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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Grenada blames slow nutmeg production on male tree

ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada (AP) — The world's second-largest nutmeg industry is rebounding very slowly from a 2004 hurricane because Grenadian farmers unknowingly planted too many male trees, which do not produce as much fruit.

Agriculture Minister Denis Lett says 80 percent of the plants farmers expected to produce a big harvest are not bearing fruit.

Local research scientist Reginald Buckmire says farmers have no way to tell the sex of a nutmeg plant until it is capable of bearing fruit.

Agriculture officials are now grafting and cloning to speed up the fruit-bearing process.

Grenada is the second-largest producer of nutmeg after Indonesia. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan destroyed about 60 percent of the island's crop.

Article here
The painting is by Laura Tasheiko

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