The Commonwealth of Dominica is the most northerly and largest of the Windward Islands, and is known as the nature island of the Caribbean. It covers an area of 751 km² (290 mi²).It is heavily forested and is renowned for its lakes, waterfalls and over 365 rivers. The highest point is Morne Diablotins, which rises to 1,524 km (5,000 ft) above sea level. The average annual rainfall is 1,981 mm (78 in). The agricultural sector includes production of bananas, citrus, coconuts, cocoa, herbal oils and extracts. Historically, banana production has employed over one-third of the labour force – directly or indirectly. However, the sector has been facing challenges with the loss of the preferential European Union markets for bananas. There has been diversification into other crops such as citrus fruits, vegetables, coffee, patchouli, aloe vera, cut flowers, mangoes, guavas, and papayas. Increasingly the Government is promoting the island as an “ecotourism” destination. In 2009 agriculture recorded a decline in growth as a result of the effects of Hurricane Dean. However, some 40% of the population is still dependent on agriculture which contributed 17% of GDP in 2009.
The research and development portfolio of CARDI Dominica is quite varied and it includes work on roots and tubers, fruit crops and hot peppers. The Unit has long history of technology development for root crops such as yam, dasheen and tannia and it has now begun work on sweet potatoes. It also has a long standing relationship with the Dominica Export and Import Agency (DEXIA) with the development and transfer of hot pepper production technologies to support the export trade of the commodity. Similarly, the Unit has partnered with the Nature Island Pineapple Producers Association (NIPPA) for the development and promotion of pineapples on the island. In collaboration with its other partners, CARDI Dominica has initiated activities to develop undercover / protected agriculture systems.
- Characterise sweet potato accessions in Dominica
- Assess the pungency of “Bonda Ma Jacque” landrace hot pepper.
- Preliminary investigations on the effect of different rates of N and K applications on pineapple (ratoon crop) yields
- Identify and validate pineapple varieties for agro-processing
- Validate CTV resistant root stocks and root stock/scion combinations.
For highlights of work by the CARDI office in Dominica, Click here