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Thieves after hot peppers

NATASHA BECKLES, [email protected]

Thieves after hot peppers

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HOT PEPPERS ARE a sizzling commodity among crop thieves, a Caribbean agricultural specialist has said.
Dr Cyril Roberts, Barbados representative for the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) revealed that because “the hot pepper demand is high, but the supply is low”, once the spicy fruit is being grown in the organisation’s nursery it will be targeted by thieves.
“For the hot peppers especially, praedial larceny impacts negatively on our work because they damage the rows and they don’t seal the covers back properly and then, insects get in. Therefore the impact is not only a direct loss, but a collateral loss as well,” Roberts told the DAILY NATION in a telephone interview on Thursday. CARDI plants crops on two acres of land in Graeme Hall, Christ Church.
While he was unable to quantify the loss in terms of cash due to the scope and purpose for the growing the hot peppers, Roberts saw praedial larceny as a “setback” to research.
“What would take four months would then take seven, eight or nine months to do, because we have to ensure that [the peppers] are pure.” (LW)