“Cassava is the prioritized commodity for this project, and currently results in a two percent reduction on the food import bill within CARICOM.” Saint Lucia, as one of these CARICOM countries, must continue to contribute to the import bill’s further decline.” – Regional Project Coordinator for the FAO, Vermaran Extavour
Minister for Agriculture, Hon Ezechiel Joseph, has voiced continued support for Saint Lucia’s cassava industry as part of a wider plan to improve food security in the Caribbean region.
The minister’s comments were made earlier this year, at an inception workshop and cassava value chain cluster meeting, that was held to sensitise at least five important stakeholders—the Network of Rural Women Producers (Babonneau and Micoud Cluster), the Fond Assau Agro Processing Plant, the Bureau of Standards, the Development Bank and the Bakery Industry—of developments in the root and tuber crop (cassava) industry.
“This project came to fruition as a result of a request to the FAO for assistance in addressing processing issues in relation to the cassava crop, especially because one of the readily-available infrastructures— the Fond Assau Agro Processing Plant—had been in the retrofitting and refurbishing mode for the past six years,” the minister said. The assistance of the FAO allowed for facility upgrades to food and safety compliance standards, and the ability to accommodate the cluster groups of the Saint Lucia Network of Rural Women Producers on a full-time basis.
Read more at: Office of the Prime Minister Saint Lucia