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Saint Lucia is getting help from the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) to reposition agriculture to cope with the impacts of climate change.
“We are now looking at bringing in, in collaboration with the World Vegetable Centre, we are looking at bringing in varieties that are heat-resistant,” CARDI’s representative in Saint Lucia, Andre Barry Innocent, disclosed.
During a recent appearance on the ‘Agriculture On The Move’ programme, Innocent explained that the varieties included heat-resistant tomatoes and sweet peppers.
“We are going to bring in that batch for now, test them, validate them and then we’re bringing in some more in response to the current heatwave,” the CARDI official stated.
Innocent explained that climate change, featuring severe winds, flooding, and pest and disease spikes, was taking its toll on agriculture.
As a result, he said CARDI’s response was to introduce resistant crops.
Innocent revealed that with the assistance of the Taiwan-headquartered World Vegetable Centre, CARDI was considering sweet potato plants that show resistance to the sweet potato weevil for some of the other Islands his organisation serves.
He also disclosed that CARDI was looking at drought and saline-resistant crops.
The CARDI official noted that climate change had caused high sea levels and seawater ‘intrusion’, causing soil salinity.
“There is a lot of research ongoing, a lot of discussions, not only in Saint Lucia but all the fourteen countries that CARDI has offices in. We are all working together for the Caribbean to ensure we do our best to reposition the Caribbean in light of the current phenomenon of climate change,” Innocent stated.