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 Table of Contents
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Title: Caribbean farming
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00101460/00023
 Material Information
Title: Caribbean farming
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Mona, Jamaica
Publication Date: February 1988
Copyright Date: 1969
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Bibliographic ID: UF00101460
Volume ID: VID00023
Source Institution: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: oclc - 3116219

Table of Contents
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    Table of Contents
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    Back Cover
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Full Text

WJOHN DEERE Agricultural
Yamada Supplies
Austoft Sprayers

381 Spanish Town Rd., Kgn. 11. Tel. 92-37121 ~L

8 h.p.


Coribbeen FEBRUAIRY 1988

Dr. Asnani~ ~F
The development of this "mini-sett" method has been shar-
ed between scientists of a number of institutions. Early in the
process, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
(llTA) at Ibadan in Nigeria began to take an interest in the
method. Dr. V.L. Asnani, who is very actively working in this
area, was sent to Jamaica by IITA. He now heads up a unit of
--4 the Jamaica's Scientific Research Council which is producing
mini-setts on a pilot scale and Dr. Asnani is spending a great
deal of time in farmers' fields where the method is being test-
ed under commercial conditions.
In Barbados, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and
Development Institute (CARDI) has set up a laboratory and
entered into contracts with selected farmers who grow clean
yams for seed production. CARDI's Frances Chandler and
COVER STORY other CARDI technicians have produced planting material and
distributed it throughout the Caribbean.
One of the research projects which will find favour with Another agency involved in the work is the Inter-American
many thousands of Caribbean Farmers is the work done in Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA), which has
producing yam plants from material that is screened for virus taken part in the course of its field study of small farm pro-
and other disease. duction systems.



Backingup the farmer..................... ................. ...........4

Preston Addresses CTA/CARDI Workshop .... .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. . . ..5
FAO Representative Addresses Jamaica Association of Sugar Technologists . .. ... .8
Ecologically Sound Pest Control. .................................... ..12
I.R.R.I. Releases Farmers Primers. .................................... .13
Jamaica Agricultural Development Foundation Annual General Meeting .. .. .. ..16
Overseas Development Natural Resources Institute. .. .. ... ... .. .. .. .. ...17
Tropical Root Crops Symposium ................... ................... ..21
Agricultural Minister look at the future of the pig industry. .. .. ... .. .. .. ... .22
Biogas in St. Lucia. ................... ................... .............24
The ToweringGrass. ................... ................... ............26

CARIBBEAN FARMING is published with financial assistance from The Jamaica Agricultural Development
Foundation, four times a year, by Creative Communications Inc. Ltd., P.O. Box 105, Kingston 10, Jamaica.
Telephone: 92-74271. Telex: 2431 CARISHIP JA. Cable: CAROGAM JA.
MANAGING DIRECTOR: Tony Gambrill, EDITOR: Carol Reckford,
EDITORIAL BOARD: Tony Gambrill, Carol Reckford, Lloyd Barnett, Dr. Richard Jones, Joe Suah, Prof
Lawrence Wilson.
ART DIRECTOR: Leroy Stapleton, ADVERTISING SALES: Eleanor Sutherland, Jennifer Clarke, P.O. Box 105,
Kingston 10, Jamaica. Tel: 92-74271, 92-76184.
SUBSCRIPTION: US$11 USA, Caribbean & Latin America; US$15, All other countries, air mail for four

Caribbean Farming-February 1988

Agricultural Chemicals-
Garden and Houehodldnsecticides,
Posticidesr d Rodenticides-
Veterinary Productsae ~~p3

n tret, eportWest, Kingston 11 eehre

Caribbean Farming-February 1988

Preston was addressing.
Another speaker at this workshop was Mr. Edwin Carring-
ton, the Secretary General of the Association of African,
Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP). Mr. Carrington re-
minded the workshop that the governments of the nations
of western Europe in their European Economic Community
(EEC) have to seek as their first obligation the welfare of
their citizens. The EEC has extended its membership to
include Greece, Spain and Portugal. This ";tropicalization"
increases the ability of the EEC to produce the crops normal-
ly grown and sold by ACP countries. Over the years, the EEC
is becoming more and more a direct competitor with the ACP
Mr. Carrington did remind his audience that under the
Lome III agreement about 80% of the funds given to ACP
states have been assigned to agriculture and rural develop-
ment. Effective application of these development funds will go
some way to preparing the ACP economies for the worsening
position of their commodity exports to the EEC.
Probably the most important service now being given to
the people of the Third World by the United Nations Food
and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and other international
and regional institutions is this warning against continued
dependence on the goodwill of friendly and wealthy nations.
Farmers who tend to put their trust in princes often realise too
late that princes have their own problems.
We believe that over the past three years, CARIBBEAA~
FA RMING hos consistently provided its readers andadvert/ser-
with a igh~calibre ofagr/culturl/]ournallsm through its feature
articles, news reportsoand commentaries.
Unfortunately, it has not attracted the level of advertising sup
port that Is required for such a publication to meet its goak
both in terms of editorial achievement and profitability.
We appreciate the support and encouragement we have re
ceived from our readers and our advertisers. In particular the
famalco Agricultural Development Foundation must be single
out for recognition in th/s respect because, without the conces
sionary terms of the loan they granted, CA RIBBEAN FARM
/NG would not have survived as long as it has.
Nevertheless, it is with regret that we have to announce the.
th/s will be the final issue of the magazine to be published
by Creative Communications incorporated ,


Th F armer

This issue of CARIBBEAN FARMING brings to the atten-
tion of our readers some of the agencies providing valuable
"back-up" to the rnen and women who farm our land.
The names and work of these agencies are better known
to extension workers than to farmers but this situation is
changing as the research workers in CARDI and IlCA and the
others are doing more of their trials and study on farmers'
Iand with the farmers taking part in the work. This surely is a
step in the right direction and it would be a happy state of
affairs if there were local extension people in sufficient num-
bers to complete the link between farmer and research worker.
One direction which the farmers and extension workers of
the Caribbean clearly need to follow for the New Year is to-
ward knowing what research people in the Region are d oing.
Dr. Reg Preston, who visited in December last, spoke of the
lack of effective communication among the countries of the
Third World; Caribbean people in agriculture are finding it
almost impossible to know what is happening in farming re-
search that is going on a few hundred miles away in the same
Region. Dr. Preston reminded his audience of agricultural
research and extension people that Third World situations
need Third World research by Third World institutions this
being part of the self-reliance story. None of this reduces the
value of the work done by international agencies such as CTA
- the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation
- which, with CARDI the Caribbean Agricultural research
and Development Institute sponsored the workshop Dr.


Dr. T. Reg. Preston has worked for
many years in the field of livestock
feeding systenis. He has had considerable
experience in the tropical Third World
countries and is well known as a
forthright and dedicated researcher and
development worker.

Dr. Preston was invited to give the
keynote address at a workshop which the
Technical Centre for Agricultural and
Rural Co-operation (CTA) and the Carib-
bean Agricultural Research and Develop-
ment Institute (CARDI) held in Jamaica
early in December last.
Theme of the workshop was FORAGE
The following is a condensation of Dr.
oreston's address:-
"We have to challenge the concept
that what we want are animals producing

::, fkw wrer wrpa epo i n o::
enterprise These are all good economic
yardsticks in the industrialized coun-
:ries but I would certainly question
Iheir importance in our own (Third
Norld) countries. If we emphasize those
yardsticks then we would have a livestock
industry that does not depend on its
>astures but depends mostly on feeds
:hat are imported .
I would like to suggest that we begin
>y identifying the constraints which
'elate to our particular region or country
.. we must take account of environ-
nental issues when we develop our
reductionn programmes and we must
identify what are our resources, what
Rows in our country, what can grow in
,ur country. These are the factors we
should d begin with .. .
The principles must be that we have to
produce. our own feeds .. remembering
that the production resource we are
richest in is solar energy. When I was in
northern England on a farm making hay
in the summertime, we prayed for the
few days of sunshine to help our work.
Here (in the tropics) we have that
wonderful resource of solar energy and
that must be the basis for development of
our systems. We have to make maximum
use of atmospheric nitrogen and that
means promotion of legumes .. .
In taking care of our environment, we
can make enormous contribution with
systems of re-cycling. But above all we
must .. know how to live better and in
harmony with the rest of the world -
self-reliant and not dependent.
Caribbean Farming-February 1988

The basis of some policies is the
concept that what matters is solar energy
. and we must use those crops that are
most efficient at using that resource.
Sugar cane has been the basis of Carib-
bean economies for many years. This
crop is now receiving the blame for all
our problems but we should not leave
it there. We should revive this crop
because it can help us emerge from the
present crisis. Forest trees satisfy our
concern about the environment as well as
our concern about producing protein --
and unusual protein sources such as algae
are in their element in the tropics and
they have tremendous potential for pro-
tein production .. .
We shouldn't be just cattle farmers; we
should look at our resources and see if it's
going to be better to have a mixture of
species .. money invested in large
ruminants (cattle) is not nearly so reward-
ing as money invested in the smaller spe-
cies. In many cases the main thrust of our
efforts would have to be with the smaller
species because it makes better economic
sense . .
Our systems have to be integrated, not
specialized. Specialization is fine for
industrialized countries. They can afford
it but we have to be integrated in order
to take advantage of our resources ..

Sugar cane feed systems
Before going on to discuss the possible

sources of protein I want to emphasize the
developments which have taken place in
the use of sugar cane as livestock feed be-
cause we now have a tropical technology
which is being used by farmers on a large
scale. It has gone through a series of steps
of development. It began in Barbados
with the Canadian-supported separation-
derinding process. This process worked
- but it was too expensive. Chopping the
whole cane was started in Mexico in 1976
- and it continues to be a system of pro-
duction. More recently another approach
to separation is simply building on the
tradition of sugar production but using
cane juice as the feed . .. In the Domini-
can Republic, at the largest sugar factory
in the Caribbean, about 1,000 pigs are
being fed on sugar cane juice. In Colom-
bia, there are growing numbers shifting
from cereal grains to sugar cane juice.
Cuba is currently setting up fifty units of
5,000 pigs each ..

