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Publication Type
Conference Proceedings
Author, Analytic
Wheatley, A.O.; Ahmad, M.H.; Morrison, E.Y.St.A; Asemota, H.N.
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Paper/Section Title
Biotechnological improvement of tuber crops for wealth and wellness amongst Caribbean people
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Proceedings Title
Annual National Conference on Science and Technology: Science and Technology for Economic Growth and Development: Proceedings of the Seventeenth Annual National Conference on Science and Technology
Date of Meeting
November 19-22, 2003
Place of Meeting
Kingston, Jamaica
Place of Publication
Kingston, Jamaica
Publisher Name
The Scientific Research Council
Date of Publication
2003
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Abstract
The Jamaican agricultural sector at the moment is going through one of its worst phases since the end of colonization. Each year the production levels of traditional and non-traditional export crops are on the decline. A number of factors have contributed to the present state of the sector. Chief among them are the increased prevalence of diseases whether it be bacterial or viral in origin affecting crops, lack of planting materials and the inadequacy of traditional farming practices in an era where technological advances are propelling agriculture worldwide. This makes it difficult for us to compete even in niche markets. The yam is one such crop that faces these problems. Application of biotechnology to crop improvement has increased the wealth of developed countries such as the USA and Canada. The UWI Yam Research has applied biotechnological techniques aimed at improving yam production and storage. Disease-free planting materials have been generated with improved storageability, the tubers are ideal for the export market due to uniformity in shape, size and extended shelf-life and they can also be used as “seed yams”. This provides the opportunity to involve local farmers in the practice of producing “seed yams” as is done for potato. Other aspect of the research involved the assessment of the glycemic index of some commonly eaten tubers and other carbohydrate-rich foods in the Caribbean. This is useful in the planning of diet for diabetic patients with a view to minimize the incidence of post -prandial high blood sugars or spikes....
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