Improving the Production of Tomatoes through Agronomic Research to Improve Food Security in Barbados

Barbados food import bill has been rising steadily over the last 10 years by 20.4% and is expected to continue to rise due to the volatility and increasing food prices of agricultural commodities on the international market. This growing increase of 20.4% has highlighted the need for the country to start producing more of the foods which can be grown locally which are currently being imported, to help reduce this growing trend. With one of the country’s natural resources (land) being reduced annually, poor crop yields and low use of improved crop varieties, agricultural production has been severely disadvantaged resulting in the island’s food security being drastically compromised. The government aware of the gravity of this situation has committed itself to provide safe, adequate, nutritious and affordable food to its people and is relying upon the Agriculture Sector to help in this effort. The Ministry of Agriculture has taken the initiative and has focused its attention on the tomato sector embarking on an intensive research program to select varieties amenable to the fresh and processing market. Two varietal trials were conducted during the period February – May and July – November 2015 at Graeme Hall, Christ Church (south of the island) and Sweet Vale, St. George (central) to evaluate the performance and quality of three new imported plum varieties of tomatoes against two locally established varieties of tomatoes. The research showed that the imported plum varieties gave lower production compared to the other two locally established varieties but were the preferred choice among consumers based on firmness, size, fleshiness and taste. However, total yields of the imported plum varieties at Graeme Hall were significantly higher at the 1% S.L. when compared to their yield at St. George where significance was at the 5% S.L.

Issue Date:
Aug 29 2018
Publication Type:
Journal Article
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Published in:
Farm and Business - The Journal of the Caribbean Agro-Economic Society, 10, 1
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 Record created 2018-08-29, last modified 2020-10-28

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