CMC markets first crop of locally grown purple peppers

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The Central Marketing Corporation (CMC) has launched an extensive campaign to introduce residents and business places to a special variety of bell peppers – which are not customarily grown in Antiguan soil.

Purple bell peppers — as well as the other well known varieties — and tomatoes, were produced during an experiment in Antigua & Barbuda and six other members of the Organisation of the Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Jahmel Ralph was one of three farmers who participated in the just concluded exercise.

He said the seeds and other materials were provided by a company called Jamaica Drip Irrigation.

Two of the workers in the greenhouse where the bell peppers were grown (Photo courtesy Ministry of Agriculture)

The bell peppers and tomatoes were grown in a protective environment and with use of green technology, which he said has proved feasible.

“Our goal during this project was to explore the use of technology because most of our young people are shying away from the sector because of the work involved,” Ralph said. “But we are trying to show them that this does not have to be so labour intensive, and the system is easy to set up — all you need is a simple protective environment.”

Protective Agriculture is the process by which the natural environment is modified to achieve optimal growth.

It has been viewed by several countries within the region as a viable technology to attain a level of self-sufficiency in vegetable production and a potential adaptation option to address the impact of climate change on food supply.

More in today’s Daily Observer.

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