Have believed in sugar cane ever since
I went to Cuba . .and made my mistake
of trying to grow maize and sorghum.
Since then I am convinced that sugar cane
offers the best prospect for intensifica-
tion and for development of our own
appropriate production systems ..

One approach taken by the cane indus-
try has been to take the sugar-making
process to a stage which stops short of

Goats .. Very selective animals. able to identify appropriate feed sources . .much easier to
house than cattle .. Preston

Preston Addresses CTA/CARDI


It's got problems of undesirable nutrition-
al components. but it's got enormous
advantages of rusticity, of high yield, suit-
ability in a multi-purpose way, as a
source of forage or as a source of seeds,
and I am quite sure that if we put the re-
search in we are very close to getting a
system which will allow us to get rid of
these toxins at the farm level and there-
fore incorporate them into animal feed.
So, I see a big potential in Canavalia; less
so in pigeon pea Cajanus cajan. Again, we
have the problem of bettering the human
diet, let's not try to push it into livestock
feed ..

Forage from tree-crops

But the main future I see in two areas.
One of these is in agro-forestry and this
area we don't have to worry about wait-
ing for the Australians to develop some
new varieties or for CIAT to come up
with the latest accessions. Gliricidia is in
the Caribbean. The Erythrina species are
in the Caribbean. Leucaena is in the
Caribbean. I put Leucaena, deliberately,
in third place. We tend to think that this
is a wonder crop, because to many of us
it was brought in from outside but in our
comparison it is third on the list. Gliri-
cidia is more productive in protein/unit
area/unit time. It is easier to establish. We
can establish it from stakes. It is more
resistant to insects. There have been prob-
lems with Leucaena in Australia, the

This silo uses sugar cane as a base for a mix of locally grown rations ..[Sugar Cane Feeds Centre,
Trinidad .

extracting the last quantity of sugar. At
this point the process yields a much high-
er ratio of molasses and a lower ratio of
sugar. In Cuba this year 100,000 tons of
B molasses will be produced suitable
for feeding pigs and poultry. We have just
begun along this line in Colombia.
While we are looking at protein the
subject of this seminar we again have to
recognize that the Cubans have been
leaders in the field. They have very large
production of torula yeast from the fer.
mentation of molasses. About one-third
of Cuban molasses is applied to yeast pro-
duction yeast with about 55% of pro-
tein. It isn't cheap process but at least
it is producing protein within the coun.
More interesting is the Cubans re.
cycling of food waste. Food waste from
houses, from institutions, from agri.
culture, from markets on average has
about 17% of protein. We have to dump
this into a river or put it into a land-fill.
We ignore it and yet it is probably one
of the most appropriate sources of pro-
tein sitting on our door-steps .
In Cuba there are 25 plants process-
ing household waste, sterilizing it, mixing
it with molasses (not with cereal grain)
and feeding, each one of these plants'
5000 to 10,000 pigs. That is one area we
should not neglect ..
Let's not get too euphoric about for-
age legumes. Let's keep a broad appt'oach
and take advantage of all the protein
sources that are available. It's obvious
that in the short term, at least, we have
to optimize the use of pastures as protein
sources. I have my doubts and I have
had for many years since we began work.
ing with the grass/Iegume associations in
Cuba about the long-term potential of
this approach.

We have to take advantage of what is
available. Isee the possibility of protein
banks as being easier to apply and more
likely to have impact on producers. Re-
stricted grazing systems, I see a role for
and its quite convenient to have animals
grazing short periods of the day. In this
way we have more efficient utilization of
that resource. But, I am concerned and
especially so in Colombia about the socio-
economic and ecological issues of graz-
ing systems. You only have to go into the
coffee growing areas and look at the hill-
side where cattle are grazed. One is ero-
ded and the other is a paradise. I see it in
front of me, I've seen it in Brazil andI
worry about grazing systems for that rea-
Protein from agricultural crops -1I
don't think there's is much potential really
for oil seeds in the Caribbean environ-
ment. Ground-nut is much too valuable
for direct human consumption. don't
think we are ever going to be able to
mount a feed industry based on ground-
nut or cotton. Cotton means equipment
and processing which is very difficult
with small scale operations. Soya bean is
much too location-specific and although
the Cauca Valley where I am based has
the advantage of being able to grow soya
beans it is not a cheap crop by any
means, even with all the advantages of
Location. Oil palms and coconuts make
much more sense because these are trees
and that's where we should be getting
our oils from (in the tropics) and there
are useful, valuable protein by-products
from oil palms and from coconut palms.

Isee a big potential in beans such as
Canavalia ensiformis (sword bean). It
isn't known very much in scientific cir-
cles and yet it's been around longer than
any other bean (probably) in the tropics.

Leucaena hasi tecmt vlal d protein feed.

Caribbean Farming-February 1988

earth-worm. What's the role of the earth-
worm? Th'ey are' tremendous scavengers.
They are great harvesters of protein
that we can't hope to save, bacteria,
fungi, some of the amino acids in the bac-
teria in the excreta of animals. There is
no way that we can do that industrial-
ially but the humble earth worm is high-
ly efficient in passing through its body,
through its digestive tract, all of this
material and extracting from it the valu-
able protein. Earth-worms have 75% to
80% of protein in the dry matter. They
have an amino acid balance comparable
to that in fish meal. We can grow them on
waste the waste being the fibre which
abounds in the tropics. The breakdown
of that fibre by aerobic organisms is the
means which lets the earth-worm partici-
pate also in that production system. But
we are not going to make earthworm
meal to sell to the feed compounders.
After all, chickens have evolved very satis-
factorily to find their own earthworms.
So, don't let us make the mistake of
trying to turn that earthworm into a
protein which suits our nutritionist who
wants to know exactly what percentage
of proteins he can put in the diet.
Let us look at technologies which are
much simpler and easier to apply at the
level of the small farmer.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, excuse my
excursion into areas not immediately re-
lated to this topic, but, I think, are highly
relevant in terms of developing a new pol-
icy which I have not the least doubt can
be successful because the means exist, the
technologies are there. Some of them in
embryo, some of them functioning very
well but they are going to need concert-
ed action not just by researchers or deve-
lopers. It's going to need the action of
governments and the stronger, the
tougher the import policy, the better we
can hope to develop these appropriate
systems. What will destroy us overnight
- if suddenly FAO decides to make avail-
able food grains as a concessionary form
of aid. There is talk of that: "Let's help
the poor countries by giving them food
grains". That will destroy all our efforts
- and that's exactly what we have to
avoid if we want to take advantage of the
new possibilities that are being offered.

Philippines and Indonesia. Gliricidia and
Erythrina species these are much more
adapted to our Region and they have
learned to live with diseases and hopefully
let us keep them living with the disease
and not when the bugs come around rush
along with an insecticide to kill them -
because these trees will respond. They
may lose their foliage but in our exper-
ience they will come back from most in-
sect attacks.
Farmers have difficulty in believing me
when I say that we have a better forage
than alfalfa. Glyiricidia, leucaena, eryth-
rina species are better than alfalfa be-
cause first of all they are here and do not
have to be introduced. The advantage of
trees, rather than grazed forage, I see in
the ease with which we can manipulate
this particular form of protein. It is rela-

tively easy to separate the protein from
the fibre if you are working with forage
trees . ..
Then there are others not legumes
- but it almost seems to be that they are
growing in some form of symbiosis with
nitrogen fixing organisms. Brosimum ali-
castro is the Ramon of Southern Mexico.
You go to Merida and ask the farmers
what they like to feed to their dairy cows
- they say "Ramon". They buy whole
trees in the villages. The problem is estab-
lishment but once established it is an ex-
cellent forage and a rich source of pro-
tein. . .

Algae and earthworms
The algae why the algae? Because
they use photo-synthetic energy. They
use it also to clean up some of the mess
we make in our production systems. TheV
are very successful in incorporating the
carbon and the nitrogen in effluents -
raw effluents from livestock enterprises
or even better if they are coming from a
bio-digester and with solar energy they
can convert these into very rich protein
source. The Spirulina which I saw being
produced very effectively in Florida re-
cently is producing 30 grams a day of
dry matter with 60% protein on one
square metre of pond containing diluted
effluent. You build that up into the areas
you need to fatten pigs. You find that for
100 pigs a year, we can manage to get the
protein for those pigs from only 300m2
of pond producing Spirulina.
Now, that's something we can do in the
tropics. They can't do that in England or
France or North America. We can do that
in the tropics and it is to these areas that
we have to direct our research and deve-
Caribbean Farming-February 1988

lopment if we really want to be indepen-
dent and have our own protein source.
And then, finally, to make the point
- that the issue is one of integration. The
issue is utilizing solar energy which is the
richness of the tropics so that the sun
comes at the top of the chart because
that is the source of everything and we
select those species which will make best
use of that sunlight. We also take account
of what we need environmental protec-
tion, protein as a justification for putting
forage trees into that equation, aquatic
plants because of their tremendous effi-
ciency of utilizing their solar energy. We
don't want a cocktail on our farm but we
do want to have the farm integrated so
that we can take maximum advantage of
the resources that are available. The mis-
take we have made with sugar cane in
the early days is that we worried too
much about ruminants; we worried too
much about meat production and milk
production and we should have worried
much more about pigs and poultry be-
cause that is where the money is and
that's where the imports are. And I think
it is since we shifted the emphasis on sug-
ar cane processing to separation, squeez-
ing out the juice, this is what allowed us
to make the breakthrough. And so pigs
and poultry have become the number one
livestock element in our farming system-
Goats and sheep why goats and sheep?
Because these are very selective animals
- they are able to pick up from the sugar
cane bagasse, for example, the valuable
sugar-rich pith from the centre. They are
able to identify appropriate feed sources
because of this same activity. They are
much easier to house than are cattle. If
we are going to have trees then we can't
have our livestock running around; we've
got to confine them.

