Barbados’s sugar cane history traces hundreds of years, many cultures (African, European, Brazilian), and ushered in fabulous wealth. For generations, sugar cane fueled Barbadian (and British) prosperity. A shift in global markets and the rise of European sugar beet decimated Caribbean sugar cane’s value and consequently, the Barbados’s economy.
That was hundreds of years ago. Commercial sugar cane is still grown, but production is a shadow of its former bounty.
Today, Barbados is a leading global sugar cane breeder. Businesses and countries contract with the islands’s West Indies Sugar Can Breeding Station (a government entity) to develop the perfect sugar cane strain.
And the lead breeder is Morexa Martin-Gardener.
Her work traces the development, cultivation, testing and production of sugar cane. I documented her day at the office in a recent issue of Nature journal.
With so many photos great I felt compelled to share some of the sweet outtakes.