The Taiwan Technical Mission in Saint Lucia through the 7 crops project is currently trialing different varieties of crops under the project, to determine which varieties grow best in the climate of Saint Lucia.
One aim of this project is to increase the efficiency in production of locally grown crops. For this reason, the new varieties were trialed against the locally preferred or popular varieties.
In the session held, Specialist Eric Chen showed the officers a better growing practices for the cultivation of lettuce and introduced mix of loose-leaf and headed lettuce varieties.
The loose-leaf varieties are the Red Rapid and Green Rapid varieties, whereas the loose-headed varieties are the Red Romaine and Green Romaine variety and these were compared against the traditionally grown Eden, Trinity and Mindelo lettuce variety.
In addition to this demo, the Mission has made available fertilizers of ratio 15-15-15 +3+50 OM. This indicates a good general fertilizer with the addition of organic matter.
As a marketing strategy, it was recommended that the new varieties be introduced to the customers first and this will then drive up the demand for Massy Supermarket chain to request more from the farmers in order to furnish their supermarket shelves.
After this part of the workshop, the irrigation lines were turned on and demonstrated to the extension officers. They remarked that with the addition of these irrigation implements, the lettuce can now be grown in the south of the island where drought is more widespread.