Then in the recycling we must remem-
ber not just the algae but also the humble

Allan Furman

In November las, the Jamaican Asso-
ciation of Sugar Technologists (JAST)
celebrated fifty-one years of service to
their industry. Guest speaker at the JAST
awards banquet was Allan R. Furman'
Representative of the United Nations
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
to Jamaica and the Bahamas.

Mr. Furman, an American national,
holds a B.A. degree in Political Science
and History from Drake University, Des
Moines, iowa. He did graduate studies in
International Affairs and Economics at
the George Washington University, Was-
hington, D.C., and in 1973-74 he was a
Fellow of the Harvard Centre for Inter-
national Affairs, Cambridge Massa-
He joined the U.S. Agency for Inter-
national Development in June 1962 as a
Management Intern and held positions of
increasing responsibility, including D
-rector of the USAID Mission to Haits
(1979-81) and U.S. Executive Director to
the International Fund for Agricultural
Development in Rome (1981-86).
Mr. Furman was appointed FAO
Representative to Jamaica in May 1986.
He has also served as the FAO Repre-
sentative to the Commonwealth of The
Bahamas since August 1986.
diMr. Fu man congratulated JAStT on i
tion's sugar industry. He also reminded
them of their wider responsibility :-
"In some respects the industry in
Jamaica has not changed appreciably
in the past century. As a result of techno-
logical advances in other countries, they
are producing more sugar per acre today
than you are in Jamaica. Thus in your
work you must give emphasis to activi-
ties which will help modernize the in-

technical work since the industry must
function within the larger objectives of
society such as clean environment, full
employment, cooperating management,
etc. These and other similar social issues
which are of national and/or global im-
portance require the industry to respond
responsibly and in a timely manner.
The preamble of the FAO consti-
tution suggests a broader objective for
those involved in agriculture: "to secure
improvements in the efficiency of the
production and distribution of all fooc'
and agricultural products". If you agree
with this objective, you must think ir
terms of all optional use of agriculture
lands as a means of producing food ir
all its different forms, whether this fooc
is being grown for domestic or expor
purposes. The topics you have discussed
over the past two days reveal that yot
are giving serious consideration to monI
Efficient management of cane energy!
systems, selection and breeding of monl
productive sugarcane varieties, improved
sugarcane agronomy, crop diversification
alternative uses of sugarcane and ever
an alternative to sugarcane. These are aii

is m mobe tan 6enptal qusptio:H
can you increase productivity of sugarcane
lands for other purposes through the
application of sound agronomic principles,
improved water management and more
economic use of basic resources using
programmes developed by you as sugar

There should be no doubt in anyone's
mind that the policy decisions which any
Caribbean Farming-February 1988

dustry by increasing resource p~roducti-
vity at the field level as well as in the fac
tory. More attention must also be given
to decreasing production costs. This can
be done by introduction of new varieties
which will yield more tons of cane sugar
per acre. Improved extraction methods
using more modern equipment in the fac-
tories could also speed up the crushing
process or increase the offtake at the
millend. By producing more cane per acre,
you can also reduce irrigation and trans-
port costs at the field level and by so do-
ing release land for production of other
agricultural commodities. There are no
doubt other areas of investigation which
hold promise for a new era which will
enable the industry to maintain its pro-
minent position in the nation's eco-
nomy and realize its full potential.
As the representative of the food and
agriculture organization, I want to chal-
lenge your professional skills and sug-
gest that you must look beyond improved
productivity of sugarcane lands solely
for sugar. Today, given the world mar-
ket conditions for sugar and press-
ues on 00ther ea d of hd iav ay ok

Jamaica's agricultural lands as a whole.
In this context you also have a broad-
er responsibility beyond the needs
of the industry. that of responding to
the needs of the nation. Indeed, some
of your efforts may indicate other areas
of concern or suggest alternatives which
may benefit society as a whole. As pro-
fessionals, you therefore must also point
out the socio-political aspects of your

F .A .O .


Addresses Jamaica


Of Sugar


Wef make


easier For you.

We'd like to make you an offer.
We will advise you on available local
investment opportunities. We cover
manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, film and
virtually all other areas in which lucrative
investments can be made.
Come to us for technical assistance,
opportunity profiles, finding and linking joint
venture partners, statutory incentives, and
the identification of 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 your project.
Your ideas remain confidential with JNIP.
i Come in and let's talk.

~"~P~ IWI Jamaica National Investment Promotion Limited
35 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 10, Jamaica, W.I. Tel: (809) 929-7190-5.
Caribbean Farming-February 1988

bean in general their incidence does not
suggest a crisis situation but that does not
mean there is no need for concern. You
cannot afford to be complacent. The
region is still a long way off from sus-
tainable food self-reliance, much less self-
suff'iciency. Caricom reports that this
region imports 49.5% of its total starch
requirements. However, today Jamaica
must import 67% of its national require-
ment of this basic food element.
The issue of food security at the glo-
bal and national level continues to be of
grave concern to FAO. As a consequence,
an important step was taken during 1985
toward mobilizing wider support for
world food security. At that time a world
food security compact was agreed to by
FAO-member governments which calls on
them as well as non-governmental organi-
zations and individuals to take action to
provide a comprehensive global food
security system. Among the specific ac-
tions to be undertaken were the encour.
agement of agricultural production,
avoidance of excessive dependence on im-
ports, and development of early warning
systems to identify and deal effectively
with the threat of food shortages. The
goal of achieving optimum levels of food-
sufficiency is neither too idealistic nor is
it unattainable for any nation. In Asia,
twenty years ago half of the world's

country makes as to the use of its agri-
cultural lands are and must remain that
country's prerogative. But that preroga-
tive also requires that the long-term ef-
fect of those policies must ensure that the
nation is fed adequately and nutritiously.
When this fails to happen, a national
problem becomes part of a global pro-
blem. This has happened in all too many
developing countries over the past forty
years when adequate attention was not
given to agriculture, particularly to the
need to increase production in order to
achieve at least a reasonable degree of
self-reliarice and, where possible, self'
sufficiency in national production of
After two centuries of nearly total pre-
occupation with sugar, what are the op-
tions in today's highly competitive, glo-
bal agricultural system? What are your
responsibilities to the nation, the society
and the industry? In many of the poorest
developing countries the spectre of mass
starvation, severe malnutrition and wide-
spread undernourishment are matters of
daily preoccupation for national leaders
and humble rural folk alike. While this is
not the case in Jamaica and other parts
of the Caribbean, undernourishment and
limited malnutrition do exist largely due
to the imbalance in the distribution of
nutritious food. In Jamaica and the Carib-

population lived on a quarter of the
world's food, and the prospect of that
area ever producing sufficient food look-
ed bleak indeed. Yet today, food self-
sufficiency has been achieved or is close
at hand in many of those same countries.
Indeed, India, which was once described~
as a permanent basket case, is today ex-
porting increasing amounts of grain and
other agricultural commodities.

Since its founding in 1945, FAO has
demonstrated in numerous practical ways
its commitment to increased agricultural
productivity. Over the years it has used
many approaches. Today, the organi-
zation is increasingly using a systems ap-
proach which covers the entire range of
farm activities. As in most developing
countries, Jamaican farmers use tradi-
tional farming systems which involve a
combination of activities. Efforts to
improve any one facet of production have
an impact on the others and, therefore,
must be understood if lasting change is to
occur. The FAO farming systems ap-
proach readily lends itself to analysis of
all factors of production. Thus once the
current activities are evaluated and under-
stood, it is possible to determine con-
straints on production and identify alter-
natives crops, practices, inputs, etc. -
which can overcome those constraints.

Ratoon Stunting Disease (RSD) is an
important disease of sugar cane causing
yield loss in most sugar cane growing
countries. In early 1987, the Sugar In-
dustry Research Institute (Agri. Div.),
with the aid of a consultant specialist,
attempted to establish conclusively whet-
her the bacterial pathogen, C/avibacter
xyli subsp. xy/i was endemic to Jamaican
sugar cane plantings. Examination of sug-
ar cane sap in Jamaica by phase contrast
microscopy followed by flourescent anti-
body staining techniques in Florida fail-
ed to reveal the presence of the RSD
pathogen in 243 sap extracts from 13
leading commercial varieties sampled
from 11 major cane growing areas. The
results suggest that Jamaica may be one
of very few cane growing countries free
of RSD, or that the pathogen exists at
such low density as to escape detection.

Andropogon annulatus syn. Dichantium
annulatum AND Cyperus rotundus


Premenauth Singh
Sugar Industry Research Institute
Kendal Road, Mandeville

From observation and discussions
over a two year period, manual and mec-
hanical methods give unacceptable con-
trol of Andropogon annu/atus and Cyper-
us rotunduss. However Talent (3. Opt/A)
+ Daconate (3. Opt/A) and Target (6.5
lb/A) applied post-emergent give good
control of A. annulatus up to 4.0" in
height for approximately 8 weeks.
Diuron ( 3 lb/A) + Actril DS (1 pt/A)
also applied post-emergent resulted in
very good control of Cyperus rotundus
up to 17 days after spraying. Findings for
the chemical control of Cyperus rotun-
dus were obtained mainly by observa-
tions and discussions.


D.W. Little
Sugar industry Research Institute
Kendal Road, Mandeville
In Agricultural Technology cane breed-
ing and development of sugar cane varie-
ties has led to the commercialization of
some 30 high yielding disease resistant
varieties, 12 of which were released over
the last 10 years. Improved methods and
technology in Weed Control and Growth
regulants, Sugar Cane Nutrition, Land
and Water Management and Field Mech-
anization, have been developed and are
being disseminated through an Exten-
sion Services Unit.

The Industry now requires an appro-
priate production plan, production incen-
tives and adequate management at all
levels capable of using the available tech-

D.C. Stanford
Sugar Industry Research Institute
Kendal Rod iMandeville

Many estates and farms of the Sugar
Industry have the capacity to increase
total agricultural output and income by
including diversification as a viable part
of their production system. In this regard
lands which are unsuitable for sugar cane
can often be used for pasture or tree
crop production. When old sugar canes
are to be replanted, the cycle of continu-
ous cane may be broken and grain legumes
or other short cycle crops grown prior to
replanting. Newly planted sugar cane may
also be economically intercropped. This
paper discusses recent initiatives to imple-
ment some of these ideas.


