into a warm box not far from the
so but at the same time out of her
w; while she delivers the rest of her
lit r.
Chilling and diseases
duringg the early weeks of life, pigs are
ha )y in temperatures of 850 900F.
Fa ners should visit the sow and her lit-
ter t 3 a.m. to check on the piglets' com-
foi If they are cold and huddling close
to ie sow for warmth, they are in dan-

ger of being crushed. A heat bulb serves a
very useful purpose for helping young
Sows do not need to be fed during
the first 24 hours after farrowing. The
rule-of-thumb figure of one Ib/pig/day is
a level which the farmer need not feed
from the first; the amount can be reach-
ed by gradual build-up over a few days.
At farrowing, the farmer should check
on the number of functional teats which
the sow has; blind or inverted teats re-

duce the animal's profitability. Also,
some sows this is particularly import-
ant with first litters have poor milk
supply or no milk at all.
Metritis is indicated by a white dis-
charge from the vulva; this is another con-
dition that the farmer should look for in
the newly-farrowed gilt or sow. Many
farmers hurry to inject their new litters
against iron anaemia but Dr Turner
told the meeting that young pigs usually
have enough iron reserves to last their
first 10 days. It is most important for
farmers to see that needles dipped into
the iron supplement bottle are clean.
Syringes should be boiled to keep them
sterile. He reminded that whitewashing
the farrowing stall is a sound sanitation
Three-day scours
Scours in young pigs are often (but
not always) due to infection. They may
result from over-feeding. Farmers who
are quick to dose with antibiotics are warn-
ed against changing from one medicine
to another in treating piglet symptoms;
they may be doing more harm than good.
Pigs at weaning age sometimes are af-
fected by gut oedema. The condition may
be treated by giving a tablespoonful of
Epsom Salts in each gallon of drinking
water and no feed for a day or two. A

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ribbean Farming May 1987

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Milk production in the Caribbean

The March/April issue of the news-
letter published by the Faculty of Agri-
culture of the University of the West
Indies includes some articles which raise
important questions on the way ahead
for the Region's agricultural planners.
One such article was by Dr. Rajendra Ras-
togi, Senior Lecturer in the UWI Depart-
ment of Livestock Science. Dr. Rastogi's
CONSCIOUS, begins with a brief ac-
count of how India had tackled the milk
supply situation during the past decade
or two.
The story mentions the attempt in
India to develop a system of "town dair-
ies" evidently on the assumption that
the production could be brought nearer
to the city-dwelling consumer. Accord-
ing to Dr. Rastogi, this strategy failed
miserably and "India's agricultural plan-
ners and technocrats came to terms with
the failure of town dairying by conceiv-
ing and implementing the world's largest,
probably the most successful dairy deve-
lopment project appropriately called
Operation Flood."
It seems a pity that the devices used
by the Indian people and their institutions
since 1946 in their coming to grips
with post-colonial life do not reach the
ears and eyes of people in the Caribbean.
We hope that Dr Rastogi and others will
improve that situation in the future. For
example, Dr Rastogi would do the Carib-
bean a favour by making available some
references which tell in greater detail the
story of Operation Flood and its whole
According to the Newsletter article,
the Operation Flood project is based on
an enlightened cattle breeding policy, or-
ganised production through village dairy
co-operatives, proper transport, process-
ing and marketing, and a price support
policy that makes smallholder milk pro-
duction remunerative while discouraging
large-scale dairying.
Somewhere in the records of all the
larger (and some of the smaller) nation-
communities of the Caribbean the plan-
ning and experience relating to each one
of these elements of the dairy industry
are reported. The Caribbean Develop-
ment Bank (CDB) has its full share in the
experience and is probably very willing
to take part in future study. There is no
cear indication that the countries of the

Caribbean have decided to take the course
adopted by the Indian programme that
is reducing dependence on imported dairy
rations to produce the greater part of our
milk production. Certainly this course
has been recommended by people like
Dr. Cleve Allen, who said in a letter to
the press in November, 1985 that "we
are left with no alternative but to do a
low-cost type of dairying . .". In the.
same letter, Dr. Allen points out that
"our best lands will have to be given over
to more profitable enterprises such as
field crop production."

