The Ministry of Agriculture recently spearheaded a Dasheen Adoption Survey which was carried out in Agricultural District Five East, within Agricultural Region Two.
The main objective of the survey was to determine factors associated with increased adoption or cultivated acreages of two Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) introduced dasheen cultivars, namely Somoa (green petiole) and IND512 (red petiole).
These two cultivars were selected as best performers from among twenty-five (25) cultivars after a series of research evaluations and farm trials from 2010 to 2014.
Farmers who were interviewed for the survey were randomly selected from the main dasheen growing areas of Maroon Hill, Bahamia, Hopewell, Montreal and Francois.
The findings from the survey indicate that the new dasheen cultivars have excellent adaptability to varying climatic conditions, soil types and soil fertility status.
- Higher yields as is evident by larger corm sizes,
- Faster rate of growth, bigger and taller plants, significantly reducing labour costs for weed control,
- Less post-harvest losses as seen by longer shelf life,
- Market outlets both locally and regionally by local vendors and inter-island traders,
- Less susceptible to pests and diseases such as aphids, mealy bugs, moulds and phythopthora,
- Excellent eating qualities, less starchy and less cooking time is required and,
- Suckers can be removed from mother plants for planting without adversely affecting the plant growth and yield.
The survey was done by Agricultural Officer, Donawa Jackson along with his technical team, Alston Lynch and Patricia Swift.