Members of the Caribbean Network of Rural Women Producers (CANROP) from Saint Lucia and Suriname realize the benefits of effective networking for mutual enhancement of their agri-businesses.
Paramaribo, May 8, 2018. A five-day knowledge exchange activity brought together members of two CANROP national chapters, the Saint Lucia Network of Rural Women Producers (SLNRWP) and the Suriname Network of Rural Women Producers (SUNRWP). The aim was for members of the SUNRWP to receive training from two facilitators from the SLNRWP on the processing new cassava products which has high market penetration in many Caribbean countries, but the specific knowledge on these products do not exist in Suriname currently. SUNRWP who made the specific request for this intervention, believes that the new products will not only have potential for creating new revenue streams for the rural women in Suriname, but also have significant opportunities for enhancing food and nutrition security for rural communities’ especially indigenous communities which are far removed from the main population centres. Thirteen women representatives emanating from the seven clusters which make up SUNRWP, participated in the training activities conducted with the train-the trainer theme in mind.
It is important to note that cassava is an important traditional crop in both countries, and is an integral component in the product lines of many of the agri-businesses owned by the members of CANROP. A public taste testing was held at the Made-in-Suriname Agriculture and ICT Fair held from May 3-6 in Paramaribo, and the new products which included Cassava Bread presented with various flavours (salted fish, spicy and sweet), and Cassava Farine (a type of roasted milled cassava) was very welled received by the consumers.
This activity is a continuation of the scaling up of actions towards the governance and operational strengthening of SUNRWP and its members which began under the internal Flagship Project entitled: Inclusion in Agriculture and Rural Areas some two and half years ago, and which since then has fostered tremendous growth and visibility at the national and regional level for SUNRWP. This current action was a joint collaborative effort between the IICA Delegations in Saint Lucia and Suriname.
On the significant positive local response which this activity generated from the members of SUNRWP, local agriculture authorities and consumers, the IICA Representative credited the design and strategic focus of the Inclusion Flagship Project which allows for engagement and support of rural women including indigenous groups to build capacities to enable their insertion into formal marketing and distribution channels. He further reiterated the need for greater appreciation ad recognition on the part of development practitioners for traditional knowledge and its ability to help solve problems and foster greater rural development.
SUNRWP is currently engaged in discussions on plans for mass production and supply of the new cassava products in the local market, and inclusion in the diet of the rural communities, for which IICA will readily assist to achieve this important goal.
For more information:
Representative of the Delegation in Suriname
(597)478187 / 410951 / 410861