In Grenada, CARDI in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands hosted a one day training for farmers, 4-H groups and agriculture officers on root crop production. Through practical sessions, participants were exposed to best practices, smarter technologies and new techniques for growing cassava, yam, sweet potato, tannia, eddoes, dasheen, ginger and turmeric.
The Government of Grenada has prioritized root crops for increased production in 2020. Root crops have also been identified as priority commodities by CARICOM and CARDI for food and nutrition security.
Speaking at the start of the training Chief Extension Officer, Randolph Shears said that the plan is to capitalize on Grenada’s ideal growing conditions to improve production and productivity. CARDI Representative, Reginald Andall was confident that once farmers utilise the new knowledge gained and adopt the best practices Grenada can realise its goal of becoming self-sufficient in root crop production.
CARDI has had a long track record of research on roots and tubers in the Region. The Institute has a collection of more than 30 varieties of cassava and 70 varieties of sweet potato conserved in germplasm banks spread across the region. Over the last few years, researchers have been demonstrating the use of the rapid propagation techniques for cassava and sweet potato which have facilitated an increase in the supply of planting material to farmers. The Institute has also successfully pioneered the adoption of integrated pest management strategies to combat pests and diseases such as sweet potato weevil, the cassava hornworms and cassava bacterial blight.