A partnership between the Mexican government, the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Ministry of Agriculture, through its Extension Services Department, is making steady strides in developing sustainable agriculture through greenhouse technology in St. Lucia.
By training agriculture extension officers and producer groups across the island, it is hoped that applying the new concepts of greenhouse technology will, among other benefits, make small adjustments to existing greenhouses which can reduce energy costs, increase yields and provide a reliable supply of vegetable and fruit crops.
Dean of the Division of Agriculture Studies at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, Anthony Bonaparte, says the move to adopt this innovative technology will set the platform for developing agriculture and crop specialists knowledgeable of the latest and best field practices.
Mexico is a regional pioneer in greenhouse production and research. In the past decade, innovative greenhouse design and new technologies have made it possible to move from energy using greenhouses to energy neutral greenhouse production.
In St. Lucia, the aim is to overcome challenges such as high energy prices, while increasing yields through minimal use of pesticides and biological control.