Five nationals thrilled with techniques taught
Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer
FIVE HAITIANS who participated in a recent training course on tissue-culture techniques have returned home very satisfied with the training they received at the Scientific Research Council (SRC) facility at Hope Gardens, St Andrew. They were part of a group which included two participants from the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and the lone female, Sasha Grant, from the Christiana Potato Growers Co-operative.
The Haitians, who represented farmers' groups, state and private universities, took part in an intensive five-day course in which they received lectures and hands-on training in producing pathogen-free planting material for roots and tubers.
With an interpreter in the group, the mostly French-speaking Haitians were able to participate fully. Jodi Spence, process development officer at the SRC, told AgroGleaner: "Upon completion of the course, in evaluation, they were very satisfied with the hands-on sessions in which they participated and the level of instructions received. They (Haitians) are looking to establish a tissue-culture facility in the country for which they will need to secure funding, but they have started well with this group which now has the know-how."
Meanwhile, Ryan Francis, produce research and development scientist at the SRC, told Agro-Gleaner that, in addition to the tissue-culture methodology, participants were also instructed in the use of the relatively low-cost glove-box apparatus, which can be easily made or easily purchased in Haiti.
The project, which was funded by the Common Fund for Commodity and implemented by CARDI, is in keeping with the regional agency's thrust to significantly raise the volume and quality of roots and tubers produced in the region. In addition to income generation for small farmers, it will also seek to improve food security.