Introducing new dasheen varieties in Grenada

  • Post category:News

Two dasheen varieties introduced by the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) in St Vincent and the Grenadines have been shared with farmers in Grenada through the Smart Agriculture and Rural Enterprises Programme (SAEP).

 

The Samoa and IND 512 varieties were supplied to farmers in the Clozier, Belvidere and Morne Longue communities as part of a pilot programme. Both varieties were part of fifty cultivars initially obtained from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT), under the European Union supported, International Network for Edible Aroids (INEA) project – Adapting clonally propagated crops to climatic and commercial change. After evaluations in the different agroecological zones, both varieties were identified for adoption. The project’s overarching goal was to increase the genetic diversity of the crop so strengthening smallholders’ capacity to adapt to climate change.

 

Based on the results of a survey done in 2022 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Rural Transformation, Industry & Labour (MAFFRTIL) both varieties were found to be preferred by farmers over the traditional varieties. They were also found to be more adaptable to climatic and soil conditions, produced higher yields, had faster growth rates, reduced post-harvest losses and were less susceptible to pests and diseases. In addition, they have reduced cooking times with good eating quality.

 

Speaking on the introduction of the new varieties in Grenada, Executive Director, Ansari Hosein said that this was “The perfect example how investments in agricultural research in the Region can yield results that can be scalable and transferable.”

 

The SAEP is a 6 year programme focused on assisting beneficiaries to improve their livelihoods, through skills training, investments in agriculture, teaching climate smart practices and providing business skills training and technical services to rural enterprises. It is funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Grenada.

 

Improving production of root crops like dasheen in Grenada will allow farmers to enter new markets.