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BSTA Conference 2015 – Sweet Potato Processing

The first presentation entitled “Sweet Potato Processing” was delivered by Mr. Richard Armstrong of ARMAG Farms, St. Philip, Barbados. In his presentation, Mr. Armstrong gave an overview of his sweet potato processing plant where healthy fries are produced. He also gave an indication of the challenges currently being faced in this innovative operation in Barbados.

Sweet Potato Processing – Richard Armstrong

“Barbados Society of Technologists in Agriculture Annual Technical Conference 2015”

On February 7th, 2015 at the Barbados Yacht Club, the BSTA hosted its annual technical  conference under the theme, “Going forward in agriculture – Innovative “out-of-the-box” solutions”. A total of ten (10) presentations were made on various topics, ranging from the processing of sweet potato into value-added products to the use of “vinasse” as a soil fertilizer and conditioner, among other very interesting topics.

This year’s conference was well attended and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. A tribute was made by the BSTA president, Mrs. Marcia Marville, to the dearly departed Mr. Keith Laurie, whose presence was sorely missed.


Producing our own food

Prime Minister Thompson announced recently that his government would be placing major emphasis on controlling the cost of living. An important part of that cost , since we all have to eat, is the cost of food. The Prime Minister noted that we must all “put our shoulders to the wheel” or as we agriculturalists would say “put our hands to the plough”. Up to now, most emphasis has been placed on supermarkets and what they must do to contribute to this effort. But as a nation ,we must all change our ways of doing things to ensure that we are as efficient and effective as we possibly can. Continue reading

When will the sweet potato virus problem be solved?

The importance of food security for Barbados was recognized many years ago, especially during the Second World War when shipping was under threat and imports of food could not be relied upon. Local farmers were encouraged to increase their production of food crops and reduce the island’s reliance on overseas shipments. They responded positively and the effort successfully took Barbados safely through some difficult times. Continue reading

Agricultural Education Part II

“For your country
If you plan for a year – sow paddy
If you plan for a decade – plant trees
If you plan for the future – nurture youth”
Taken from 1992 Youth Policy Document for India

As we noted in our last column, agriculture has been defined as “the art, science and industry of managing the growth of plants and animals for human use” and agricultural science as “a broad multidisciplinary field that encompasses the parts of exact, natural, economic and social sciences that are used in the practice and understanding of agriculture”. Continue reading

Hydroponics in Barbados

A key theme that emerges is that agriculture potentially benefits more proportionally than other sectors but also suffers more from constraints to benefiting

In the last column we promised to turn our attention to highlighting the successes which have been achieved in agriculture by a number of pro- active entrepreneurs, in spite of the constraints which exist in the agricultural industry. This week we will deal with the area of crop production. Continue reading

Importers grabbing at the shadow but may eventually lose the bone

At this time of global food shortages, much has been said about the need to ensure our food security and sovereignty. However our actions have not, in many cases, matched our words. We must realize that the total responsibility does not lie with government alone, it does not lie with supermarkets alone, it is the collective responsibility of all Barbadians. Continue reading