Barbados’ premier agricultural exhibition, Agrofest, was held from 28 February – 01 March 2020 at Queen’s Park in Bridgetown. The exhibition which is hosted by the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is designed to sensitise the public on the importance of the agricultural sector.
CARDI Barbados participated and gave an insight into the Institute’s work in Barbados and around the Region.
On display were samples of the Institute’s work on the focal areas of hot peppers, roots and tubers and small ruminants. CARDI Barbados has the largest germplasm collection of sweet potato on the island – from which planting material is provided to farmers on an ongoing basis. Under the Institute’s hot pepper programme, a seed collection of over 100 accessions is maintained in Barbados. From here, breeder seeds for varieties such as Scotch Bonnet are produced and sent to Antigua and Barbuda for commercial multiplication. In the area of small ruminant production, CARDI showed off the results of our research work to develop alternative rations using local materials such as cassava peels and mulberry and provided information on high yielding, nutritious forage species.
CARDI Representative, Ansari Hosein also used the platform to provide an overview of Phase II of the Regional Coconut Project, funded by the European Union and CARIFORUM and jointly implemented by CARDI and the International Trade Centre (ITC). Launched in Barbados last year, work will continue to focus on improving the supply of quality planting material and addressing pests and disease issues on the island. Attention will also be focused on value added product development and increasing the supply of coconut water as demand currently outstrips supplies.