Introducing farmers to best practices in onion production

  • Post category:News

Though many times, onions are accompanied by sniffles and tears from watering eyes, they are considered a staple in many Caribbean kitchens, and are, the go to seasoning, when it comes to cooking, making the crop, high in demand. In Tobago, CARDI has been conducting evaluation trials to identify suitable onion varieties that are well adapted to local conditions and which meet
grower requirements – high marketable yield, disease resistance, good quality and storage potential. The varieties evaluated were Mercedes, Caballero, Red Onion and Granex Yellow.


On Wednesday 22 March, 2023, CARDI in collaboration with the Division of Food Security, Natural Resources, the Environment and Sustainable Development hosted a Field Day to highlight the results of these trials at the Goldsborough Demonstration and Training Centre in Tobago.


The Field Day provided farmers and interested stakeholders with information on best practices for onion cultivation. Topics covered included land preparation, fertilizer application, pest and disease management, harvesting and post- harvest handling and storage. In addition the performance of each variety was discussed and an onion production schedule introduced to those in attendance. CARDI’s Technician in Tobago, Selby Quashie facilitated the Question and Answer segment which followed the field tour.


According to CARDI’s Executive Director, Ansari Hosein the Field Day was aimed at equipping farmers and students, with the best information and resources to improve production and increase their profitably.


The Ministry of Trade and Industry estimates Trinidad and Tobago’s annual food import bill to be TT$ 5 billion. Increasing local production of key commodities is critical to reducing the country’s burgeoning food import bill. When local alternatives are available for purchase the domestic economy is boosted and local manufacturers and farmers supported.


Among those in attendance were Mrs. Nathisha Charles-Pantin, Tobago House of Assembly’s, Secretary for Food Security, Natural Resources, the Environment and Sustainable Development and CARDI’s Executive Director, Ansari Hosein, students from MIC Institute of Technology and farmers.