Investigation of the effects of rainfall (Climate Change) on pineapple production in Essequibo Tri-Lakes Area

The variability of the rainfall pattern on the Essequibo Coast can be seen as an agricultural risk. Indigenous and other farmers who produce pineapple in the area operate using an organic methodology, having been certified with the assistance of IICA, and have been traditionally relying on rain-fed conditions to satisfy the moisture requirements of the crops. Since the Essequibo Coast normally experiences two rainy periods on an annual basis, the pineapple farmers have depended upon and used this as a source of water for their cultivation methods. Moisture availability is important to the pineapple plant at critical periods of growth of the crop and deficits or excesses can have detrimental effects on production. This situation was evident owing to the fact that pineapple yields were substandard for a two-harvest period and the crops produced were not accepted for processing by the Mainstay Pineapple Factory, as the fruit from these crops did not satisfy the criteria for processing. The Mainstay Pineapple Factory which depends on local pineapples from the area was not able to satisfy its AMCAR export market to Europe and other countries. The pineapple factory lost important revenue and if the phenomenon continues, it risks losing its market share and foreign exchange income. During the period of review, the rainfall experienced was out of sync with the normal rainfall pattern with moisture not being available at the critical periods as needed for the maturity of the crop. This abnormal pattern of rainfall was to the detriment of two successive pineapple crops. The fruits produced were smaller and cores larger, being unfit for processing by the factory’s standards. The study reveals that even though there was the production of a smaller crop, the fruits were substandard relative to processing criteria. The reasons were that the rains were not enough during the vegetative state of the pineapple growth, triggering early flowering, just after which the rains came and there was too much water available, leading to vigorous stem growth and large core development which is disadvantageous when the fruit is used for canning.

Patterson-Andrews, Hazel
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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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978-976-634-013-1 (Other)
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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