Caribbean News Now reports that the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) has been supplying Caribbean farmers with quality hot pepper seeds for the past 20 years. These include the Yellow Scotch Bonnet, Scorpion Hot Pepper, Moruga Red, and West Indies Red.
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.
[. . .] 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 and Barbuda, Belize and Trinidad and Tobago, in over 2,000 acres.
In February 2014, CARDI launched the sale of purified and authentic Scorpion Hot Pepper seed, the world’s second hottest pepper recorded at 2,000 000 Scoville units through its distributor.
CARDI Quality Seeds are produced in the most isolated and protected areas of Antigua and Barbuda and Belize, where selection of seeds by 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 that 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.