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Local scientists seek to improve pineapple cultivation

Published:Saturday | January 2, 2016 | 1:39 AM

The Scientific Research Council (SRC) is using tissue culture to increase the quality and yield of the sugar loaf and other types of pineapples in Jamaica.

The council has been mass-producing the planting materials in an effort to increase its availability for sale to local farmers.

Executive director of the SRC, Dr Cliff Riley, said that the council was also cleaning the planting materials, to prevent microbes or soil-borne pests.

He pointed out that the pineapple plant is not traditionally grown using tissue culture techniques, but instead farmers would normally use seedlings/suckers.

However, Dr Riley said that in using the seedlings/suckers, farmers risk transferring whatever weaknesses the parent plant had to the offspring.