The work of the Cotton Division is conducted at two Field Stations;
- The Central Cotton Station
- The Dunbars Experimental Station
History, Location and Acreages
The Central Cotton Station and Dunbars Experimental Stations are both located on Friar’s Hill, which is approximately three quarter (3/4) miles from St. John’s.
The Cotton Station was established in 1946 and is comprised fourteen (14) acres of cotton lands for its research and seed multiplication programme .Work is focused on the Montserrat Sea Island Cotton which is the variety of cotton grown in Antigua and Barbuda. This variety is distinctly known for its pure strain, beauty and long lint length. It is highly demanded on the Japanese market. Over the years the Station maintained over 75 cotton varieties in its local gene bank.
The Dunbars Experimental Station was founded in 1969 and is the Crop Research Unit in the Department of Agriculture. The area was selected for this Station because the results of soil tests revealed that the area has representative soil types of all soil types in Antigua and Barbuda, hence any crop can be cultivated there. It has approximately nine (9) acres of land available for the development of crop research which involves, the validation of technologies, protection and conservation of plant genetic resources; data/information gathering and dissemination of research work in enhancing technology transfer. The Station is also responsible for the introduction, adaptability, testing and use of new technology to promote agriculture in Antigua and Barbuda.
Both Stations are located in the Limestone Belt of Antigua and Barbuda.
- The Division focusses on technical and scientific management of all genetic resources utilized in the food sector
- Areas of field work includes varietal evaluations, seed production, conservation and screening for resilience and adaptation to climate change
Activities are conducted in collaboration with other national agencies, regional and international development partners and the private sector.
Key results of the Division
- Crop improvement (Multiplication and Conservation)
- 1 pedigree line of the Montserrat Sea Island Cotton selected, characterised and conserved
- 7 populations of land races of local roots and tubers, pumpkin, corn, eggplant and some varieties of herbs were maintained
- Seed production and Distribution
- Bulking, multiplication and testing of pedigree cotton seeds in adequate quantities to provide an annual supply of commercial planting seeds for Antigua and Barbuda and Leeward Islands cotton growers
- Harvested approximately 220 pounds of Seed cotton for the Seed multiplication programme. Cleaning, sorting and manually ginning of seed cotton is currently undertaken
- Data Collected from Experimental plots are analyzed (yield of lint obtained, % ginned weight %, seed weight, lint index and germinability).
- Research and Development
- Research and improve cotton production practices; including pest management, yield improvement, plant nutrition, latest cost of production figures, harvest efficiency and the production of modern technical package for cotton growers
- Research work on improved vegetable production practices including pest management, yield improvement and fertilizer trials
The Division also collaborates with all of the Divisions and Units in the Ministry of Agriculture in the execution of its work programme. It also collaborates with other local, regional and international partners such ADC, GARDAC, CMC, CARDI, IICA, and FAO.
Field Management Team
Technical/ Research Officers/Assistants
- Mrs. Maud Vere Bradford, Senior Research Officer, (Diploma in Agriculture , BSc. General Agriculture, MSc. Crop Protection, specialized in Weed Science) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ms. Vanessa Prophet, Research Officer, (Diploma in Education, BSc. Agriculture)
- Ms. Judyann Richards, Graduate Assistant, (BSc. Agronomy , University of Ciego De Avilla in Cuba)
- Mr. Caswall Joseph, Agricultural Assistant I
- Mr. Grantley Byrne , Central Cotton Station
- Mrs. Denise Edwards- Carr, Dunbars Experimental Station
Total Staff Complement: 30
Dunbars Experimental Station – 1-268- 462- 9436
Central Cotton Station – 1 -268 – 462-0418/3871
Fax 1 – 268-462 – 3871