World’s Hottest Peppers produced & sold by CARDI… as its Revenue Generating Unit focusses on hot pepper seed production
CARDI has been supplying Caribbean farmers with quality hot pepper seeds for the past twenty years. Currently, four main varieties are produced by CARDI and supplied through its distributor, Caribbean Chemicals and Agencies Ltd, to agro retail outlets from Belize in Central America; Cayman Islands and Jamaica in the North-Caribbean through the Windward and Leeward Islands; Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago in the Southern Caribbean; and Guyana and Suriname in the South American Continent under the CARDI Quality Seed and Cari Seed Brand.
This activity is led by CARDI’s Revenue Generating Unit which was established in 2013 to supplement the Institute’s operating cost. The Unit has since established eleven (11) Revenue Centres in its first phase. Four Revenue Centres have been generating revenue from authentic and purified hot pepper seed production through sale of the CARDI varieties: Scorpion, Moruga Red, Yellow Scotch Bonnet and West Indies Red from its seed production centres in Antigua & Barbuda, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago, in over 2,000 acres.
CARDI Quality Seeds are produced in the most isolated and protected areas of Antigua & Barbuda and Belize, where selection of our seed by our breeders is done through a rigorous selection process to keep out Gemini viruses, phytophthora root rot, anthracnose and other pepper diseases. Rigorous rogueing is done to get seeds only from true to type mother plants. Rapid extraction and seed processing methods ensure high germination rates and viability. In addition, seeds are treated against viral particles, fungi and pests and all micro-organisms.
The World renowned improved yellow Scotch Bonnet variety (300,000 (SHU) Scoville Heat Units) with parent lines bred in Jamaica for higher tolerance to Gemini and Poty Viruse, is a super-hot quality Caribbean Scotch Bonnet type pepper which has a bright yellow berry colour when mature and can also be marketed as a smooth skin dark green pepper. The fruit has a distinct bonnet shape and is suited for fresh fruit export and hot sauce production; the flavour is mild, but pungent and is also hotter than Habaneros. It is an ideal variety for yellow pepper mash production, drying into flakes, roasting, and production of jelly, chutneys, jerk seasonings, or fresh chops.
The Revenue Generating Unit expects to assist CARDI in achieving its mandate, primarily by increasing the availability and usage of CARICOM’s Member States’ indigenous planting material to the wider Caribbean farming community; and providing sustainable technology, technical support and monitoring systems developed by CARDI to the Region’s agribusiness sector.