|Photo credit: erin ehnle/keeping it real: through the lens of a farm girl|
The home garden is usually-and successfully- tended to by women. However, women have not transferred this success to the management of large scale farm business. In my experience, I have observed that the majority of large scale farm production is managed by males. Still, women are employed within the production process weeding and harvesting; providing supporting services such as veterinary services.
Today I visited the operations of a female farmer in St. Phillip, Barbados. This was as part of the activities for the ARDYIS Web 2.0 Workshop. Ms. Margaret Lovemore is in the business of producing dendrobium orchids. Orchids are a high value agricultural product used in bouquets, corsages and other floral arrangements. Her market is the local hotel industry and florists.
At present, orchid production in Barbados is affected by blossom midge infestations. The female blossom midge deposits its eggs inside the orchid buds. The maggots feed on the buds causing deformed buds and flowers that are not marketable. This pest wreaks all this damage in a life span of 21-28 days!
Ms. Lovemore has employed technology to mitigate this problem. She is in the process of setting up a 30 by 90 feet greenhouse, an investment of approximately USD 40,000.00. High temperature is common disadvantage in green house operations in the Caribbean. This structure has been equipped with fans and louvers to maintain an optimal temperature.
I wish Ms. Lovemore all the best in her endeavours!
|A section of the green house from the outside|
|Under construction: A view of the green house from inside|