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  Mexico, March 10-20, 2017

Project: Bioengineering of Yam & other selected Caribbean roots and tuber crops biomaterial for value-chain expansion & pre-commercialization analyses.

The first activity of this project was held from the 10th – 20th of March 2017 in Mexico. The objective of this visit was to train the experts from the University of the West Indies in vitro multiplication techniques system for selected crops and the nutritional analysis of foods. The Jamaican experts visited the Yucatan Center for Scientific Research (CICY) in Mérida and the Research Center for Food and Development (CIAD) in Hemosillo. They toured the various lab units at the Yucatan Center for Scientific Research, particularly the plant pathology unit. The Jamaican team also visited the Biofactory where they were taught about various vitro multiplication techniques such as organogenesis and somatic embryogenesis for selected crops. They were also shown the tissue culture plantlets.

 At the Research Center for Food and Development (CIAD) Profesora Asemota and Mrs. Shivanjali Dondapati were guided in conducting an in vitro analysis of three samples, including the Negro yam (processed and unprocessed). They also analysed the total Phenols and Flavonoids and the anti-oxidant capacity of the crops.

The Jamaican experts highlighted that the equipment at the facilities visited are up to date. The training Scientists are very knowledgeable in their areas of expertise .The Visiting Team concluded that Mexico is well poised to facilitate and spearhead research development in modern Bio-sciences in the Caribbean and Latin America.