‘Anything you do with normal flour you can do with banana flour. You are replacing the white flour with a healthy alternative. It has a sweet taste but there’s no sugar. I’ve found that when you dry out products, you get a little sweetness.’ – Tonya Ifill
IF ONE ENTREPRENEUR has her way, more consumers will be setting aside their wheat, cassava and sweet potato products for those made with green bananas.
Tonya Ifill, owner and operator of Carlesa’s Enterprises pioneered flour and pasta made from the unripened fruit. Ifill was attending Agrofest when she spoke with BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY.
She got the idea while participating in an agro-processing course at the Guyana School of Agriculture. As a group project, participants had to come up with a product that was new to the South American country.
“I did sweet potato and brown rice pasta and got my cousin to export a pasta machine from Canada and I was ready. When I came back [to Barbados], I was looking for something different to work with instead of the same sweet potato and cassava. I researched green bananas, asked around for some and started my trials and it took off from there,” she said.
THE West Indies has a warm, festive atmosphere at this time of year. Visitors are welcomed with open arms in true Caribbean community spirit. Many restaurants and hotels will celebrate with local Christmas traditions, and have West Indian Christmas recipes for you to experience.
In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, they celebrate the Nine Mornings Festival where, for the nine mornings before Christmas, everyone wakes up really early for sea bathing, dancing to steel pan bands, and attending fêtes. Carriacou Parang Festival is another completely unique experience, as performers use only percussion instruments as they sing along to Christmas carols.
Trinidad and Tobago also has a Parang Festival, but this differs from Carriacou’s, in that the songs are sung in Spanish, and they use electrified instruments.
As the clock winds down to the opening of the 13thCaribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) in Suriname agricultural organisations have been signaling their expectations of the Region’s leading agricultural event and their faith in the Community’s quest to meet its food and nutrition needs.
This year, CWA will be held in Paramaribo, 6-12 October, under the theme ` Transforming Caribbean Agriculture Through Family Farming’. The United Nations (UN) has declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming in recognition of the important role that family farming plays in eradicating hunger.
One of the first activities of the CWA on 6 October will be a Regional Seminar on Transforming Caribbean Agriculture Through Family Farming. Participation is expected from, family farmers, agricultural planners and policy-makers, the private sector, heads of agricultural organisations, and technical specialists.
Mr. Jethro Greene, Chief Coordinator of the Caribbean Farmers Network (CaFAN) is hoping that the decisions taken at the CWA would include setting specific targets to reduce the Region’s high food security bill.