Saint Lucia adopts climate-smart cassava cultivation, encourages production of blended bread


The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is spearheading a project which will not only increase the cultivation of cassava throughout the Region but also encourages the production of cassava blended bread as a healthier alternative to the traditional white bread.

Cassava is extensively cultivated as an annual crop in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible, starchy, tuberous root which is a major source of carbohydrates. The Ministry of Health and Wellness has collaborated with the Ministry of Agriculture on a Roots and Tubers project funded by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). National Coordinator for the project, Marnus Cherry said among the benefits of this project is a projected increase in sweet cassava production island wide.

“It’s a crop that is drought resistant, so you can call it a climate smart crop and cassava has been one of the root crops most researched by researchers and other scientists. It also has a better finished product as compared to sweet potato and other root and tuber crops.”

Another component of the project is the value added aspect with the production of cassava mash which is used to make cassava blended bread. The bread is currently being produced by at least four bakeries on island. Manager for Manees Bakery, Sylvia Cadasse said the only drawback is an increased cost in production due to the refrigeration of cassava mash.

Blended cassava rolls were a hit at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture in the Cayman Islands in 2016
Blended cassava rolls were a hit at the Caribbean Week of Agriculture in the Cayman Islands in 2016

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CARICOM Agriculture Ministers meet in preparation for FAO Regional Conference

Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry at the CARICOM Secretariat (standing) consults with chair of the meeting, the Hon. Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Trinidad and Tobago. Also in photo are, from left, Richard Brown, Ph.D., Director Single Market and Sectoral Programmes, CARICOM Secretariat,  Mr. Joseph Cox, ASG, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat; and Lystra Fletcher-Paul, PhD., FAO Sub-regional Coordinator
Ms. Nisa Surujbally, Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry at the CARICOM Secretariat (standing) consults with chair of the meeting, the Hon. Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Trinidad and Tobago. Also in photo are, from left, Richard Brown, Ph.D., Director Single Market and Sectoral Programmes, CARICOM Secretariat, Mr. Joseph Cox, ASG, Trade and Economic Integration, CARICOM Secretariat; and Lystra Fletcher-Paul, PhD., FAO Sub-regional Coordinator

Ministers of Agriculture of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) on Monday began preparations for the 35th Food and Agriculture (FAO) Regional Conference which will be held in Jamaica, 5-8 March, 2018. The preparatory consultation was held at the CARICOM Secretariat in Georgetown, Guyana, with some delegates joining the discussions via videoconferencing.

The regional conference in Montego Bay will help the FAO to strategise for effective responses to the priorities and challenges that the Region faces in the coming biennium.

Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries of Trinidad and Tobago, the Hon. Clarence Rambharat chaired the consultation at which the Director-General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Permanent Secretaries and other officials in the sector were present.

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CRFM leads initiative to support management of four-wing flying fish

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BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, Wednesday, 24 January 2018 (CRFM)—Seven Caribbean countries are participating in a recently launched series of sub-projects which the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) is leading under a sustainable management initiative for the flying fish fishery.

In highlighting the importance of the initiative, CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, said: “We in the region are utilizing a common space and common living marine resource; therefore, we need to cooperatively manage these common interests. One of these common interests is the flyingfish fishery, and the governance framework developed for the flyingfish fishery could be scaled up and applied to other fisheries in the region.”

The CRFM, the agency which provides fisheries-related advice and recommendations at the CARICOM level, initiated six sub-projects during 2017 to implement the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) for the management of the four-wing flying fish in the Eastern Caribbean. This species of economic and cultural significance to our region is harvested by over 1,700 boats across the Eastern Caribbean countries and in Martinique.

The sub-projects are being implemented in the focal countries of Barbados, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Dominica, and Trinidad and Tobago, plus the French Overseas Territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe.

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In Guyana, a golden opportunity to reduce poverty through agriculture

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January 25, 2018, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – There’s a new buzz in Guyana, which could help the government attain its development goals, and may boost entrepreneurship.

Known in the agricultural sector for its sugar and rice, the Government of Guyana, with support from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is aiming to add honey to the list, and in the process, provide a sustainable pathway out of poverty for Guyanese.

Having wrapped up five days of training at the end of 2017, 25 new beekeepers have charged into the New Year eager about their prospects-some of them youth, launching businesses for the first time, some women, excited about the financial independence the industry can bring.

 “I’ve always wanted to pursue an avenue that can help to supplement my family income, but was constrained by the lack of jobs in the area, having children to look after, and not having a skill I can utilise at home to earn,” said Sharon Butts, an unemployed, stay-at-home mother who participated in the workshop.

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