Strides Made to Increase the Utilization of Cassava

On Friday the 11th of July, the Ministry of Food Production hosted a Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony between the National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation (NAMDEVCO) and the National Schools Dietary Services Limited (NSDSL), Nutrimix Limited, and Caroni GREEN Limited (CGL), respectively.
These negotiations reflect the formation of strategic partnerships between these companies and NAMDEVCO, geared towards the increased utilization of cassava in Trinidad and Tobago. The goal of these collaborative efforts is to develop innovative strategies to reduce the food import bill and encourage investment in local agriculture.
NSDSL, the company that coordinates the School Nutrition Programme, will now collaborate with NAMDEVCO to incorporate cassava into meals served to school-children across the nation. Dr. Andy Ali, Chairman of the NSDSL, was present at the MOU signing and announced “Eat Smart, Eat Local” as the new slogan of the company, which will be timely for the upcoming inclusion of cassava into schools’ menus.
Nutrimix Limited, which currently imports 100% of raw materials used in the production of its animal feed, will now develop new feed formulations utilizing dehydrated cassava on a trial basis and provide feedback to NAMDEVCO. Nutrimix will provide the standards and specifications for the dehydrated cassava required, along with a demand schedule and plan for sale and distribution of the new product. Upon completion of product development, NAMDEVCO will supply Nutrimix with dehydrated cassava, for incorporation into the new product.
Caroni GREEN Limited, which provides contracts to private farmers to cultivate currently unused lands leased to former Caroni workers, will now be responsible for facilitating cassava farmers, as well as providing and developing land and infrastructure for cassava production. NAMDEVCO will, in turn, monitor the farmers’ production, purchase the cultivated cassava, and facilitate processing and supply to markets.
Senator the Honourable Devant Maharaj, in delivering the Feature Address at the event, reiterated that partnering with the private sector in strategic areas is in keeping with the objectives outlined in the People’s Partnership Manifesto for achieving sustainable growth and diversifying the economy. Minister Maharaj further stated that the 77% increase in the contribution of agriculture to GDP from 2009 to 2013, along with a 2% reduction in the national food import bill from 2010 to 2013 is proof of the government’s unwavering commitment to ensuring the food security of Trinidad and Tobago.

Post time: Jun-13-2017
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