Resource-conscious strategy
As is usual in the Caribbean, the deve-
lopment that will probably trigger some
planning and decision in this area is the
recent move in the United States to re-
duce production of surplus dairy pro-
ducts by the national dairy herd. Prices in
the Caribbean of evaporated milk and
cheese have begun to rise, followed by
fluid milk. At some stage, we hope that
the planners will come around to taking
a look at the Indian strategy and to
Dr. Rastogi's list of the factors of his re-
source-conscious strategy. We set them
out in his detail in the hope that a num-
ber of people will examine them and
comment on the possibility and advantage
of applying this strategy in the countries
of the Caribbean. Readers and would-be
contributors to the discussion are invited
to send their comments for publication in
Caribbean Farming as space, time and
relevance allow.
It will be difficult (and may be im-
possible) for any country in the Region
to apply Dr. Rastogi's proposals all in one
package. There will be differing opinions
as to the desirability of his proposals.
However, taken together they seem to be
as good as base as any for serious examin-
ation of the strategy and now seems to
be as good a times as any for the discus-
sion to "take off" region wide.

Factors in the Strategy

1. The increased production of fodder of
a limiting factor. New short duration fod-
der varieties should be evolved which
can fit into intercropping systems.

2. The choice of dairy-type animals
should bear a definite relationship to the
availability of feed resources. For ex-
ample, high-yielding crossbred cows with

high levels of exotic inheritance may be
non-starters in regions where straws and
byproducts form the major base of feed-
stuffs. I firmly believe that there is need
to develop a Regional Dairy Cattle Breed-
ing policy based on crossing with the
Jamaican Hope breed.

3. Animal feed accounts for more than
60 percent of the production cost. Basic
research should be aimed at getting as
much milk as possible for each unit of
feed to minimise the production cost.

4. Crop residues like cane tops, bagasse,
straws, and cereal by-products like brans
and cakes should form a major part of
dairy animal feeds. The known techno-
logy for improving the feeding values of
crop residues by chemical ensiling, sup-
plementation with urea, molasses Eid
mineral mixtures needs to be wid ly
adopted by dairy producers.
5. As milk producing ability of di ry
animals increases, more and more 3t-
tention should be paid to their min al
nutrition. This means that mineral r ix-
tures should be formulated to suit he
requirements of a particular reg in,
paying due regard to soil-plant-an lal
6. A vigorous policy of culling less ro-
ductive animals should be followed t[ !re-
by releasing feed for better produ ing
7. Replacement heifers should be re red
for early breeding so that they can : art
producing milk at as early as 27 mo ths
of age. This will require better feec ng,
nutrition and management of h ifet

8. Strategic feed reserves should be
developed to fill the gap in supply lur-
ing annual dry periods and during c ou-
ghts. Such feed reserves may coi tain
roughage, concentrate, minerals and lita-
mins in balanced form.
9. A proper system of collection anc dis-
tribution of various feed ingredients, e.g.
crop residues, brans, cakes, etc. shou J be
put in place. Pricing of various feed i; gre-
dients should bear some relation to heir
nutritive value.

10. There is need to develop Feeding Stan
dards" that will be applicable within the
region as the Standards in use currently
have been borrowed from the temperate
countries. Cont'd on p.26

Caribbean Farming May 19!



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Training aid for

A series of slide sets entitled Post-
harvest handling of tropical perishables
a farmer's training aid has been pre-
pared for IICA, the Inter-American
Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture.
Following a postharvest technology
seminar held by CARIRI last year, IICA
discussed with us possible strategies for
effective follow-up activity. The lack of
appropriate training materials was iden-
tified as a priority need.
CARIRI's project team, working in-
house and at various locations in Trini-
dad, filmed foodcrops at harvest and
post-harvest stages (transport, storage,
packaging, sale display, etc). Graphic
artists were employed to prepare the
many drawings for the slide sets.
The initial plan is that this training
material will be used by the Ministry of
Food production, Marine Exploitation,
Forestry and the Environment. The slides
may also be used in any of IICA's twenty-
nine member-states. Requests for copies
of the sets have already been received
from Guyana, Antigua and Panama. A

There are records of farming in this
region going back hundreds of years -
telling an interesting (and often drama-
tic story. Some of the crops have dis-
appeared indigo, logwood but the
methods, the equipment and buildings,
the markets, transportation systems all
have been written up and sometimes
put into drawings, engravings and
more recently into photographs. These
are a part of our story and needt to be
Beginning with the August issue
have a page or two devoted to OLD-
will depend on many people thorugh-
out the region to tell each one a little
part of the story.

