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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

About CABI in Trinidad and Tobago

About CABI in Trinidad and Tobago

CABI established an office in Trinidad and Tobago in 1946. Since then its scientists have worked with local partners to improve people’s livelihoods in a region that is rich in natural resources but has significant social inequalities. Agriculture (particularly commodity crops) remains economically important for the area.

The centre works across the whole of the Caribbean and Central America, carrying out work that is significant not just to the region, but globally.

In recent years its focus has been on finding sustainable ways to manage crop pests and invasive species. It is also working to conserve or enhance biodiversity in the local environment (the Caribbean’s exceptionally diverse ecosystems are home to many threatened species) and to support the commodity chains that flow from farmer to consumer.

To achieve this the centre researches and identifies agricultural pests and diseases, and works to mitigate the threats of invasive species. Farmers are supported in their integrated pest management (IPM) choices, and encouraged to implement sustainable crop management and production strategies.

The centre also collaborates with Ministries of Agriculture in the region, and provides information to guide policy.

Looking ahead, there are great opportunities for the centre to expand its mobile outreach work, which gives smallholder communities access to vital agricultural knowledge. This can help them improve their agricultural practices through better understanding of, for example, crop management and common pests and diseases.

There is also scope for the centre to use its skills and expertise in sanitary and phytosanitary issues to help reduce the barriers to free trade between the countries in the region. In a region where tourism is vital, making it easier to supply fresh food and produce to tourist hotels and cruise ships for example, could have a significant economic impact. 

CABI, Gordon Street, Curepe
Trinidad and Tobago
T: +1 868 6457628
E: caribbeanLA@cabi.org

Map showing directions to CABI's Caribbean office.

 

 Signing the ISC agreement at the Caribbean Plant Health Directors Forum
Caribbean voice to guide the Invasive Species Compendium

Boosting the potential of the Invasive Species Compendium to address the problems caused by IAS in the Caribbean, the most recent member of the ISC Development Consortium is the Caribbean Plant Health Directors Forum. With 28 member countries and 10 member organizations, the Forum provides a regional mechanism for sharing of information, collaborating, guiding policies, and addressing relevant plant health issues, and will now represent the interests of the Region in the further development of the Compendium.

Leadership of the ISC will now be influenced by CPHD Forum representation at annual Consortium meetings and on-going communication to ensure that issues relevant to the Caribbean are identified in the scope and coverage of the ISC. Adding a voice from the Caribbean region will be a significant development in the maturation of the governance of the ISC project. The ISC Development Consortium now has over 30 member organizations, providing worldwide representation and governance.

The agreement was signed at the 6th Edition of the Caribbean Plant Health Directors Forum, St. Maarten, 17-19 July, by Ryan Anselm (Dominica), Deputy Chair, CPHD, and by Andrea Powell, Executive Director, Publishing, CABI.

See Invasive Species Compendium Caribbean News (July 2013)

Controlling floating pennywort in a safe and sustainable way

Floating pennywort is an invasive aquatic plant that can over-run water bodies in the UK, and is threatening habitats, native plants, fish and insects. Also a problem across much of Europe, this plant has rapid growth and can regenerate from small fragments. Management is mainly limited to mechanical clearance which is expensive and often... >>

Researching introduced forest species in Trinidad

Many introduced species can have an adverse effect on native biodiversity, especially on a delicate island habitat such as Trinidad and Tobago. Three forest species are being particularly troubling, namely, Tectona grandis (teak), Acacia mangium (brown salwood) and Leucaena leucocephala (white leadtree). So, with funding from the FAO, CABI is... >>

Developing Integrated Pest Management for vegetables in Trinidad & Tobago

A key priority in Trinidad & Tobago is diversifying the economy and achieving food security. Agriculture can do this, and producing vegetables for local markets is essential. Plant pest and pathogen problems however are a huge constraint. Historically farmers have relied on chemical pesticides but these lead to a higher cost of food production,... >>

Red palm mite’s threat to coconut and native palms in Trinidad

Red palm mites are invading the Caribbean, South Florida, and South and Central America. A project to assess the impact on native palms in the protected Nariva Swamp in Trinidad was initiated in 2012 as part of a larger project looking at the threats of invasive species across the Caribbean. The CABI team carried out surveys to assess the... >>