Technical Publications: POST HARVEST/MARKETING

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Various unidentified cultivars are grown in Jamaica, but preference is given by consumers to smooth red skin types with white flesh.

Varietal selectiona. Scotch Bonnet versus West Indian or Jamaican Red – where scotch bonnet has very high export demand, especially during the winter months, it however suffers heavy viral infestation.

Exports of Papaya to Canada, USA, and Europe have increased tremendously. However, to remain in the market, we must maintain the high quality of the produce.

Dasheen is often produced on land ill-suited to intensive cultivation techniques, such as steeply sloping or swampy areas. Its high moisture requirements necessitate high rainfall year round for production (such as in Portland) or seasonal heavy rains for one crop per year (e.g. Clarendon) or waterlogged swamp conditions (e.g. parts of Westmoreland).

Reaping should take place after spraying, only when recommended “Safe Period” has expired.

Short and tender stalks should only be reaped using a sharp knife to make clean cuts.

Most varieties are ready to reap 9 – 10 weeks after transplanting or, when heads are fully developed, i.e. well firm. Not all the heads in a plot develop at the same time; therefore, care has to be taken of the reaper to reap only fully mature heads.

The product is grown islandwide but is readily available in the following parishes:

Portland, St. Mary, St. Thomas, Clarendon, St. Catherine, and Westmoreland.

It is available all year round with the peak season being from August-November.

The avocado pear, belonging to the plant group Persea americana, is commonly known in Jamaica simply as “pears”. It is a native of the Tropical Americas, and flourishes in areas with over 15 cm (60 inches) of rain fall per annum, at between 55 and 550 metres elevation.

1. Harvest only matured produce.

2. Proper harvesting/reaping techniques are essential e.g. in reaping fruits, use a technique which avoids them falling to the ground; do not damage the tubers with the fork or machete.