So we are inviting our readers to be-
come writers or senders in of photo-
graphs and drawings to help us tell
the story. Please do not send us valu-
able originals. We would like to have
good reproductions, for which we will
pay reasonable cost.
Please drop me a line as soon as you
can to let me know if you will help -
and in what way.
The Editor


11. The transfer of appropriate t ch-
nology to farmers should be enst red
through efficient extension serv :es.
The appropriate technology should be
relatively simple; lead to economic lain
in the short term; not disrupt no mal
agricultural activities such as plar ting
and harvesting; involve minimal risk, and
should be in harmony with religious, cul-
tural and socio-economic milieu.
12. Domestic dairying and markets iust
be protected against disastrous effec s of
indiscriminate dumping of surplus c iun-
tries of Western Europe, North Am rica
and even Japan. Instead, the govern ient
should accept dairy surpluses from I iese
countries as "food-aid"; generate rev nue
by sale of same which should their be
used to develop dairying locally.
13. Any dairy development scheme must
aim at raising living standards of rural
people through generation of new em-
ployment and improved income from
dairying while improving the supply of
milk to the consumers.

Caribbean Farming May 1987




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The tanning and leather industry ex-
perience great economic losses due to
various defects in hides and skins, most of
which are avoidable. The meat and live-
stock industry also suffers these losses
although it may not be apparent to those
In Jamaica, it is almost impossible to
find an animal skin without defects.
This is due in part to careless handling
and disease and parasite damage.
It will require the concerted effort of
the livestock industry, the tanners and the
Government to get the desired results.
Although the Jamaican hide is good,
it is often severely downgraded due to
pre-and post-mortem defects which could
be avoided or at least minimised by better
handling and husbandry practices. Some
of the most damaging defects are as
Because of the practice of using bar-
bed wire for fencing, animals straying
near to these fences tend to scratch them-
selves on the wire, causing long scores on
the skin which even after healing, leave
long marks which are quite visible on the
finished leather. Scratches are serious
damage in themselves and are serious
also because they are entry points for
parasitic infestations and infectious dis-
Cactus plants and thorn hedges cause
shorter scratches which are grouped more
closely. These frequently occur on the
most valuable parts of the skin or hide
and are generally not seen until after un-
Apart from the devaluation caused,
scratches reduce the strength of the
When animals are crowded too closely,
their horns can cause gouges. During
transport by trucks, the animals may con-
tact sharp metallic objects or nails inflict-
ing cuts on the skin or hide.
Branding by hot iron is an age-old
practice and is usually the owner's way

Air-dryihg of hides and skins by the
frame & loop methods respectively.
of identifying his property. Branas should
not be too large and should be placed on
the rump of the animal when the animal
is young.
Branding is sometimes misused and it
is not infrequent to find markings extend-

ing from the butt to the head on a si ,gle
Effect of Fatigue Before Slaughter
Animals travelling long distances 'om
farms to the slaughter house are fatic jed,
These animals should be rested and ( ven
access to drinking water for at leas 24
hours before slaughter. Fatigue c. ises
over-heating of the flesh of the ar mal
and results in incomplete bleeding and
poorer meat. An incompletely bled sl nor
hide contains more blood than it sh ,uld,
therefore, is liable to putrefaction. these
skins show poor cure when processec into
The damage done by ticks is the nost
serious. defect occurring on the Jam icar
hide. Ticks leave small scars distril uted
over the animal's skin. These app( vr as
depressions on the unhaired and tined
hide. Ticks are parasitic insects which at.
tach themselves to the animals skin, feed
ing on the host's blood. Ticks can t;ere
fore carry a variety of disease organisms
from infected animals to susceptible
ones. Badly tick infested animals have
poor health and are often anaemic. There
must be grave monetary loss because of
the lower yield in meat and milk pro
Caribbean Farming May 1989

