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(GIS) – Farmers of Region Seven who are currently enrolled in farmer field school were instructed on the various techniques being used in the production of cherry tomatoes.
The farmers visited the Union Agricultural Station where four different varieties of the cherry tomatoes are currently being grown using greenhouse technology. The plot was used to demonstrate to farmers the best husbandry practices that could be used to obtain a successful crop.
“We have four different varieties but we know that with greenhouses, farmers cannot always plant the same things. There needs to be rotation. This time we used isolated systems to plant the cherry tomatoes. They were not planted in the soil but in compost, so each time farmers are finished with one live crop, they can continue to produce tomatoes in the greenhouse,” said Mario Shen, Head of the Taiwan Technical Mission in Saint Lucia.
The Taiwan Technical Mission, along with the Extension and Advisory Services Division in the Department of Agriculture collaborated on the initiative.
Aaron Donovan, Agriculture Extension Officer for Region 7, said the field trip in cherry tomato production is part of a 16-week farmer field school programme.
“Farmers were able to observe the agronomic practices for cherry tomato production, the best way to produce cherry tomatoes, the market conditions, and pest and disease issues.”
The latest Region 7 farmer field school began in March, and will run for a 16-week period during which the farmers will improve on their expertise in the field of agriculture, as well as agri-business development.