Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Bodles gets vital seed production equipment

Published:Friday | January 13, 2017 | 1:00 AMChristopher Serju
Stefano Chili (right), agricultural attaché to the delegation of the European Union in Jamaica, speaks with Dr Dionne Clarke Harris (centre) of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI). Also pictured are (from left) Donovan Stanberry, permanent secretary in the agriculture ministry; Barton Clarke, executive director of CARDI; and J.C. Hutchinson, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.

Jamaica's plant genetic resources development programme got a major boost on Wednesday with the donation of J$2.5 million worth of well-needed equipment and supplies to the seed production facility at the Bodles Research Centre, St Catherine, by the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI).

A laminar flow hood, used to create sterile conditions, as well as a germination chamber, which is used to create special conditions for seed germination, were displayed at the Hope Gardens, St Andrew office of the agriculture ministry, where the presentation took place. CARDI's Dionne Clarke Harris explained these were among 17 items donated in the wake of an audit conducted in March 2015 to determine infrastructure and human resource capacity gaps at the research station's seed production facility.

FUNDING

Funded by the European Union under the Agricultural Policy Programme (APP) of the 10th European Development Fund, this donation is in keeping with the multi-agency commitment to enhancing the capacity of regional states to develop, multiply and manage the production of a variety of seeds critical to their specific food nutrition and security needs. The APP is being executed by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) with CARDI and the CARICOM Secretariat. CARDI has responsibility for technology, research and development, while policy implementation falls to the secretariat, with IICA spearheading the market access and agri-business components.

Entomologist Dr Clarke Harris, pointed out that strategies for increasing production and productivity in the region continue to be dogged by lack of application, as much as lack of access to appropriate technology.

"We know that much of the research results and recommendation that can work for the numerous small producers and entrepreneurs operating in the Caribbean cannot get the technologies or just do not use them," he lamented.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com