The Barbados Association of Technologists in Agriculture (BSTA) along with the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Soil Conservation Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture are jointly interested in identifying exotic, rare and unusual plant varieties that can be found on Barbados.
Local food production has an important role to play in reducing the food import bill and enhancing the diet and health of the nation. A greater variety, and enhanced availability, of locally grown fruits and vegetables will play a role in addressing both of these concerns.
A greater variety of crops will give farmers and agro processors further options and opportunities to increase the value of local agricultural products.
The survey of rare and unusual crop and fruit varieties has the goal of finding novel and useful plant varieties that exist on the island but which are not readily available to farmers and householders and increase the availability of desirable varieties.
A secondary goal would be to record any agronomic information which the current growers of the varieties may be able to provide.
The proposal is to distribute an electronic form via the internet and social media to collect information on the varieties that currently exist on the island, and to use the information to identify partners who are willing to supply propagative material for those varieties and any agronomic data that they may have about said varieties.
Some examples of what we are hoping to find:
Plants which are not known to grow or are very rare, examples: Rambutan, Lychee, Jackfruit
Exotic or unusual plant varieties would include unusual varieties of established crops for example:
Bananas – common varieties – Cavendish/Dwarf cavendish, Unusual varieties: Gros Michel, Lactan etc,
Mangos – common varieties – Julie, Imperial, Pawi (Père Louis), Unusual varieties: Any others
Unknown varieties and landraces
These may either be indigenous plant varieties, unknown varieties or landraces. Examples would include:
Particularly high yielding coconut trees, unusually sweet or flavourful varieties, Properties that make it suitable for a particular products, example – seedless fruit, smooth sweet potatoes for mechanical peeling.
Want to help?
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Are you an expert in local varieties? Might you be able to help us identify or create and identification guide for local varieties? Interested in participating in some other capacity? Contact us below.
Respondents name and contact information will be treated at private information and will not be shared with any third parties without the respondents explicit consent.