T. Falloon
Sugar industry Research Institute
Kendal Road, Mandeville

C.G. Fearon
Sugar Industry Research Institute
Kendal Road, Mandeville


An interim report on a survey of the
nutrient status of cane fields based on
leaf analysis of major Estates and select-
ed farms shows all Estate fields to be ade-
quately supplied with phosphate and only
2.5% of the fields on private holdings
were deficient.

Nitrogen and potash were the nutrients
commonly found deficient for some esta-
tes and private holdings. Nitrogen defi-
cencies were recorded in 23% of the total
Estate fields sampled in 1985-86 and pot-
ash deficiencies recorded in 18%.
There were no clear trends in nitro-
gen and potash deficiencies on private
holdings due to the reduced number of
fields sampled in 1985-86 compared to


Donovan Summers
SugaK Idstr oaR arc institute


The task of effectively controlling tht
harvest in the Frome area is very complex
there being over 3000 farms Soml
2,800 of these farms produce less that
250 tons of cane per year.
To simplify the task of quota alkc
cations and monitoring of these small
farms, a computer programme has beeni
written. The programme assumes that a
farmer will reap all his canes in a single
operation, and monitors the harvest
from weigh bills at the factory scales.
The programme is written in DBASE
3+ and is intended to be an "On line"
system to allow for variations in factory
demand or other harvest control para-
Caribbean Farming-February 1988

Abstracts From JAST Annual General 2Meeting

Having been successfully used by pak of Bristol on cores for easy dispensing For further information contact:
Growers throughout the world for over 10 in retail outlets. William Downey
years, retailers will be interested to hear in' addition, its Tildenet LS, the mar- KERRYPAK LIMITED
that Tildenet shade, windbreak and ~pre- ket leader in durable netting, is available
dator netting is now available from Kerry- with its own metal dispenser.

The Jamolco Agricultural Development Foundation

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

Venture Capital, Loans and Equity
Grants for Research and Training.
Technical Assistance.
If you have a project In argriculture or
y agrl-business which you
belleve is vioble contact:


Agricultural Development

'Working for the Future'
19 Dominica Drive, Kingston 5. Tel: 92-98090--2

Caribbean Farming-February 1988 1

M.E.A. Shaw
Sugar IMdsr IIeac cInstitute

Rapid decline in cane yield during the
early years of the ratoon cycle has been
shown to be a traditional feature of many
areas of the Jamaican Sugar Industry. In
some areas this has depressed overall cane
yields and shortened average replanting
cycles, both of which have adverse con-
sequences in respect of production cost.
As part of an effort to improve the
situation, a Ratoon Performance Index
(RPI) has been developed to measure the
extent and rapidity of the productivity
decline in successive ratoons. The RPI
can also be used as a management tool

in rational replanting decision-making,
and to indicate the need for improved
ratoon management practices.
The method of calculating the RPI,
as well as its use by management, are dis-
cussed. Historical ratoon performance
in selected areas of the Industry are given-



M. Bonnet Easy
Sugar industry Research Institute
Kendal Road, Mandeville
A genetic base broadening programme
was undertaken in 1969 aimed at expand-

ing the genetic base of varieties used as
parentage in the cross breeding program-
me. The programme involves the intro-
duction of several nobles, wild species
and the genus Erianthus (Ripidium)
which is known for its vigorous growing
habit, extended ratooning ability, resist-
ance to diseases and prolific tillering cap-

Some superior clones and promising
varieties are now emerging from the breed-
ing programme, showing the important
characteristics indicated above.
The Jamaican industry is expected to
benefit immensely from this programme
as a greater reservoir of productive long
ratooning varieties is now beginning to
be available to growers for commercial

The many friendly insects and spiders that co-exist in the rice fields are both parasites and predators of rice pests. Lady beetle feeds on a
brown plant hopper (a) and a tiny wasp thrives on rice leaf folder larva (b) says Dr Merle Shepard, entomologist of the International Rice Research Insti
tute (1.R.R.I.), Los Banos, Laguna.

Improper and indiscriminate use of in-
secticides often causes pest flareups. "By
exc~essive- use of chemicals, farmers not
only waste money and energy but also
inadvertently pave the way for pest re-
surgence," Shepard says. "We are deve-
loping ecologically sound and economic-
ally viable technologies, easily adaptable
to the local environment, to control
"Farmers can use simple survey
methods and, in a few scouting around
the fields, identify the beneficial in-
sects and spiders". If population levels
of the 'friendly insects' are adequate,
farmers should not treat the crop with
toxic chemicals, Shepard says. To help
farmers recognize beneficial insects, IRRI
has published the book "An ///ustrated
Guide to Pest Management in Rice in
tropical Asia" and will soon publish a
pictorial pocketbook, "Helpful Insects,
Spiders, and Diseases Friends of the
Farmer. "
"We also recommend that farmers take
into account the threshold levels of the
insect population before making a decision
to spray the crop," Shephard says. Thres-
hold levels vary with the insect. For

brown planthopper, for example, farr
ers are advised not to treat the fields ur
til hopper numbers go beyond 20 per hil
But one or two forage feeding caterpi
lars per hill is the limit. Populations bi
low these levels cause no significant ect
nomic loss.
The potential of biological control
enormous. A global estimate put the ri
turns at 3,600% every dollar invested I
in biological control research yields 1
return of $36 through benefits to farrr -
ers. "By adopting IPM, farmers can cLt
their chemical plant protection cost b /
50 to 70%, and still have a healthy crop, '
Shephard points out.
"We recommend spraying as a la ~t
resort, and only to prevent any out-
break. If spraying is absolutely essen-
tial, precise quantities of selective and
safe chemicals should be used.
"And we are looking at the possi-
bilities of plant-derived compounds, such
as neem, and microbial control agents,
such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses, to
control pests, rather than at petroleum
based chemicals," Shepard adds.

"IPM should be high on the priority
list of national programs."
Caribbean Farming-February 1988

Cultural and biological methods of
insect control, combined with pest-
resistant rice varieties, is called Inte-
grated Pest Management (IPM). "lPM
features low input technologies that do
not pinch the poor farmer's purse,"
explains Dr. Merle Shepard, International
Rice Research Institute entomologist.

Plowing-in rice stubble to get rid of
the pests that hide in it is the first, and
most important, step in the cultural con-
trol of insect pests, Shepard says. Simul-
taneous planting and keeping fields free
of other vegetation help ward off the
crop's enemies that can multiply on alter-
nate host plants. Alternately flooding
and draining fields will keep certain types
of insects, such as whorI maggots, at

Conservation of biological control
agents beneficial insects and spiders -
is very important. "Biological control of
crop enemies costs nothing. The farmer
only needs to do a bit of scouting to find
friendly insects that devour rice pests,"
Shepard says. "It is as important to make
a decision not to treat a field with insecti-
cides as it is to decide to treat with

Ecologically Sound Pest Control

cuts fertilizer expenses, Pandey says.
"And both crops add protein to the
starchy diets of subsistence farm fami-

The new Primers were patterned after
A Farmer's Primer on Growing Rice,
which is available in 33 languages and is
almost certainly the most widely publish-
ed agricultural text in existence. The new
Primers are also designed for easy and
inexpensive copublication. Text is mini-
mal; the illustrations convey as much in-
formation as possible. IRRI has blocked
the English text off the line drawings and
reprinted sets of the illustrations. Co-
operators may translate and strip the text
onto the artwork, then print non-English
editions on local presses.
The soybean Primer was released in
mid November 1987 and is already being
translated into Cebuano, Hindi, and
The Primers were made possible by a
collaborative project of IRRI and I ITA.

suhtorte tne tha Cosla veinstiup ons
(CGIAR), a consortium of about 50
donor countries, international and re-

gional organizations, and private founda-
tions that support agricultural research in
developing countries,
IRRI will release a fourth similar
book, A Farmer's Primer on Growing
Up/and drylandd] Rice, in early 1988.
The upland rice Primer was written by
Michael Arraudeau. a French plant
breeder on assignment at IRRI from the
Institute de Recherches Agronomiques
Tropicales et des Cultures Vivrieres
(IRAT), and IRRI plant physiologist Dr.
Benito S. Vergara (author of the original
Farmer's Primer). Arraudeau has many
years of experience in upland rice in Asia
and Africa.

To prepare for the new Primers, IRRI
conducted a research project on the
effectiveness of the Tagalog and Hili-
gaynon editions of the original Primer in
1986. The transfer of rice technology
information was measured among 84
small-scale farmers in Luzon and Negros,
Philippines. IRRI used the findings of the
study to "tailor" the three new primers
for more effective use. A paper describing
the research project is available from

.*-.i-:,C -. .. ~.- *I' rllR ;C
i `~sli r:
ri,. ~IL: LLV Ir;
,.6'r ';d.cl~r .

Dr. R.K. Pandey (right), author of two new "Farmer's" Primers" on growing soybean cowpea on
riceland, discusses the books with a farmer in a field of cowpea near Los Banos, Philippines.

Los Banos, Philippines Soybean and
:owpea are high-value, nutritious crops
:hat have great potential to fit into the
'ice-based cropping systems that domi-
late tropical agriculture.

