Effort is aimed at affording women an opportunity to learn the art of baking using starchy crops and to improve the production, preparation, distribution and handling of food products.
Antigua and Barbuda, 2 May 2017 (IICA). Agro-processors, rural women, food and nutrition teachers and chefs from public institutions learned how to blend and use mash from cassava and sweet potato to produce composite bread and other baked products in order to increase consumption and expand opportunities for value adding from local farm produce, thanks to an initiative of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA, in collaboration with the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI).
In a one-day practical workshop at the Uncle Sil’s Bakery, in Swetes Village, participants made bread, pies and cake processed from sweet potato and cassava, and gained practical exposure in raw material preparation, processing parameters and their relevance and equipment usage.
IICA’s National Specialist, Craig Thomas and CARDI’s technician, Bradbury Brown, identified the need to continue the implementation of the bread baking training to assist the food and nutrition teachers and members of the Antigua and Barbuda Network of Rural Women Producers (ANBNROP) in building capacity in bread baking, in an effort to afford the women an opportunity to learn the art of baking using starchy crops to improve the production, preparation, distribution and handling of food products.
Training was facilitated by Delroy Jackson and Romeo Skepple, bakers who received training from the master baker of the Caribbean Agri-Business Association (CABA), under the Agriculture Policy Programme (APP).
A major outcome of the session was to identify persons who will commit to further develop this new bread baking concept and identify markets and destinations.
“The promotion of linkages between agriculture and processed products should help to create economic opportunities, support growth in rural communities and improve the chances for sustainable development in these two sectors”, stated Thomas.
The 25 persons who participated in the training session had high praise for the information and new techniques demonstrated by the facilitators in introducing these new baking techniques using locally grown crops.
The focus of the initiative is to support youth and women, a goal to which both IICA and CARDI are committed. Other collaborative institutions for this activity were the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs (MALFBA) and the Wadadli Nature Parks.
Craig Thomas, IICA’s National Specialist in Antigua and Barbuda