Berries not native to Trinidad and Tobago, have officially been grown on these shores.
Ralph Birkhoff, co-founder and chief commercial officer of Island Growers Caribbean and acting general manager at Berrycove Ltd, yesterday confirmed the breakthrough in an interview with Guardian Media Ltd
Last week Berrycove Ltd, using its social media pages, posted a pic of the first raspberry ever grown in T&T for commercial distribution.
“First fruiting only 33 days from plug planting. This is a high water mark for us and all credit goes to our amazing horticultural team,” it stated.
Birkhoff also lauded the team effort that helped the team achieve the feat.
“From bare ground to designing and building one of the most advanced greenhouse projects in the Caribbean, to first fruiting of our imported Enrosadira raspberries, all in 14 months. A great team effort,” Birkhoff posted on his social media.
Earlier in the week the Berrycove Ltd team also posted that the first blackberry flowers were already popping out of the plants after only a month from planting the plugs.
“We’re so fortunate to have such a great crew of young expert horticulturalists,” it stated.
The Berrycove greenhouse farm is located at the Cove Estate in Tobago.
Birkhoff said the company did not want to make any further comment concerning the breakthrough to the press at this time.
He said the company was still working on finishing construction on its farm site in Tobago.
The company first announced the plan to grow these fruits in 2021 after Berrycove was formed following a joint venture between Anthony N Sabga Ltd, Island Growers Caribbean and Alquimi Renewables LLC.
The company worked through the pandemic to set up four greenhouses, of which two will be dedicated to growing strawberries, while the others will grow cane berries, blackberries and raspberries.
This venture is expected to help reduce imports, as the locally grown berries would cut the number of fruit imported for consumption.