Bearing a close resemblance to the Scotch Bonnet, Caymanian seasoning peppers are flavourful and less pungent, making it a very popular condiment in the country’s cuisine. Annually, CARDI, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture (DOA) produces seasoning pepper seeds.
CARDI is responsible for stabilizing and purifying the peppers that are grown at the Institute’s field station located on the DOA’s compound in Bodden Town.
In April, CARDI began the extraction of seeds from the 2020 crop. For some of the fruits that did not meet the strict quality guidelines for seed production, CARDI donated over 10lbs of fresh berries to the Meals on Wheels charity. The berries were used to prepare meals for seniors that were locked down at home during the COVID-19 crisis.
“We were happy to make this donation to the Meals on Wheels programme and it is something CARDI will continue to do in the future, for crops such as cassava and sweet potatoes. We understand the importance of our senior citizens having access to healthy, wholesome meals, Dr Annika Minnott, CARDI Representative in Cayman Islands stated.
The seeds produced by CARDI are handed over to the Department of Agriculture for seedling production. These seedlings are sold to the public. Between 2018-2019, CARDI supplied more than 850 grams of seeds to the DOA for seedling production.