Plant Clinics to aid in populating the Agriculture Ministry’s database
March 31, 2017: Home gardening enthusiasts, plant lovers and an ornamental plant exhibitor from as far as Rio Claro, seized the opportunity to have their plant sicknesses diagnosed at a free Plant Clinic, hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries on March 29, 2017 at its Farmers' Training Centre in Centeno.
Subsequent to a an engaging one-on-one discussion with Ministry representatives from the Extension, Training and Information Services (ETIS) Division, participants were each given an individual copy of their 'Prescription and Report' sheet which captured a host of valuable information, inclusive of which, was a description of the plant problem; the current control measures used as well as expert recommendations. Entomologist (Ag.) in the Ministry and team lead on the clinic, Ms. Roshni Ramsingh, opined that the timing of the outreach activity was opportune as the Ministry was currently in the process of revamping strategies to be more proactive in its overall management of plant pests and diseases.
She said: "If through these clinics, we are able to forecast the problems that agricultural stakeholders are having, then overtime, we will be able to actively gauge, particular diagnostic trends which can thus guide our management options and inform any training course(s) to effectively address any issues identified, in a timely basis." To this end, Ms. Ramsingh identified with at least three (3) participants of the clinic whose pimento leaves bore the adverse effects of the Cushiony Cotton Scales pest which she said, was "not a usual citing" and may be indicative of a possible trend, having regard to the frequency of reports.
Apart from the pest aforementioned, diagnoses such as thrips on Cotton; caterpillar damage and nutrient deficiencies on the Amaryllis, were also identified. According to Ms. Ramsingh, the data captured in the clinic will be used to populate the Ministry's existing database which can prove useful in responding to the needs of the agricultural community.
She hinted:"The Ministry continues to see tremendous value in this exercise, which no doubt represents the first of many to be embarked upon this year." Ms. Ramsingh was assisted by Mrs. Gayatri Singh-Ramlogan, Ms. Merle Seedial and Mr. Rishi Mohansingh - all Agricultural Officers (I) in the Ministry.
Agricultural stakeholders and staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, engage in beneficial deliberation at a free, Ministry-hosted Plant Clinic, on Wednesday 29th March, 2017 at its Farmers' Training Centre in Centeno. The clinic was co-ordinated by the Extension, Training and Information Services (ETIS) Division.
Entomologist (Ag.), Ms. Roshni Ramsingh (left) and Agricultural Officer I in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Mrs. Gayatri Singh-Ramlogan, identify the existence of the Cushiony Cotton Scales pest on a plant specimen at the event.
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Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries