Global Partnership Initiative for Plant Breeding Capacity Building (test)

Plant breeding programs in Barbados

Geographical situation of BarbadosBarbados is a small country economically-based on tourism. Agriculture is a declining sector in Barbados. Imports of food have increased substantially over the last ten years due to the increasing food demand from tourism. Sugar cane and cotton are the major outputs.

The national plant breeding and associated biotechnology capacity is restricted to CARDI Barbados since it is the only institution which conducts work on a national basis for Barbados. This institute functions on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture and works on hot pepper.

Main work is divided among making crosses, evaluating segregating population, evaluating fixed lines developed by the breeding programme as well as evaluating fixed lines introduced from other breeding programmes. The main source of materials is from the local germplasm bank which is maintained by CARDI itself. There is no biotechnology activity presently being conducted in hot pepper. CARDI, BARBADOS has released two varieties that are now in commercial phase in the country.

The national capacity has to be consolidated and enhanced to meet the plant breeding needs. Such a consolidation can provide the opportunity for expanded work in other crops that is currently limited due to lack of funding. The Government of Barbados should include in its national budget incremental increases to promote work not only in plant breeding but also in biotechnology so that its agriculture sector can grow on a competitive and sustainable basis.

Research and education institutes with activities in plant breeding

Public Institutes


Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute of Barbados (CARDI)
Website available in English

The major programme that identifies the CARDI Barbados Unit is the breeding and maintenance of hot pepper germplasm. Other aspects of the hot pepper improvement programme involve the determination of possible sources of viral infection, and the deployment of newer technologies to optimize production. CARDI Barbados is also involved in livestock research and development.


Private Institutes

West Indies Central Sugar Cane Breeding Station

West Indies Central Sugar Cane Breeding Station
Website available in English

WICSCBS is one of the two oldest (Java being the other one) sugar cane breeding institutions in the world, with a continuous breeding programme since the rediscovery of seedlings in Barbados in 1888. WICSCBS is a multi-national organization which aims to breed superior varieties of sugarcane to cater to the needs of the various member countries. The Station has produced several superior varieties of sugarcane that drive the sugar industries of the member countries.


Information by Azim Hosein (2009) - Information based on the Barbados' full report from the PBBC survey. Last revised 18-07-2009, GIPB