An enlightening workshop focused on the benefits and specific uses of bio stimulants with the aim for local farmers and the sector as a whole to benefit tremendously, was held at the Ministry of Agriculture yesterday. According to officials of the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC), the workshop is but one of several to be held this year under the ‘Inputs Programme’, in order to highlight the various products on the market that can significantly enhance crops.
BADMC also says this programme is aimed at sourcing low-cost products and providing them to farmers through the corporation in bulk. With currently only a few items and bio stimulants available at the BADMC and the 4H, officials said the response has been very encouraging thus far, especially due to the attractive prices. Workshop presenter of Trinidadian company Caribbean Chemicals and Agencies Limited (CCAL) and provider of some of the products, Junior Greene, has been working closely with the BADMC over the past year and spoke at length about the effects of the various bio stimulants on offer.
During his presentation to Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic agriculture students and other interested farmers, Greene explained that the products sold by CCAL have been making a major positive difference to the yield, shelf life, sweetness and general product quality of crops across the Caribbean. Referring to various product trials held in Antigua, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands, he reported that farmers are starting to understand the importance of micro-nutrients.
For those farmers who expressed skepticism, he assured that products are tested for three years before they are commercialised, but did admit that the islands of the Caribbean have soil and environmental factor differences and thus, he is seeking to do trials in Barbados on cucumbers, peppers, onions and sweet potato crops to ascertain the impact here on the island. He is however expecting similar overwhelming responses experienced by our neighbours with the use of these “tried and tested” organic stimulants and is adamant that Barbados can significantly increase its yield for export.