To realize the full yield potential of
;oybean and cowpea, farmers must know
how the plants grow, thei critical growth
stages, and how to prevent stress at each
stage. Literature on growing the crops is
available, especially for soybean, in
temperate zones. But little has been
published on the "whys" and howss" of
growing soybean and cowpea in the
The International Rice Research In-
stitute (IRRI) and the International
Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
in Nigeria have published two new books
to fill that gap: A Farmer's Primer on
Growing Soybean on Rice/and and A
Farmer's Primer on Growing Cowpea on
Rice/and. Dr. R.K. Pandey, an agronomist
with IRRI's Rice Farming Systems
Program, wrote the highly illustrated
books to help small-scale farmers in the
tropics increase their productivity and
Caribbean Farrning-February 1988

income. The new Primers are also in-
tended for extension workers and
"Soybean is widely grown in tempera-
te zones, but not in the tropics," Pandey
explains. "But a soybean crop can gene-
rate farm income in the off-season after
the rice harvest, and help break the pest
and disease cycle associated with con-
tinuous rice cropping. "Soybean is also an
excellent source of protein and edible oil,
and a raw material for the food and
livestock feed industries.
"On the other hand, cowpea has been
grown in the tropics for centuries and is
well adapted to tropical environmental
stresses," Pandey says. "Cowpea tolerates
drought and can grow on poor, even acid'
soils." Improved short-or medium-growth
duration varieties from IlTA can profit-
ably fit mnto a wide range of cropping
systems. Cowpea is used as a food'
fodder, or a green manure crop that can
be grown with minimum inputs'
"Both crops 'fix' or draw nitrogen
from the atmosphere, so planting them
before or after rice enriches the soil and

IRRI Releases Farmers Primers

Information Supplied by:






no. of


cost ($)



rate per


Labour Operations

Land Clearing (pro-rated)
Ploughing & Harrowing
Nursery Cost
Reaping & grading
Transport to farmgate

Staking; gormandizing



Land charges
Interest on work. capt.

man < y
man a y
man y
man y
man v

man <

a 1.

Labour Operations
Plough & harrow
Apply herbicide
Cut, drop, & plant sticks
Apply pesticides
Transport to farmgate

tract. hr.
tract hr.



Sticks (incl. transport)
Fertilizer NPK
Sulphate of Ammonia





Land charges
interest on work. capt.

10%6 of labour & material
5% of material
15% of labour material
15%//yr. for 6 months

1 fo o~
5 of
$~ 3/ac
3t V. ol
1! J6/olv



1. Casual labour rate = $20/day
2. Marketable yield 8000 Ib
3. Interest rate not calculated for 5 mi
not be incured at the beginning of t
Cost of production per Ib. = 67c



1. Casual labour rate = $20/day
2. Marketable yield 10000 Ib
3. Interest rate not calculated for 12 months since weeding, reaping, and transport to farmgate will
not be incured at the beginning of the crop.
Cost of production per Ib. 22c

Caribbean Farming-February 1988





rates in Jamaican dollars.

no. of

10 )00




cost ($)







rate per






no. of

rate per

cost ($)

Labour Operations

Land Clearing (pro-rated)
Ploughing & Harrowing
Apply Herbicide
Weeding & thinning
Apply pesticides
Reaping & grading
Transport to farmgate

tract. hr.
tract. hr.
man day.
man day '
man day
man day






Land charges
Interest on work. capt.


10% of labour & material
5% of material
15% of labour & material
15%/vr. for 3 months



1. Casual labour rate $20/day
2. Marketable yield 8000 Ib.
3. Interest rate not calculated for 5 months since weeding, reaping, and transport to farmgate will
not be incured at the beginning of the crop.

Cost of production per lb. 30c


eding, reaping, and transport to farmgate will

Canibbean Farmmng-February 1988


L--R: Dr. Keith Roache, JADF Managing Director; Mr. Elon Beckford, JADF Chairman; Hon. Carl-
ton Alexander, O.J., Chairman/Chief Executive Officer Grace Kennedy; and Mr. Donovan Ander-
son, JADF Board Secretary.

farmers. These are persons having very
small acreages widely dispersed across
the island, posing special problems for a
centralised funding agency such as ours.
However, we have been working thr
ough intermediaries. Chief among thes:

spcfial too ssis Iml mb sned3s n
small farmers. In 1987, a grant 0
$300,000 and a loan of $1M was mad
to this organisation. The grant was to a~

si t ntatsoeund aton teo im rove its car

We have now been advised that the NDF/
has bee abl ao fvneeassistance to som

terestingly enough, that is greater tha
the number of projects we have in oL.
direct lending portfolio.
It should be noted that in assistir
enterprises such as Jamaica Poultr
Breeders Ltd., and B-Marts Corp., thi
foundation is also indirectly assistir]
small farmers.
Jamaica Poultry Breeders conducts th 3:
"grow out" operations of its poulti9
through contractual arrangements with
some 300 small farmers; while B-Marts
Corp. purchases the raw materials for its
agro-processing operations from a num-
ber of small farmers throughout the coun-
We have also given funding to Jamaica
Banana Producers Association Ltd. to en-
able this company to undertake a pilot
project for small farmers to encourage
and assist them to return to growing ban-
anas for export."
Canibbean Farming-February 1988

main criteria. These included Jamaica
Poultry Breeders Ltd. project to expand
its breeder farm operations; B-Marts
Corporation Ltd., an agro-processing pro-
ject, and Jamaica Standard Products
Ltd., an Agro-Industrial project.

twoD gop fom shic dwema c Iarmgedswth
special responsibility.
Both groups have posed special prob-
lems in the past.

th e ndio tot dairy farn rsr rns tof
past have been removed by recent Govern-
tm ttm plcvvbwic od d preferer tal

This has created a more favourable in-
vestment environment in the industry.
The foundation has therefore undertaken
a two-pronged approach in order to begin
the process of identifying the ways in
which we can assist.
We have planned a series of Workshops
for Dairy Farmers to focus on the present
status of the industry, its problems and
possibilities and to point -out directions
for future growth and development.
The first of these "Making Dairy
Profitable" was held on March 24 last
year. It attracted some 150 participants
and was considered very successful.
At the same time, we are engaged in
research and investigation into the indus-
try to assist us in developing -an overall
approach to investment assistance to the
We have not, to date been geared to
provide assistance to individual small

-- -men





Annual General


The third annual general meeting of
the Jamaica Agricultural Development
Foundation was held in Kingston 11
December last. Dr. Keith Roache, Man~
aging Director gave the annual report,
Some of bthe) Founodmati a's arctiviitn t

"We have recorded significant growth
d r mng tha etwhre 4 ear p r1od 08 8 o t

in investments increased by more than

from $40,000 in 1984/85 to $517,000
in 1986/87.

We also improved our rate of loan dis-
bursement significantly, disbursing some
$14m in 1986/87 as compared with
$7m in the previous year.
During 1986/87 also, we were able
to claim a more diversified portfolio than
in the past with the marked bias towards
horticulture seen in the 1985/86 port-
folio, giving way to a range of projects
including dairying, coffee and banana
production and agro-processing. During,
the year 1986/87, we committed an addi-
tional $13m to projects bringing our total
commitments to $28.5m.
Among our new projects this year
were a number of more integrated activi-
ties which employ new technology and
either earn or conserve foreign exchange,
thus satisfying one of the foundation's


Agl'0 Success Is In The Bag!

Wisynco's quality Agro Bags'will bring you the
desired success in your seedling agriculture.
And they come in five different sizes to suit
your particular farming needs.
Wisynco also has quality Banana Bags which
will give your bananas the necessary protection.
Wisynco Bags are always available, so get yours
today and be a success


The Overseas Development Natural
Resources Institute (ODNRI) was form-
ed on 1st September 1987 through the
amalgamation of the Tropical Develop-
ment and Research Institute (TDRI) and
the Land Resources Development Centre
(LRDC). It forms the scientific unit of
the British Government's Overseas Deve-
lopment Administration (ODA). In addi-
tion, a group of natural resource experts
from the ODA's Corps of Specialists is
now attached to the new Institute. The
Corps of Specialists is a group of people
with experience and knowledge of work
overseas or with speciahised professional
qualifications. They are employed direct-
ly1 by ODA under contract for periods
of up to 10 years and, as far as possible,
a-e seconded overseas continuously dur-
if g the period of their contracts,
The integration of a wide range of
e :pertise into a single, broader-based or-
g inisation is an extension of the policy
ir stigated in 1983 when TDR I was form-
ed] by the amalgamation of the Tropical

Products Institute and the Centre for
Overseas Pest Research.
ODNRI has the following mandate:-

to promote sustainable development
of the natural resources sector in
developing countries through:
* assessment of land and water pro-
* pilot-scale development projects;
* applied research in the fields of pest
control and of crop and animal pro-
cessing storage and marketing; and
* assessment of the environmental con-
sequences of development projects.
The Institute is a multidisciplinary or-
ganisation whose staff includes many spe-
cialIists -scientists,tech no logists, engi neers.
and economists. ODNRI's approach to
development problems is comprehensive
with appropriately chosen teams being
deployed overseas.
The main emphasis of ODN R 's work
is on the improvement of food supplies

and better utilisation of natural resources
in developing countries.
Work is also carried out on some non-
food cash crops of particular importance
to small farmers and/or the economies of
the developing countries.
At home and abroad ODNRI liaises
closely with government and internation-
al organizations, universities and industry.
The Institute also works closely with
multi-lateral and bilateral aid agencies.

For further information, write to:-
The Director
Ovemseas Development Natura/ Resources
Institu te
127 C/erkenwe// Road
London EC1R 5DB
Tel: 01-405 7943
Telex: 263907 (Mark for the attention of
Telefax: 01-831 9691
from ODNRI Newsletter

veterinary Medicine

--A challenging Career
The study of Veterinary Medicine arid Surgery has increased in
in portance over the past several decades. A probable reason is the
fa:t that agricultural economies around the world are being shifted
from a subsistence type of farming to modern systems incorpora-
til g both intensive and extensive approaches to animal produc-
tic n.
Veterinary medicine is both an art and science and today's
veterinarian is an individual dedicated to protecting the health
and welfare of both animals and people. Veterinarians are skil-
ledr in preventing, diagnosing and treating animal diseases.
Veterinarians are also responsible for the health of the live-
stock population including pets in a country.
The basic entry requirements for admission to a School of
Veterinary Medicine are at least five (5) subjects at the G.C.E. or
their equivalent of which a minimum of three (3) subjects must
be at Advanced Level. Other combination of subjects, at the Or-
dinary Level, include English, Mathematics, Foreign Languages
and Agricultural Sciences: and at the Advanced Level, passes in
Zoology or Biology, Chemistry and Physics would be be advan-
t ageous.
Unfortunately, there are no Schools of Veterinary Medicine
n the En lish Speaking Caribbean, hence students from this area
have to undertake their course of study in countries such as'
Australia, Canada, Hungary, the United Kingdom, the United
States and New Zealand. However, plans are being made for the
early opening of a School of Veterinary Medicine at the Mount
Hope Complex in Trinidad and Tobago which should increase the
opportunities for prospective students.
2aribbean Farming-February 1988

Overseas Development Natural Resources


Table 1: Yields of Tissue Cultured
Sweet Potato Plants, after 120 days at
U.W.I., Mona
Mean Estimated
Yield Yield
Cultivar (Kg/plot) (Kg./ha.)

