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Government is continuing its efforts at making farmers and extension officers aware of best practices for the management and multiplication of sweet potato planting material, obtained through tissue culture.

A three-day workshop to be hosted from Monday, August 17, to Wednesday, August 19, by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS), will seek to fulfil this objective, as part of the mandate set out under a project being done collaboratively with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and The University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus.

The project, which was implemented during the last quarter of 2019, is entitled: Protocols for the Conservation and Propagation of Sweet Potato Planting Material through Tissue Culture, is funded by the FAO under its Technical Cooperation Programme.  

Next week’s event, which will be hosted via Zoom, will focus on Training in Nursery Production and Selection of Sweet Potato Planting Material.  While the virtual sessions from August 17 to 18 will provide technical guidance; a more practical approach will be taken on Wednesday, August 19.

Acting Chief Agricultural Officer, Leslie Brereton, is expected to deliver welcome remarks at the start of the session at 9:00 a.m. on August 17.

Among the topics to be discussed will be: Virus Disease Problems in Sweet Potato by Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry, UWI, Cave Hill, Dr. Angela Alleyne; Quality of Planting Material and Nursery Production by Senior Agronomist, UWI, Cave Hill, Dr. Francis Lopez; and Phytosanitary Considerations for Selection of Planting Materials by Dr. Alleyne and Senior Agricultural Officer, Michael James.

The project, which is set to conclude this year, has enabled technicians, farmers and extension officers in both the Ministry and the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation to hone skills in tissue culture, allowing them to propagate good quality planting materials, and further use the propagated materials for the multiplication of the sweet potato crop.


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