#CWA2014 – Region looks to increase production of cassava, meat

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The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is looking to cassava as a substitute for wheat as it continues to make concerted efforts to reduce the astronomical food import bill.

Wheat accounts for a large portion of the more than $5B regional food import bill.

The Region is working on establishing an industry that would utilize cassava in place of wheat for food as well as for animal feed instead of corn.

Turning to non-traditional products such as cassava was the subject of several discourses during the just-concluded Caribbean Week of Agriculture held in Paramaribo, Suriname, 6-12 October.

According to Dr. Cedric Lazarus, Livestock Development Officer, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, workshop sessions at the CWA considered the development of a cassava industry that would spawn production of goods by bakeries, and by feed mills.

Agriculture stakeholders who were in Suriname for the week of activities, also focused on the economic viability of countries like Guyana, Suriname, and Belize boosting their production of meat. The Community produces about three million kilogrammes of goat meat and lamb, but imports about eight million kilogrammes per year from Australia and New Zealand, Dr. Lazarus pointed out.

 

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