5093 12.8 10,240
5081 23.2 18660
2532 16.3 13,040
TB11 10.6 8,480
5125 17.3 13,840
8250 13.1 10,280
Local 3.0 2,400

at Wageningen, the Netherlands. All were
successfully sub-cultured in the Botany
Department, and then handed over to the
Tissue Culture Laboratory of the Scientific
Research Council when it was established
in 1986. The S.R.C. undertook to propa-
gate and bulk these Cultivars, while the
Botany Department undertook to test the
promising cultivars in the experimental
plots at Mona. To this end, a variety trial
constituting six imported and one local
cultivars (for comparison) were planted
at U.W.I., Mona, three (3) replicates in

The interest of the Botany Depart-
ment, Mona, in the culture of sweet
potatoes, started with the training of
Dr. S. Potluri (August September,
1984) in the Tissue Culture Programme
at the International Institute of Tropi-
cal Agriculture (IITA), in Ibadan, Nigeria.
On her return, Dr. Potluri brought with
her 22 Cultivars of sweet potato which
were obtained from the germ plasm col-
lection of IITA. These were certified
to be virus/disease free by the Inter-
national Plant Protection Organization

Caribbean Farming-February 1988

Sweet Potato Project

plots measuring 12.5 sq. m. each.

After 120 days, tubers were reaped
and yields assessed. Results are given in
Table 1.

.r es Tubers from the three top yielders
(cultivars 5081, 5125 and 2532) were as-
- senseded for their quality by boiling them
and conducting a tasting session of a large
number of participants representing a
cross-section of the community. Cultivar.
5125 was the most popular, with smooth
31 pulp, sweeter in taste than the others and
needed only 30 minutes to cook. A close
runner up in taste was cultivar 2532 1hougl-
this needed about 45 minutes to cook.

Further testing for sustained goot
performance, pest and disease suscept
ability is continuing.


a ..
t \~ SIIrl' ==_

Writes on the Second Caribbean Regional
Workshop on Tropical Root Crops.

This important meeting was held Sept
14-18 in St. Vincent, West Indies, and
from it came the proposal that the group
organize itself as the Caribbean Region
of the International Society for Tropical
Root Crops.
St. Vincent is an island where root
crops are very important, first, as a large
portion of the agricultural production,
second, as a major export (90% of the
Production is exported), and third, as a
source of income from the exterior. The
traditional production of arrowroot is
eacreasing; the production of other root
c ops (sweet potato, yam, eddoe) is in-
c easing in importance. One might say
t at St. Vincent lives from its root
(ops. This dependence is likely to con-
t nue
The workshop was attended by about
0O people representing primarily the Les-
s tr Antilles. Representatives of FAO'
( IAT, and IlCA were also present Fifty
f ve papers were presented, of which 17
c ancerned sweet potatoes (10 on yam,
F on cassava, etc.). The Caribbean is a
i lace where sweet potatoes are import-
rnt. However, the relative importance
( iffers from island to island. It is useful
to note the kinds of papers presented on
5 veet potato in this meeting. A short
summary of papers follows.

No. of

sweet potato in nutrient films has been
developed at Tuskegee. Kind as well as
amount of nitrogen fertilizer influences
yields and protein content. Early, high
yielding varieties are more susceptible
to yield reduction by inter-cropping;
yield reduction is associated chiefly with
light reduction, but the situation is com.
plex. Megastes, the sweet potato moth
borer in Trinidad, is not yet effectively
controlled by plant resistance, chemical,
biological, or cultural methods. Gamma
irradiation applied tocontrol sprouting if at
too high levels leads to severe rotting. Eu-
scepes, the West Indian weevil in Barbados
is distributed not by flight but by infected
cuttings or related weedy /pomoea.
Drought resistantsweet potatoesare select
ed by screening cuttings for rootability and
pot tests in the greenhouse with one
month of drought treatment. Screening
for low sugar sweet potatoes in Trinidad
revealed several varieties. The enzyme pic-
ture with respect to starch hydrolysis ap-
pears more complex than visualized pre-
viously. Great interest in processing exists
in Guyana, especially as flour to reduce
the import of wheat. Non-sweet sweet
potatoes have been processed into puree '
fried chips, french fries, flour, starch, and

a toasted breakfast food. The social and
infrastructural characteristics of market-
ing were emphasized as additional and of-
ten forgotten factors in supplying market-
able sweet potatoes. There is great poten-
tial for improvement of marketability
through better post harvest handling,
grading, storage, and transport,

Elite Germplasm Preservation
FAO is now sponsoring a regional pro-
gram on germ plasm protection which
involves several institutions, with the
following objections.
1. In vitro collection of yams and cas-
sava in Trinidad.
2.Micropropagation of yams, cassava,
and sweet potato in Barbados.
3. Micropropagation of yam, tannier, and
taro in Dominica.
4. Training in root crop propagation in
5. Coordination in CARDI, Trmindad, of
in-vitro plant distribution.
This project means that within a rela-
tively short time selected root crop culti-
vars, including sweet potatoes, will be
available in vitro throughout the Carib-

Pests and diseases
Breeding and selection
Post harvest

Sweet potatoes are produced in small
plots on Saint Vincent from local and
regional varieties (especially Black Vine),
and are used locally and exported to
Trinidad. Presprouting water stress of cut-
tings limits later yields; drought resistance
is predicted by rootability of cuttings. A
system for producing storage roots of
Caribbean Farming-February 1988

Cont'd' on pg. 21

Sweet Potato News

20 Caribbean Farming-February 18

Subrahmanyam, P., and McDonald, D.
1983. Rust disease o~f groundnut. Inform-
ation Bulletin No. 13. Patancheru, A.P.,
India: International Crops Research Insti-
tute for the Semi-Arid Tropics.
Up to the late 1960s groundnut rust
disease, caused by the fungus Puccinia
arachidis,Sowa ron ad TTn iee Chee

spread rapidly and is now present in most
groundnut-growing countries of the world.
It can severely damage the crop, often
calUsing losses in pod yield in excess of
5( %
The bulletin describes disease symp-
toms, gives data on the morphology and
taxonomy of P. arachidis, and outlines
the disease cycle. The need for an inte-
grated approach to control of the disease
is stressed, and consideration is given to
the use of cultural, chemical, and biologi-
cal measures. The need to identify sour-
ces of genetic resistance and use them in
breeding programs is emphasized, and
rust-resistant genotypes available from
ICRISAT are listed. The efficiency of
some fungicides commonly used against
groundnut foliar diseases in controlling
rust disease is noted. Ways of modify-
ing cultural practices to reduce the inci-
dence and severity of the disease are dis-
cussed. Hyperparasites of the rust fun-
gus occur but there is no immediate pros-
pect of their use in controlling the disease

The components included in an inte-
grated control system for groundnut rust
depend upon environmental, agronomic,
and socioeconomic factors. As these are
highly variable it is not appropriate to
give a single overalI recommendation for.
the control of the disease. But the bulle-
tin provides advice and data on the basis
of wih extension staff can work out th

disease situations.

Dick, K.M. 1987. Pest Management
in stored groundnuts. Information Bulle-
tin no. 22. Patancheru, A.P. 502, 324, In-
dia: International Crops Research Insti-
tute for the Semi-Arid Tropics.

When groundnuts are stored, either as
pods or kernels, they are susceptible to
insect attack. The publication describes
the main pest species and briefly outli ses
their ecology and behaviour. The use of
traps to detect pest populations in stc es
is discussed and methods of estima! ag
quantitative losses are described. Reo n-
mended pest management technic es
are outlined with emphasis on pre\ n-
tion of infestation by improving stole ge
practices. The potential inputs to an i .e-
grated control program are examir d.
Screening for host-plant resistance to
storage pests is discussed and gen -al
guidelines for these experiments given.

A Guide to Growing Tropical Mushrooms
in Jamaica
This publication of Jamaica's Scientific
Research Council was prepared by Audia
Barnett, whose preface says that the aim
of the 17-page booklet is to introduce the
new grower to the fundamentals of mush-
room cultiwitiona The manual faocue on

which present fewer difficulties for the
new grower and are quite delicious, Mrs.
Barnett tells us. The author feels that
once a tropical mushroom industry is ini-
tiated in Jamaica, the cultivation of other
varieties such as the popular Button
Mushroom will follow.
The booklet is written in clear English
and is illustrated with line drawings of
mushroom species in commercial pro-
duction. Three pages are devoted to cost
estimates for setting up a mushroom busi-
ness on different scales cottage, pre-
commercial and commercial.
The Guide is available from the
Scientific Research Council, P.O. Box
350, Kingston 6, Jamaica for Ja$40/copy
plus postage for mailing overseas.

