1 868 662 2002 ext.82090/82078 aimsproject.uwirdi@gmail.com

Hi There!

The Agriculturally Important Microorganisms (AIMS) Project is designed to address the challenges in food safety and food security in the Caribbean.
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About the Project

This project is funded by The Trinidad & Tobago Research and Development Impact Fund. Our initial target crops are hot pepper, lettuce, okra and bodi.

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Our Vision

We explore native micro-organisms with the perspective of developing it as the elite bio-control and bio-fertilizer strains for quality vegetable production system in the Caribbean.

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Food Security lies in the hands of every citizen as we embrace personal responsibility for safe production and use of local produce.

Welcome to the AIMS Project

Agriculturally Important Microorganisms

What We Do

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Characterization

We characterize native Microorganisms for multiple utilities using specialized techniques.
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Tools

We use molecular tools and techniques to study the mode of action of elite AIMS strains.
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Evaluate

Evaluation of elite AIMS in the perspective of bio-control and bio-fertilizer strains against major diseases in vegetable crops.
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Awareness

We organize annual workshops, training and field trips to create awareness and transfer of knowledge obtained in the research conducted.

Our Work Flow

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Stage 1

Isolation of plant pathogens causing diseases in major vegetables.

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Stage 2

Isolation of rhizobacteria from soils.

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Stage 3

Screening for antagonistic and plant growth promoting activity of rhizobacteria in lab studies.

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Stage 4

Study the efficacy of elite rhizobacteria against diseases through greenhouse and field trials.

Frequently Asked Questions

The UWI-TT RDI fund recently sanctioned the project on Promoting Agriculturally Important Microorganisms (AIMS) to address the challenges in Food Safety and Food Security in the Caribbean to the Department of Food Production, UWI, St. Augustine. The project will be for three years commencing from May 2015 to April 2018. The AIMS project is envisioned to identify, characterize and promote agriculturally important indigenous microorganisms as bio-control agents and bio-fertilizers in the perspective of an effective plant disease and soil fertility management in an effort to reduce the use of hazardous pesticides in the region.

Dr. Saravanakumar Duraisamy, Senior Lecturer (Plant Pathology), and Team Leader of the AIMS Project on his introduction to the project spoke about the Plantwise programme – a UK report on the crop production losses to the value of US$ 240 million due to pests and diseases attack worldwide; and that for every 1% reduction in pests and diseases, it is estimated that we would be able to feed an extra 25 million people. Dr. Saravanakumar Duraisamy acknowledged the UWI-TT RDI Fund and thanked Prof. Clement Sankat, Campus Principal for project approval.

Upcoming Events

27th March 2016 – Event Name

1st August 2017 – Event Name

Why use Microorganisms?
Plant diseases are the major constrains in vegetable production of the Caribbean and viewed as the vital challenges to be addressed to ensure food security of the region. Further, an indiscriminate and intensive use of hazardous pesticides to control pests and diseases have revealed the great concerns over environmental and human health hazards posing serious threats to the safe food especially in vegetables where most of them are consumed without processing and or consumed as raw materials. In addition to this, the continuous and intensive application of inorganic fertilizers has deteriorated soil biota thereby reducing the yield potential in the Tropical agriculture. These practices warrant the development of locally adaptive novel and sustainable strategies to ensure food safety and food security of the region. One such holistic approach which is foreseen to address the above said issues in a sustainable manner will be the promotion of Agriculturally Important Micro-organisms (AIMS) which has so far received very little attention in the region. Thus the current proposal justifies and demand the basic and applied research on developing potential AIMS suitable for the tropical agriculture.
What crops is the project targeting?
The potential of AIMS will be demonstrated in the vegetable crops viz., hot pepper, lettuce, okra and bodi as model systems at greenhouse and field conditions. The utility of AIMS in vegetable crops will be demonstrated by the conduct of field day and awareness on AIMS will be created among the farmers, nursery entrepreneurs, vegetable growers and protected cultivation systems by the conduct of workshops and trainings.

 

We plan to conduct research in other crops in the future.

Who is Funding this project?
The UWI-TT RDI Fund sponsored project on Promoting Agriculturally Important Microorganisms (AIMS) to address the challenges in Food Safety and Food Security in the Caribbean was launched on 25 June by Dr. Isaac Bekele, Dean, Faculty of Food and Agriculture at UWI. The launch was attended by farmers, vegetable producers, Director from the Research Division, Ministry of Food Production, Deputy Director Research (Crops), Deputy Director Extension, Regional Administration North, Agricultural Extension Officers, NAMDEVCO, Representatives from regional organizations like USDA, CABI, IICA, CARDI, FAO, the Campus Registrar Richard Saunders, Academic, Technical staff and students from the Faculty of Food and Agriculture, Faculty of Science and Technology, Cocoa Research Unit, UWI, St. Augustine.

 

Click on the RDIFUND logo for more information.

Who is the founder of AIMS?

The UWI-TT RDI fund recently sanctioned the project on Promoting Agriculturally Important Microorganisms (AIMS).

What are the objective of AIMS?

To address the challenges in Food Safety and Food Security in the Caribbean to the Department of Food Production, UWI, St. Augustine.  To promote agriculturally important indigenous microorganisms as bio-control agents and bio-fertilizers in the perspective of an effective plant disease and soil fertility management in an effort to reduce the use of hazardous pesticides in the region

What is the duration of the project?

The project will be for three years commencing from May 2015 to April 2018.

Who is the leader of the AIMS project?

Dr. Duraisamy Saravanakumar is the team leader of the AIMS Project.

AIMS in the Press

Prof. Badrie reminded the audience of the UN definition of food security: ‘An access to safe and secure food is a basic human right and thus each country has a responsibility to address food safety issues’. During her opening remarks, she quoted the reports that reminded all that there are unacceptable levels of pesticide residue in some of the food commodities in the Central America. Read More...

A two day training on Plant Disease Diagnosis was conducted in the Department of Food, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine from July 13 to 14 to agricultural extension officers of Trinidad and Tobago.
The training was organised under the auspices of The UWI-RDI (Research Development Impact) funded…

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Participants were trained to isolate and observe the pathogenic fungi and bacteria from the infected cucumber and tomato plants. Senator Avinash Singh, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries attended the closing ceremony of the two day training programme on July 14 to deliver the special address and present certificates of participation to the 23… Read More...

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Drop us a line anytime for more information on our research or to set up a workshop in your area.
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