Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Size and an effective online hot pepper group

The CARDI Hot Pepper Group currently comprises six members:…..Cyril, Herman, Dione, Julius and Neville, with Bruce on the fringe. I can see expanding it to include Litta, Greg, Ronnie, Pathleen Llewellyn and Reggie (the market/business personel of Maurice and Ardon should also be included) as they are all CARDI professionals who will be engaged in hot pepper “activities” over the coming year. Maybe at a later date, selected farmers, processors and national Ministry of Agriculture scientists who actively collaborate with CARDI in executing the hot pepper program can be invited to participate in the online network.

At present the core group members (first five) communicate regularly when needed on an ad hoc basis – email or telephone and it can be argued that this is working. Making the “network” function effectively will be an improvement on the current arrangement in that apart from accomodating expansion of members, I feel it also offers a forum for the posting:
  • Medium term plan for the CARDI hot pepper program.
  • National activities planned for the year.
  • A place for all to see how the national programs are unfolding at intervals during the year.
  • An opportunity for the sharing of challenges and solutions to national issues impacting on programs.
  • A chance upon evaluation to modify targets and goals such the regional program can better impact in national jurisdictions.
  • An opportunity to identify and prepare project proposals of optimal relevance to the hot pepper industry of the Caribbean for donor funding.
  • A place where managers at CARDI head office can obtain at a glance a synopsis of what is going on in the region re hot pepper.

With a redoubling of efforts these can all be achieved. We will no doubt be stymied by limited funds to acquire human, equipment and input material resources, however, maybe better utilization of current limited resources can be realized because of the network. It would therefore seem that “size” in this instance is not as limiting a factor as money (available to the program) and time (which the busy scientists never seem to have enough of). At the end of the day, the online group will work regardless of size when individual members are being directly positivly impacted as a result of their online participation.

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