The damage to leather is so deep-
seated that even after buffing the scars
still persist.
The value of the leather is greatly re-
duced when tick damage is extensive.
In Jamaica, tick-infested animals are com-
mon. Because of this, some hides received
by the tanner are marked by tick bites
which appear as craters all over the skin,
which severely downgrades the leather -
sometimes making it useless.
Cuts, Scores, Corduroy
A hide is easily downgraded by cuts
and scores on the flesh side of the hide
when flaying. This is usually due to care-
lessness in flaying or flaying by inexperi-
c iced hands. Cuts sometimes go all the
v.ay through the hide leaving big holes in
t' e hide.
Scores do not go all the way through
b ;t are deep enough to cause damage in
t! a finished leather.
Corduroy is a series of fine parallel
s: >res, on the flesh side. Scores and cor-
d "oy can be removed only by shaving
c and destroying valuable leather.
As shoe manufacturers cut leather by
a certain plan and sometimes do not take
ti ie to sort, many upper parts are ruin-
e by cuts on the flesh side of the hide.
F ying damage can be reduced by using
a roper sharp knife that has a rounded

point. Long s*trkes should be used in
skinning, short strokes can cause cor-
Hide Trim
In order to obtain a proper cure, all
hide parts which will not make leather
should be removed. Excessive meat and
fat left on the hide are readily attacked
Iby bacteria and will cause rapid decom
position of the hide. If the parts are left
on the hide, they will prevent the hide
from receiving enough salt.
Animals for slaughter should be in a
healthy condition, and slaughter should
be quick. The hide or skin should be re-
moved immediately as this allows for
easier removal while the carcass is warm.
The hide or skin should be cooled to re-
move body heat and lessen the chance of

Raw skin has to be protected from the
action of bacteria if it is to maintain its
worth. Bacteria need a certain amount of
moisture to enable them to attack the
hide or skin. Putrefaction can be stopped
by reducing the water content so that the
hide or skin contain only 14-16% mois-
ture. No more than a few hours should
elapse before some for of cure is initia-

Some Methods of Curing

This is done by spreading the cold
flayed hide or skin on the floor or pre-
ferably on a pallet. Salt is rubbed on all
areas of the flesh side. The salt used should
be coarse or round-grained, as fine salt
forms patchy mounds giving uneven
spread. After salting the first skin or
hide, another hide or skin is placed on
top of it and the process repeated. A skin
or hide pack should normally be no more
than 5 feet high. The amount of salt used
should be 25-30% of the raw hide weight.

The flayed hide or skin is salted as
above, and then hung up to dry. This
method is usually used for small skins and
has the advantage of reducing weight and
therefore transport cost.


The skins are hung on wire or rope,
but this should be done in a shaded area.
Skins dried directly in the sun are sus-
ceptible to sun blisters (melted fat that
appears dry) and these promote putre-
faction at the blistered spot.


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

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Telephone: 21302 Gn. F. Huggins & Co. (Grn.) Ltd. Berrm. St. Kitts Port-Of-Spain. Trinided Parnamribo. Surilnae
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Newgate Street P.O. Box 46 Renwdck & Company Ltd. T. Geddes Grant (Guylmn) Ltd. Melam Plastic Products. Inc.
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Teoephon: 21039, 21440 Telephone: 2031-33 Castries. St. Lucia Georgetown., Guyana Miami, Florid 3312.
T. elddn Gret 1 rbado Ltd. M.. Olbourne Telephone: 2257, 2265, 3899 Telephone: 02-72031-8 Telephone 305/594-4777.
WhIte Park Road P.O. Box 287 T. Gaddes Grat (St. Vincent) Ltd. Telex: 529329.
P.O. Box 238 PlymouthMonrrat P.O. Box 257
Brkidto., Barbados Talephone: 2494, 2495 Klngtw. S Vinent
ST.lephone: 61070 Telphone: 61325
Caribbean Farming May 1987

A second Caribbean Regional work-
shop on Tropical Root Crops will be held
in Kingstown, St. Vincent from Septem-
ber 14-18, 1987. At this meeting several
aspects of tropical root crop production
will emerge for discussion. The crops
which will be examined are yams, cassava,
sweet potato, dasheen, eddoe, arrowroot
and Solanum potato (English/Irish pota-
to). Papers are invited on their produc-
tion, storage, processing and marketing.
At the event these written papers will be
orally presented and then put in a bound
copy of all workshop proceedings.
Persons interested in contributing papers
are invited to do so.
The meeting is open to all other inter-
ested persons, especially root crop farm-
ers, extension officers, technical per-
sonnel in related fields and even those
who have newly become interested in
root crop production.
Joint sponsors of the event are the
Faculty of Agriculture, UWI and the
Ministry of Trade, Industry and Agri-

culture of St. Vincent and the Gren-
adines. Dr. Theodore Ferguson, senior
lecturer in the Department of Crop
Science heads a local organising com-
mittee at the St. Augustine Campus.
Other faculty members from Crop
Science are Dr. Lynda Wickham (Sec-
retary), Dr. Winston Harvey and Pro-
fessor Laurie Wilson. From the Depart-
ment of Plant Science and Biochemistry
there is Dr. Fritz Elango, from Soil
Science there is Dr. Selwyn Griffith
and from the Department of Agricul-
tural Extension there is Dr. Joseph
The workshop objectives are as foll-

