Global warming is a real phenomenon. We’re already experiencing its effects in terms of climate extremes resulting in drought , flooding and severe hurricanes. A warmer world will also affect food production, in terms of quality and quantity, in several ways:
- reduced seed germination under high soil temperatures, resulting in sparse crops stands
- negative effect on photosynthesis, ultimately leading to reduced growth and lower crop yields
- reduced pollen viability which then becomes a major limiting factor for fruit set
- delayed floral formation resulting in smaller fruits
- increased damage to crops from bacteria, fungi, and insect pests
- Increased weed competition for moisture, nutrients, and light since weeds are better adapted to drought conditions than crops. In addition, herbicidal controls are less effective under hot and dry conditions.
Local farmers must pay attention to soil management so as to conserve our valuable topsoil.
Soil is composed of four elements: mineral particles, organic matter, water and air. Fifty to eighty percent of the volume consists of mineral particles which form the skeletal structure of most soils. In addition there are countless soil organisms that together support life on earth.
Soil has four important functions It’s a : medium for plant growth; a means of water storage, supply and purification; a modifier of earth’s atmosphere; a habitat for organisms; all of which, in turn, modify the soil Continue reading
The Importance of Agriculture
The agricultural sector in Barbados doesn’t get the respect it deserves. But it’s been known for a long time that a dollar spent in agriculture is recycled, on average, more than six times in the economy which is more than a dollar spent in any other economic sector.
The reason for this is that other sectors are also dependent on agriculture. Too often agricultural discussions focus narrowly on the “on-farm” or production aspects but the agricultural sector also involves:
- Input supply: management, labour (skilled and unskilled), equipment, and equipment repairs, planting material, fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides et al;
- Postharvest: Handling, storage, transport and distribution, processing, marketing, and sales.