Saint Lucia
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Coconut and Cassava Festival Highlights the Importance of Promoting Local Produce

Coconut and cassava products on display at the festival (Photo credit: Jeremiah Norbert)
Coconut and cassava products on display at the festival (Photo credit: Jeremiah Norbert)

IN its quest to shed light on the importance of local agricultural produce, the Ministry of Agriculture recently held the first-ever Coconut and Cassava Festival at Micoud.

On display at the event, was a wide and vibrant array of coconut and cassava products that took centre stage drawing participants and enthusiasts from across the country.

The festival showcased the creativity and dedication of local farmers and entrepreneurs, offering a glimpse into the diverse use of these local products. Among the items on display, included coconut icicles, fresh coconuts, cassava and coconut pastries, and coconut liquor.

The commodities on display emphasized the potential of these natural resources.

Parliamentary Representative for Micoud North, Jeremiah Norbert, expressed his enthusiasm for the festival, stating that the event not only catered to the culinary senses but also served as an educational platform to enlighten patrons of the many roles that coconut plays in the island’s culture and economy.

Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Alfred Prospere underlined the critical role of events such as the Coconut and Cassava Festival in promoting local consumption and production.

“There is always an opportunity for several new products coming on display from what we produce locally,” he said.

The minister added that his concern is that most of these products are only seen “when we have a festival …and I do not want to see these products only when we have a festival. I want to see them on the supermarket shelves, in the small shops, in the local communities so that our kids and other persons can access.”

Prospere said, cognizant of the challenges that exist with food safety standards, labelling, and packaging, the department held a meeting with the agro-processors recently, where they spoke about these challenges.

“I see tremendous potential in this agro-processing sub-sector that Saint Lucia can tap into and create that opportunity for more of our persons to generate an income from that sub-sector,” he noted.

With the Ministry of Agriculture continuing its steadfast promotion of building awareness of local products and fostering entrepreneurial innovation, the minister affirmed that further initiatives are underway to fortify economic growth, reinforce food security, and enhance the livelihood of all citizens in Saint Lucia.

Meanwhile, reports indicate that local producers at the Coconut and Cassava Festival in Micoud attracted a large crowd.