The international Crop Research Institute
for the semi-arid tropics (ICRISAT) is a non-
profit scientific educational institute receiving
support from a number of governments and
international and private organizations.

bank draft or personal check, dre vn
against an international bank in the Uni .ed
States (in Colombia, payment may be
made with a personal check or national
money order). Coupons issued by CIAT,
AGRINTER, and UNESCO are accepted
as payment.
Nonprofit national entities, .univer
sities, and organizations receive special
discounts depending on the number of
units ordered. Orders should be addressed

tCIAT, Publications Distribution and
Marketing, Apartado aereo 6713, Cali,

The audiotutorial units listed below,
produced in 1986 and the beginning of
1987, are available from the Publications
Distribution Office of CIAT:
- Stages of development of the common
bean plant. Series 04EB-09.03, Febru-
ary 1986.
- Bean production system in Africa.
Series 04EB-01.01, February 1986.
- Principles of intercropping with beans.
Series 04EB-12.05, February 1986.
- The morphology of the common bean
plant. Series 04EB-09.01, March 1986.

- Mejoramiento del frijol por introduc-
cion y selection. Serie 04SB-08.03,
March 1986.
- The cultivated species of Phtassolus.
Series 04EB-09.02, April 1986.
- Main insects of stored beans and their
control. Series 04EB-05.03, March
_ Principal diseases of beans in Africa.
Series 04EB-12.05, May 1987.
The price of each unit, including air
postage, is US$100. Payment should be
made along with order in the form of in

Publication notices

Audiotutorial Units On Beans

Tropical Root Crops Symposium

The International Society for Tropical
Root Crops will hold its VIll symposium
in Bangkok from Oct 30 to Nov 5, 1988.
The theme of the symposium will be
MODERN WORLD". This theme has
been chosen because many root crop
workers have found that concentrating
their efforts solely on the production side
it frequently an ineffective manner of as-
sisting both producers and consumers in
th~e changing world of today. Efforts need
to, be directed to producing goods that
have a large demand in the modern world.
The type of goods has been changing
rapidly and this symposium will concen-
tt ate on the role of root crops in meet-
it g these changing demands.

a While thersymposium will deal with a
inivit speakers willedisceuss the following

F 'esent papers relating to these topics:
1) The move from subsistence to cash
cropping. This section will concen-
trate on the production aspects
with special emphasis on the sus-
tainability of new production tech-

2) Meeting the demands for con-
venience foods and animal feed.
This section will concentrate on
the processing of root crops after
harvest and the potential demand
for new products both for human

and animal consumption as well as
for Industrial use.
3) Root crops and social change. The
root crops are mainly produced by
small farmers and hence changes in
the structure of production, pro-
cessing and marketing will have pro-
found social implications. This-sec-
tion will provide a forum for the
discussion on how these social
changes can be beneficial for the
welfare of the small scale producer.

The symposium provides the opportunity
for root crop workers to present the re-
sults of their work to other workers in
the area. In order to ensure a high stand-
ardco the presentations and als t p e
contributors should subi ta h t as

1988. Full papers must be submitted by
July 30, 1988. Details of the format of
papers will be sent in a later circular. The
abstracts and final papers will be used to
select the presentations that will be made
at the symposium. AII abstracts submit-
ted to the society will be made available
at the time of the symposium. Selected
papers will later be published. in the
symposium proceedings.
The symposium organizers are actively
searching for funds for a limited num-
ber of travel grants for participants who

cannot obtain their own travel funds. AII
potential participants should search for
their own support to attend the meet-
ing; however, if you feel that it is un-
likely that you can obtain funding please
state so in the enclosed form. Travel
grants will be made on the basis of the
papers submitted to the symposium or-
ganizers. If you wish to be considered for
a travel grant your full paper must be sub-
mitted with the abstract by May 30, 1988.
The registration fee for the symposium
will be US$140.00 for participants and
US$40.00 for spouses. This fee permits
a participant to attend the technical
sessions, the symposium dinner, every
day lunch and coffee breaks, and to re-

ci a n topy fte Poe ige. Te

oaeb en obtained, rangingghfrom noue
occu ancy
The symposium organizers are willing to
organize a one day post symposium tour
of cassava producing areas on November
6, if there is sufficient interest from parti-
cipants. Please indicate if you are likely
to take this tour.
All papers will have to be submitted and
be presented in English. There will be no
simultaneous translation.

I ont'd. from pg. 19
With respect to the sweet potato pnase,
I quote from the letter of Dr. Roger Ban-
croft, ODA/PTAS Plant Pathologist and
Tissue Culture Specialist:
"Since the early 1980's, there has been
considerable discussion about the need
to exploit micro-propagation techniques
to facilitate the distribution within the
Caribbean region of improved and disease-
free planting material of a variety of
crops. Although there have been some
successes overall, I understand that the
progress in this field has been slow. Re-
cently, however, the FAO has agreed to
provide funding for CARDI to support
the "Micro-propagation of plants" as part
of the project on 'Yam and Cassava
For my part, I have been asked to co.
ordinate the activities of the tissue cul-
Caribbean Farming-February 1988

ture laboratory in Barbados with a view.
I) Assembling and maintaining, in vitro
and in vivo, the major germplasm groups
of yams, cassava, tannia and sweet pota-
to clones of the region. II) To micro-pro-
pagate selected disease-free clones of
yam, cassava and sweet potato. III) To
distribute in vitro plantlets to the various
countries participating in the scheme.

At the present time the tissue culture
laboratory- in Barbados maintains two
major lines of virus free Dioscorea alate
(White Lisbon and Oriental), ten varieties
of cassava (originally imported from
CIAT in Columbia) and eight sweet pota-
to lines (obtained from the Univdrsity
of Clemson, South Carolina, USA). To in-
crease the scope of our work, it will be
necessary for us to solicit in vitro germ-

plasm from local and extra-regional sour-
ces. It has been suggested that CARDI
should approach the following inter-
national research centres for help: CIAT,
Puerto Rico, MINAGRI/Cuba and EM-

Are the best available cultivars going
to be made available? Unless the project
becomes aware of what is already avail-
able and good, it can hardly distribute
the best. Here is a common problem in
the Caribbean. With respect to sweet
potato, we don't know well enough
what we have and what it is good for.
We who are interested in the sweet
potato need to work together so that
this important effort is maximized.

During October last the Mninister was the
guest speaker at the "Seminar on Feed Man-
agement for Improved Pig Production"., held
at the Hilton Hotel and sponsored by Roberts
Manufacturing Company. In his address to the
participants, Mr. Franklin looked at the future
of the industry and outlined the roles that would
have to be played by different persons in the
industry if the future was to be a bright one.

"A historical review of developments
in the pig industry is important to allow
for the future planning of the industry.
The emergence of pig farmers and pork
processors is a new development. In the
past, the majority of pigs were produced
in backyards of homes and fed on swill
or other waste produce. They were sold
to neighbours or speculators passing
through the district at the time when
money was most needed for example,
to pay the doctor or school fees. There
are now well organised pig farms and
established pork processors. The pro-
cessors must plan their production on the
basis or scheduled deliveries of carcasses
of an acceptable quality. These develop-
ments in the industry must be taken into
account when the plans are being made
for the future growth of the industry.
The actors directly involved in the pig
industry are -

the Ministry of Agriculture, Food
& Fisheries
the pig farmers
the processors
the Barbados Agricultural Society
the feed companies
the veterinarians

The Ministry's objectives for the In-
dustry for the next foreseeable future are

to maintain self-sufficiency in pro-
duction for the fresh pork market,

to develop an export trade in
fresh pork and processed pork
to supply at least 75% of the raw
material requirements of the local
processing industry through
domestic production,
-to minimize production costs with
in the industry.
Its strategy to achieve those objectives
will be geared


to educate farmers concerning the
roost appropriate feeding regime
to follow
to encourage farmers to recognize
that different production techn-
iques should be followed depen-
ding on whether production is for
the fresh pork or the processed
pork market and to adopt the ap-
propriate production technique.

to~encourage pig farmers to prac-
tise a very high level of manage-
to promote an appropriate pricing
policy in the industry so as to
facilitate its further development,
to promote greater planning and
programming throughout the in-
The Ministry will initiate the follow-
ing activities in the furtherance of this

institute a selection programme at
the Government owned stations
with a view to identifying and
utilizing animals showing the best
characteristics, thus contributing
to the long-term improvement of
the industry.
provide an Artificial Insemination
Service to pig farmers.
provide a more effective advisory
service for pig farmers
improve the facilities available for

the slaughter of animals.
offer farmers regular training pri
grammes so that they can improl
their skills.

institute a testing programme fr
the quality of livestock feeds.

The supporting public sector inves
ment programme for the attainment (
these objectives includes,
- the construction of an Abbato r
Meat Packing House and Renderit ]
Plant and a Livestock Developmer :
_ Veterinary Diagnostic Support -
Extension of Service,
- Development of local feeding system s
will continue.
I must take this opportunity to con -
pliment the National Association of P:g
Farmers for the effort they have mac e
in the past year, namely, to improve thle
quality of the local pig.

- by the importation of pedigree breed-
ing stock
- by the continuation of the education-
al programme for their membership
- by the reduction of the price of pork
to the processors.
These actions individually and col-
lectively demonstrate a commitment by
the Barbados Agricultural Society to play
its part in the further development of the
Caribbean Farming-February 1988

Agriculture Minister looks at the future

of the pig industry in Barbados
-- Barbados Agricultural Society Newsletter

fTHERMOCO~-Th Cribans eaig am latis

local carcasses is now $2.35. The farmers
have kept their part of the bargain. It is
the turn of the processors to honour their
commitment to the sector.
The cost of feed is 65% of the cost in
the production of pork. Therefore the
cost and the quality in relation to nutri-
tion content from this feed are of the ut-
most importance to pig farmers. The cost
and quality of feed can determine whet-
her the producers makes a profit or a loss
on this investment.
If feed manufacturers keep these factors
in mind, they will know that their role in
the industry must be:

- continuing research into feed com-
ponents suitable for pigs.
_ developing feeds which utilise locally
produced inputs whenever possible.
- assisting in the development of local
varieties suitable to our conditions
_ the production of high quality feeds."

cuts not generally used for process-
- adopting new technologies and im-
proving management skills
- more aggressive marketing for their
products overseas and
- participating in a continuing edu-
cational programme for the Indus-
It might be convenient here for me
to jog the memory of the processors about
their targets for the use of local pork.

