JIS News

In its continued effort to transfer and demonstrate the use of “first world technology” to farmers across the island the Scientific Research Council (SRC) is in the process of establishing a special demonstration facility at Devon in Manchester.
The project is being conducted in collaboration with the Christiana Potato Growers Cooperative (CPGC), the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Speaking at a recent public forum and roving poster competition General Manager for Market Tech Limited (a subsidiary of the SRC), Roselyn Fisher encouraged persons in the agrarian sectors to make full use of the research and product development services offered through her organisation. The forum was held at the project site.
“Today we are demonstrating how science and technology can be used to your benefit by its application and effective use, I bet a lot of you grow your crops and reap them because you think it is the appropriate time but what we are in fact doing in terms of the research at the SRC is to conduct studies that will inform as to the best time for you to reap for example a plant like ginger.you know our ginger has the best flavour and of course some health benefits,” he said.
Miss Fisher further informed that, “the SRC is currently doing some work with RADA in the parishes of Clarendon and St Catherine where we are growing tumeric, which you know we use to make curry but it is a product that is high in anti-oxidants,” she said.
Miss Fisher pointed out that there were many positives that were linked to the use of compounds containing the anti-oxidant element.
“It is proven to help your body immune system, for it to fight disease and stay strong, it even has anti-aging properties and to date we have had some wonderful results to date,” she said.
Miss Fisher explained that the research was ongoing in terms of finding the full benefits of many local medicinal plants.
“In the area of general research we have been looking at the uses of many of our local herbs, for example garlic or rosemarie which we use in our tea.we first examine the folklore and from a scientific base we try to determine or standardize the right quantities that should be used. So instead of an individual say drinking two gallons of a particular tea we could say base on our studies that the right amount is maybe two teaspoon our ultimate objective is to maybe get some of these derivatives into capsule form,” she explained.
Turning to developments in the area of “new food products”, she said currently the SRC was focusing a lot of attention on agro-processing.
“We are trying to see how we can add value to your product, here in Manchester where you grow a lot of sweet and Irish potatoes one of products that we have developed is a high energy drink, what we call informally a sweet potato punch, then again there is also other items such at the potato chips”.
The General Manager added that, “there is of course the area also known as minimally process food that have a longer shelf life.this is only to show some of the many different ways that we can facilitate you”.
The Devon demonstration plot is based on the use of tissue culture technology.