1. To review the status and tech-
nology of root crop production
and marketing in the Caribbean.

2. To identify and discuss problems
of root crop production and mar-
keting in the.Caribbean.

3. To identify new technologies rele-
vant to improving the production.

4. To formulate strategies to improve
the production and. marketing of
root crops in the Region.

This workshop follows a first success-
ful regional meeting which was held in
Jamaica, April 10-16, 1983. There were
representatives from Antigua, Barbados,
Chile, Costa Rica, Dominica, Guadeloupe,
Haiti, Jamaica, Nigeria, Italy, Santo
Domingo, the USA, and Trinidad and
Tobago. Copies of the Proceedings of tho
First Caribbean Regional Workshop are
available and may be obtained from the
Department of Crop Science. For further
information on this coming event pleas,3
send all correspondence to Dr. Lynad
Wickham, c/o Department of Cro.
science The University of the We t
Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad ar i
Tobago. Telephone: 663-1359 Ext. 211 .
- Cable address: STOMA TA. 4

The Jamaica Agricultural Development Foundation

Ij- The Jamaica Agricultural Development Foundation promotes and
develops agriculture and agri-business to assist in improving the eco-
nomic and social well-being of the people of Jamaica.
The JADF provides:

Venture Capital, Loans and Equity
Grants for Research and Training.
Technical Assistance.
SIf you have a project In agriculture or
agri-business which you
believe Is viable contact:


Agricultural Development

'Working for the Future'
19 Dominica Dr., Kingston 5. Tel: (809) 92-98090-2.

Caribbean Farming May 198

The May& Baker range of
Vegetable/Horticultural Products!

All available from

Micronised copper/mancozeb mix broad-spectrum fungicide for
tomatoes, peppers, cocoa, coffee, citrus and others.

Thiophanate-methyl for diseases in cucurbits and other vegetables,
flowers and ornamentals.

An advanced fungicide for Botrytis and Alternaria control; on
vegetables and flowers, widely approved for the control of
post-harvest fruit rots.

For root rot and gumosis control in avocado and citrus, root &
stem rots and Pythium diseases in anthuriums and in cuttings.

Synthetic pyrethroid insecticide with increased efficiency and

Rooting hormone; proven reliability, tried and tested for
many years.

'Herbicide for onions, cotton, ornamentals and rice.
For further information on supplies and use of these
products, contact: MAY & BAKER LTD., 19, Trinidad Terrace,
Kingston 5 JAMAICA (W.I.) Tel,: 929 8532-4

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

arbados and Leewards. Tel: 43-64890
rinidad and Guyanas. Tel: 62-22374
Vindwards. Tel: 45-22229

P.O. Box 142
Tel: 465-2511

J & J Agencies
P.O. Box 254,

European Ethnic produce market

A marketing study commissioned by
Agro 21 Corporation Ltd. has identified
certain market opportunities in Europe
(the U.K., Holland and West Germany)
open to Jamaican exporters of ethnic
root crops.
According to the study conducted by
international consultants Landell Mills
Associates (Caribbean) Ltd, Jamaica cur-
rently supplies 40% of ethnic root crops
and 50% of pumpkins to the United
Kingdom market which is identified as
having the greatest potential for expan-
sion when compared to Holland and West
The report suggests that to penetrate
the European market in ethnic produce
items, exporters will have to ensure that
regular supplies of graded produce of
good quality can be guaranteed to the
market all year round.
In addition, appropriate promotion-
al devices, some as simple as the pro-
vision of recipes, will have to be put in
place if the market is to be:maintained
and the second generation West Indian
market, and promotion to, and education
of, this market segment needs to be care-
fully addressed.
The report recognized that Jamaican
produce enjoys the advantage of duty
free entry, under terms of the LOME
convention, into the markets of the U.K.,
the Netherlands, and West Germany.

