Japan funding to help women in Guyana, Dominica deal with disasters

The Government of Japan is contributing US$5 million to help rural women in Guyana and Dominica, particularly those engaged in agriculture, withstand the effects of climate change.

At the Ministry of Finance Thursday afternoon, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan signed the project documents with the United Nations Development Programme for the Japan-funded project.

A portion of the US$5 million project will be used in Guyana over the next three years. It is intended to help poor farmers, especially women, to withstand the negative impacts of climate change.

“As such, the project will focus, primarily, on women, whom, perhaps, are the most vulnerable section of the population that is exposed during droughts, floods, hurricanes and other severe weather conditions.

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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


New IICA Director General to visit CARICOM Secretariat

New Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Dr. Manuel Otero, has signalled his intention to visit the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat soon.

The indication came during a meeting with CARICOM Programme Manager, Agriculture and Industry, Ms. Nisa Surujbally, shortly after his inauguration earlier this month in San Jose, Costa Rica. Ms. Surujbally represented CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque at Dr. Otero’s swearing-in ceremony.