Sweet Potato a potential crop for future climate in the Caribbean

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A case study presented recently by Jamaican, Applied Climate Researcher to the 2nd Caribbean Weather Information Generator (CARIWIG) Workshop in Barbados has identified sweet potato as a potential climate change adaptation crop.

Sweet potatoes (photo via Barbados Nation)
Sweet potatoes (photo via Barbados Nation)

The CARIWIG project, which is funded by the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), is supporting risk-based decision-making in the Region. The project provides locally relevant information on weather impacts of climate change for a range of time periods, training of stakeholder technical staff to use weather information the development of supporting networks within the Region and the development of partnerships with UK research institutes.

To date four tools have been developed for use in the Caribbean under the project: the tropical storm model, Regional Climate Models and the CARiDRO tool for drought resistance, the Weather generator and the CARIWIG portal which provides access to observed data.

The information provided is specific to the geographical region and covers planning time horizons which will assist managers and policy-makers in their decision-making process. In his study, Dr. Dale Rankine utilised the weather generator tool and the Aquacrop-based sweet potato Model he recently developed to determine the performance of three sweet potato varieties in Jamaica for the periods 1981-2010 and 2041-2070.

The tolerance of sweet potato to moderate drought conditions and the low agronomical inputs required for tuber development led to the conclusion that sweet potato is expected to perform better under future climates. (Extracted from CARDI Bi-Weekly Newsletter)

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