The Plant Tissue Culture Unit hosts a Grand Orchid Sale
The Plant Tissue Culture Unit will hosts a Grand Orchid and Ornamental Plant Sale on Wednesday 31st July, 2019 on the grounds of Union Orchid Garden.
This event is scheduled to begin from 10:00am onwards.
This event is to exhibit the variety of orchids and other plants that are produced at the Tissue Culture Laboratory and to allow farmers, florists and hobbyists to acquire beautiful orchids and other plants at attractive discounted prices.
For further information, persons can contact the Plant Tissue Culture Laboratory at 758-468-5679, Main Office 758-450-4829, or Greenhouse at 758-468-5673, or visit the unit in Union, after the Dame Pearlette Louisy Primary School on the Allan Bousquet (Castries to Babonneau) highway.
Contact: Harvey Modest
Tel : 758-468-5673
Care and maintenance of Dendrobium and Phalaenopsis
To provide institutional capacity/support for planning, policy development, analysis and evaluation of programs
for the Agricultural sector.
The scope of the Ministry covers the following programme areas:
To increase the efficiency and competitiveness of agriculture.
To promote the adoption of improved / appropriate technological packages.
To expand and diversify agricultural, and fisheries production, value-added agro-processing and the general market base.
To enhance the national food security status.
To generate new opportunities for employment and income generation in rural areas.
To conserve the natural resource base.
To modernize legislative and policy framework for optimal agricultural production and trade.
- Facilitate representation at national, regional, and International level.To comply with international conventions and agreements relating to the portfolio of the Agency.
History of the Research and Development Division
During St. Lucia's first year as an independent nation, the Research and Development Division was involved in technology generation and adaptation, provision of diagnostic and analytical services, product development or agro-processing training.
By the early 1980's two new agricultural institution were established in the country, their primary role being the conduct of research programmes. These were CARDI and the French Technical Mission for Co-operation on Agriculture. The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) was introduced later. WINBAN, presently WIBDECO, had its beginnings in 1958 to research on production and marketing of bananas.
The activities of the Research and Development Division began to declined since it was created. This Microbiology Laboratory was set up to augment the capability of the Produce Chemist Laboratory to provide services to the newly established St. Lucia Bureau of Standards in the area of food quality monitoring. The pilot plant, an agro-processing facility, which has been part of the Produce Chemist Laboratory was shut down since it was felt that sufficient work had been conducted in the area of agro-processing by the Ministry of Agriculture and that it was now a private sector initiative.
In 1996 the Division was once more graced with the services of a full time agronomist. The Agronomy Unit was again created, this time incorporating the soils unit. About this same time, the other agricultural research institutions were no longer active in the areas of crop research. The French Mission scaled down activities in the area of vegetable research while CARDI was in the process of restructuring its organization.
In 1997 the Taiwanese Mission left St. Lucia. The Research and Development Division therefore had to undertake more of crop research exercises.
In 1998, the new Permanent Secretary Agriculture indicated that the Ministry of Agriculture would once again have to involve itself in full-scale research once resources were available.
Hence it is anticipated that in the near future, the Research and Development Division would re-organise itself to permit more research oriented activities while continuing to improve its diagnostic capabilities. The major challenges would be to efficiently utilize the limited resources allocated to the Division to provide better technical support to the technology transfer arm of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The RADD in 1999 has four technical units and twenty members of staff. The technical units as follows:
The Tissue Culture Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture is located at the Union Agricultural Station and is a sub-unit of the Propagation Division. Plant Tissue Culture is a collective term referring to procedures used to maintain and grow plant cells and organs in vitro (in glass) under aseptic (free from mico-organisms) conditions.
It is a tool used by biotechnologists, chemists, biologits, pathologists and many other scientists in the following applications:
Secondary metabolite production
The principal objective of the Tissue Culture Unit is to strengthen the propagation capability of the Ministry of Agriculture and the wider agricultural sector through micro-propagation and germplasm maintenance of species of economic and ecological importance.
Procedures Conducted at the Lab
Parent Plant Selection and preparation -
The parent plant is the material from which plant parts will be removed to start the cultures.
Establishment of Cultures -
Small plant parts (explants) are placed in synthetic growth medium under aseptic conditions.
Explants previously established in culture are transferred from one medium or container to another into fresh medium. Subculturing is done for multiplication in vitro germplasm conservation or plantlet.
In keeping with the Ministerial national goal of improving the standard of living of the agrarian community and its continuing strives in attaining food security for the nation, the once fragmented Agricultural Engineering Services Division (AESD) has been re-structured to realize this goal through the provision of timely and competent technical and professional services and advice to the farming community and relevant ministerial and other governmental agencies, in the principal areas of Agricultural Engineering such as water resources development, irrigation and drainage, land management, mechanization, appropriate technology, and technology development.
The Irrigation Management Unit (IMU) continually monitors and assesses the island’s natural water resources to determine its potential utilization that would enhance agricultural production and development as well as provide technical support services and advice to farmers in the design and establishment of irrigation systems.
Sustainable Land Management Unit (SLMU) seeks to preserve, maintain and in some cases improve the productivity of the nation’s Agricultural Lands by assisting the farming community to minimize land erosion and degradation through the provision of technical support and advice on optimal farm design and layout and the implementation of appropriate conservation practices.
Farm Structures and Technological Enovation Unit (FSTEU) is concerned with the design, testing and evaluation of appropriate agricultural tools, equipment, techniques, methods and structures aimed at enhancing safety, production, productivity and efficiency on the farms.
These three units shall ultimately increase productivity and efficiency, by assisting the farming community to utilize their limited resources in a manner that is socially, environmental, and economically sustainable.