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The use of good quality seed is a prerequisite for the satisfactory production of a good quality crop and is essential for export markets. The following points should be taken into account when considering seed quality:

Good quality seed is essential for the production of a crop suitable for export. Although some farmers produce their own seed, only that seed which has been produced by a Seed Certification Scheme or the Quality Declared Seed system (QDS) should be used. The QDS system has been designed by FAO to ensure that the best possible quality seed is produced with the resources already available in seed production organizations in a country. The system is designed to provide quality control during seed production which is less demanding on government resources than fully developed seed certification, but adequate to provide good quality seed both within countries and in international trade. Full details of the Quality Declared Seed scheme are published by FAO.

Production of quality declared seed of Bahamian Goat and Finger Peppers

The Ministry of Agriculture has recognized that the genetic qualities of Bahamian Goat and Finger pepper types have been deteriorating. The FAO TCP Project BHA 2802 has assisted the Government in improving the maintenance and production of these varieties and has assisted in setting up a scheme for the production of Quality Declared Seed. The seed which has been produced has been selected from healthy mother plants, has a germination of 80% and a high level of trueness to type. The cost of this improved seed is only 5% of a farmer's crop production costs for this crop.

The Project has worked with selected farmers to produce improved seed around the islands. Farmers have been trained in appropriate cultivation and seed production techniques. The various local improved seed production sites of these farmers are assisting other farmers to obtain improved seed. By monitoring the seed production and collection processes the MINAG is operating a Quality Declared Seed scheme. The Project has also produced details of the minimum requirements for the production of Quality Declared Seed of hot pepper.

Isolation cages for multiplication of true to type plants

Nursery structure, note the double entrance

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