Pig farmers should further their invol-
vement by designing an educational pro-
gramme which will enable members of
their Association to improve.

hygenic conditions in pens
housing design with facilities for:

(i) keeping the feed fresh
(ii) providing adequate feed trough
space; and
(iii) adequate and efficient arrange-
ments for waste disposal.
their management skills
The BAS must also evoke an equit-
able system for the marketing of its mem-
bers' pigs which ensures that the owners
of one or two pigs are guaranteed an ade-
qluate continuing share of the market and
are not in a disadvantageous position \?is~
a-vis large producers.
Isee the processors are making their
contribution to the industry by
Maximising the use of local pork
- developing new products using those

Local Imported
60% 40%

Local Imported
60% 40%

Carcass Price

Carcass Price

Carcass Price



I need only state that the price for

THERMOCO -High Quality Plastic S
Products in a wide assortment of styles PR(
and colours... Beautiful durable TP
houseware products, Melamine Tableware
for schools and Institutions,
Flower Pots and Garden Hose.
Industrial Contairners; Utility, Field
and Bottle Crates, Chairs and Polyester Trays...
PVC and CPVC non-corrosive Pipes and Fittings.
(PVC Bottles are Manufactured by Plas-Pak
a subsidiary of Thermo-Plastics).


P. O. Box 680, Twickenham Park,
Spanish Town, Jamaica, W.I.
Telephone: 984-3061-- 7,
Telex: 8484, TH ERMOCO.

Chelse Elcroic (Condunlt J. E. Nasis Kasseh Hardare
47b Newg~at Street Roseu, Dominica Liverpool Rowe
St. Johns, Antigua Telephone: 4452852 P.O. Box 111
Telephone: 21302 Geo. F. Huggins C~o. (Gran.) Ltd. Bassetrre, St. Kitts
John F. Shout (Housewar) Geddes Grant Division Telephone: 382
Newgat Street P.O. Box 46 Renwick & Company Ltd-
St Johns. Antigus St. Georges, Grnasd 19 Bridge Sutrt
Telephone: 21039, 21440 Telephone: 2031-33 Castries St. Lucia
T. Gdde Grat (arbaos)Ltd.M.LOsborneTelephone: 2257, 2265, 3899
White Park Road P.O. Box 287 T. Geddes Gant (St. Vincent) Ltd.
P.O. Box 238 Plymouth, Monserra P.O. Box 257
gehdptown, B dos Telephone: 2494. 2495 wiptorn, 5rVncnt

T. GOddes Grnt (Trninkld) Ltd.
1 Chacon Street
P.O. Box 171
Port-Of-Spain, Trindasd
Telephone: 62-54441-7
T. Goddes Grnt (Guyana) Ltd.
25/26 Main Stret
Georgetown, Guyana
Telephone: 02-72031-8

Mem Suriname N.V.
Hernstrat 4
P.O. Box 1843
Panramrbo. Surinam
Telephone: 72351
Melam Plastic Products, Inc.
2533 Northwest 74th. Avenue.
Miami, Florida3312.
Telephone' 305/594-4777.
Telex: 529329.

:aribbean Farming-February 1988

Biogas in St. Lucia

The problems have pushed planners,
environmentalists and others to seek al-
ternative energy forms, especially for the
rural areas. Many farmers have express-
ed the need for these alternative energy
sources in order to help them move away
from charcoal, propane and firewood,
This expression, coupled with the con-
cern of energy experts has resulted in the
increased publicity and use of biogas,
As a result of a series of seminars held
in St. Lucia in 1985 a number of farm-
ers have built bio-digestors.

Since using the gas from their dig-s
tors for cooking, they have never had to
purchase liquid propane gas. Cooking is
now done without the fear of gas run-
ning out. As far as cooking gas goes the
experience is that more of this activity
is now conducted in the household, and
baking which was scarcely done has been
more common. Additionally, all owners
agree that sanitation is vastly improved.
There are no offensive smells, and files
have virtually disappeared. One farmer
has channelled the digested waste to run
Caribbean Farming-February 1988

The need for energy has placed tremen-
dous pressure on our natural resources
as people who cannot afford kerosene
and bottled gas continue to use the tradi-
tional firewood, charcoal and other mate-
rials like coconut husks and shells. How.
ever, the production of firewood and
charcoal have in some ways resulted in
very serious undesirable effects like de-
forestation, soil erosion and reduction in
water resources. These in turn have long
term harmful effects on agriculture and
our soil and water resources.

down-hill into his banana holding. By his
account, his plants are healthy, there is
increased production through bigger and
heavier bunches without the use of
chemical fertilizers.

The digestors built to date have been
fairly expensive and efforts are being
made to reduce this cost in order to make
the technology more attractive and af-
fordable; the ai~ is to get the capital
cost of a 5--6mJ digestor to $2500 -
$3000. In addition to these measures a
new design, the Chinese type (fig. 3), is
being introduced. The expensive metal
gas holder is not needed in this type of
unit because the gas is stored in the space

(ii) to demonstrate the feasibility of
biogas technology for waste hand-
ling in agro-industry, on farms and
in rural communities;

(iii) identification and assessment of
opportunities for bio-digestor

The technology of biogas production
which began in 1984 has been accepted

The digestors built so far, have been
ei:her the cylindrical type (fig. 1) or the
dome-shape (Grober) type (fig. 2). All
ce rry metal gas holders to trap the gas
at d are of the continuous type. That is,
w len the charge slurry goes into the di-
gtstor, an equal amount of digested
tra trial is pushed out. In tis way there is
n I need to empty the digestor for clean-
ir g except if non-organic materials like
plastic, sand or stones enter the digestor.
The established units, which can be
ft und from the Northern to Southern
parts of the island all use pig manure as
ti e fermenting charge material. The gas is
u:.ed mainly for cooking although one
ft rmer uses it to cure tobacco, while
another runs a refrigerator on the gas.
The digestors built to date have been
fairly expensive and efforts are being
made to reduce this cost in order to make
the technology more attractive and afford-
able; the aim is to get the capital cost of
a 5-6m3 digestor to $2500 $3000. In
addition to these measures a new design,
the Chinese type (fig. 3), is being intro-
duced. The expensive metal gas holder is
not needed in this type of unit because
the gas is stored in the space (A) above
the digestor. This will result in a reduc-
tion in the cost of the digestor.
The established units, which can be
found from the Northern to Southern
parts of the island all use pig manure as
the fermenting charge material. The gas
is used mainly for cooking although one
farmer uses it to cure tobacco, while
another runs a refrigerator on the gas.
:aribbean Farrning-February 1988

(A) above the digestor. This will result in
a reduction in the cost of the digestor.
The biogas programme came as a result
of the adoption of the Regional Energy
Action Plan (REAP) by Caricom Govern-
ment of which the Regional Biogas Ex-
tension Programme forms an integral
part. The objectives of such as program
me are:

(i) to create a cadre of trained artis-
ans and technicians able to design'
build and operate biogas digestors
and utilize their products efficient-
ly and effectively;

locally. To date most of the biogas pro-
duced locally is used for direct heating
purposes, but the gas can be used for
lighting, driving motors and as the energy
sources to power cooling systems such as
refrigerators. In fact the local biogas pro-
gramme will seek to expand the use of
the gas in cooling systems. As a first step
a prototype cool room for on-farm use
is to be build, At Banonneau on Mr Pat-
terson Charles' farm. A cool room could
be very valuable to farmers for storage of
produce and as a result increase shelf life
of produce.

Bamboo Avenue, Jamaica.


Bamboo is all things to some men, and
some things to all men. It has been dubbed
the "poor man's timber" because many
people in the rural areas of the develop-
ing world live with bamboo from birth
until death bamboo cradles, bamboo
toys, bamboo tools, and even bamboo
There are thousands of uses for this
beautiful plant which is actually a mem-
ber of the grass family. It can be made
into barrels, baskets, bridges, brooms'
cages, carts, chairs, chopsticks, food'
fences, fishing poles, flutes, hats, houses'
kites, ladders, lanterns, medicines, paper,
pipes, toothpicks, umbrellas, xylophones
- the list goes on.
Bamboo is found on all continents
except Europe, in temperatures ranging
from 40oC to 82oC, at latitudes from
46oNorth to 47oSouth, and from sea
level to 400m. Over 60 genera and ap-
proximately 1500 species have been iden-
tified. The species range' from miniature

ornamental types to giant bamboos that
can grow 40 m high, with a base circum-
ference of 50 cm.

There is much to be learned about this
long-neglected species. Some bamboos
flower only once in 120 years. Plants of
the same bamboo species flower at the
same time regardless of geographic lo-
cation or climatic condition a biological
mystery. Once it flowers the stem of
culm withers and dies, and must regenerate
either from seed or from the surviving rhi.
zomes which are underground stems that
send up shoots.

IDRC is supporting a network of re-
search projects throughout Asia to help
solve some of these biological mysteries;
to collect, classify, and preserve different
species; and to study the effects of fertili-
zation and soil types on yield. The re-
searchers are also learning the best
methods of preserving bamboo for more
efficient use in construction, handicrafts,

and tools. And they are studying ways
intensify the production of edil e
bamboo shoots.
In Anji county of Zhejiang Provin J,
China, bamboo forests stretch as far Is
the eye can see. As the spring rain er is
and warm winds blow in from the sou 1,
pickers walk in solitude through -'e
culms gathering the young shoots.
When the air is still the pickers an
hear the shoots growing, for bamboo an
grow over a metre in 24 hours a~nd
reaches full maturity within a year. It
seems to be in a hurry yet it is one of the
most ancient plants on earth 100 to
200 million years old. Some have said
that bamboo, like the horse, the cow,
wheat, and cotton, has influenced man'
man's own evolution. Or in words spoken
over 800 years ago by a Chinese philo-
sopher, Pou-Son-Tung: "A meal should
have meat, but a house must have bam-
boo. Without bamboo, we lose serenitY
and culture itself."
Caribbean Farming-February 1988

The Towering


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cocoa beans is held for local processors, who consistently strive
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