The study found that a good market
existed in parts of Europe, primarily the
United Kingdom, for items such as plan-
tains, and a market niche exists for the
roundleaf variety of yellow yam.
Modest but exploitable opportunities
were identified for products such as pump-
kins, sweet potatoes, and limited oppor-
tunities exist for dasheen and coco
eddoess, tannia).
According to the Agro 21 commission-
ed study, ethnic exporters should adopt
certain strategies, if they are to maintain
and expand market share in Europe.
An ideal business strategy is seen as
one where exporters contract to grow (us-
ing technology designed to reduce costs)
specific quantities of graded products,
and importers, whether wholesalers or
supermarkets, contract to pay a fixed
price for imports received in specified
size, and condition. In this way, supply
and demand are better matched, wide
price fluctuations reduced, and accept-
able income levels achieved by both im-
porter and exporter. The ultim-te arbiter
(the consumer) thus receives a quality
product with regularity and at a reason-
able price.
In addition, market promotion and
product education are necessary to sup-
port a successful marketing strategy. The
large British supermarket chain is an ideal

medium for channeling this type of pro-
motion to the marketplace. It is also feas-
ible to consider joint promotional arrange-
ments between exporter and supermarket,
in order to provide the benefits of a cost-
sharing arrangement.
While the exporter should not ignore
traditional wholesale buyers, they are
well advised to consider further market
entry through supermarket chains in the
U.K. where, as noted in the study, intro-
ductory promotions have already been
carried out by two large chains, Waitrose
and Tesco.

The report also provide a list of Euro-
pean-based traders in ethnic produce.
These companied/individuals are po- n-
tial market contacts to whom expor ers
can make marketing enquiries.
The findings were presented at a s: mi-
nar on "The Market for Ethnic F )ot
Crops In the Netherlands, The Ur ted
Kingdom, and West Germany" hoste by
Agro 21 Corporation Ltd at the JamE can
Conference Centre on Thursday, Febr ary
26, 1987.

The detailed report on "The M rket
for Ethnic Root Crops in The Ne her-
lands, The United Kingdom and Vest
Germany", is now available at the \gro
21 Department of Strategic Planning Box
552, G.P.O., Kingston, Jamaica A

The Jamaica Bureau of Standard has
installed a Kjeltec Auto Analyzer gift
from the Jamaica Agricultural Deve op-
ment Foundation.
This machine determines protein levels
in a wide range of materials include ig
plant tissue and feedstuffs.
The facilities of the Bureau are avail-
able by arrangement to govern nent
and private agencies in CARICOM a; d ot-
her neighboring countries.
Mrs. A. McFarlane of the BureeJ's
Chemistry Department demonstrate, the
features of the new analyzer.

Caribbean Farming May 198





Ford New Holland.
The name signifies
good things to come
Few companies have the
financial strength and vision
to expand and reshape their
operations in turbulent times.
Ford Motor Company has
done exactly that. By bring-
ing together New Holland
and Ford Tractor Oper-
ations, Ford has created a
new organization that will
be known around the world
as Ford New Holland.
That's good news for
farmers everywhere.
New strength
You can count on the tradi-
tional strengths that have
characterized both Ford and
New Holland for generations.
Together, we're even stronger.
The Ford and New
Holland product lines com-
plement each other perfectly
with exceptionally broad
ranges of tractors, combines,
haymaking and other
specialized equipment.
New solutions
With the combined strengths
of two excellent research and
development programmes,
you can expect many inno-
vations in the future. New
features. New products. New
methods of farming. All
designed to make your life
a little easier and a lot
more productive.
New commitment
If you've relied on Ford or
New Holland in the past,
you can be confident that
we'll be there to support
you in the future. Count on
strong support from
Ford Tractor and
New Holland dealers to
service your equipment.
Plus well-stocked parts
departments that can quickly
supply needed parts. And
massive, computerized parts
depots to expedite any part
not in your dealer's stock.
Farmers the world over
have trusted Ford and
New Holland for quality
equipment and dependable
support from their dealers.
Now you have a new name
to trust. Ford New Holland.
A new force emerges.


-'i "? ::i
,-:-; .i. ~ I ''''~' ~-?a.

~.,: .t;n*:.;~
"' ; '``*
ic' :

In Agriculture...

is the one!

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


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