Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Caribbean specialists acquire new expertise for adding value to cassava

A meeting supported by IICA, the European Union, and Colombia’s Presidential Agency for International Cooperation enabled specialists engaged in promoting the crop to learn about new forms of marketing that could boost markets for the product. Technical officers from six Caribbean countries traveled to Costa Rica to learn about new ways of adding value to cassava production and modern technologies for processing the vegetable, in order to boost the industry, promote the diversification of markets, and improve the chain’s competitiveness. The specialists also strengthened their working relationship with a view to creating an innovation network with the Central American countries and Panama designed to facilitate cassava production, processing, and marketing. They also hope to be able to share their experiences with groups of producers and other links in the cassava chain in their respective countries. “Cassava is a strategically important crop for the region, a great option for guaranteeing nutrition and food security, and can be a good source of income. Therefore, sharing knowledge as part of a hemispheric agenda is essential to overcome current constraints,” commented Lloyd Day, the Deputy Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). The Caribbean countries represented at the activity were Jamaica, Suriname, Guyana, Grenada, and Barbados, while the Latin American nations taking part were Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Officials from Colombia’s Presidential Agency for International Cooperation (APC) were also involved, as the entity coordinates the network  of the Central American countries and Panama. The event was organized by IICA, the European Union (EU) –through the Regional Program for Research and Innovation by Agricultural Value Chains (PRIICA)– and Colombia’s Presidential Agency for International Cooperation (APC-Colombia). Costa Rica’s National Institute for Innovation and Transfer in Agricultural Technology (INTA) and the CLAYUCA Corporation also provided support.

Source: Barnacle