Robin G C*, Asiedu F*, Lopez V and Extavour V. 2018. Roots and Tubers Research and Development Activities in Countries of the Caribbean Community with a Focus on Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz.) Universal Journal of Agricultural Research 6: 214 – 230
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has prioritized roots and tuber crops as new pillars for enhancing food and nutrition security, agricultural and economic growth, reducing the high food import bill, generating employment, as well as reducing the incidence of non-communicable diseases. The cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) industry, though in its infancy, is recognized as having the potential for developing a wide range of value-added products, targeting existing and new markets. Over the past 15 years, the formation of a Regional Cassava Working Group, the establishment of the root crop tissue culture laboratory in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the demonstration of new techniques in vegetative propagation and production, has led to increased productivity in CARICOM. The up-grade of farine production facilities and the selection of suitable varieties / accessions for making farine, has increased the production and consumption of the traditional cassava bread as well as the composite bread made from 40% grated cassava. The marketing of cassava value-added products, studies on cassava macro-economic impact analysis and cassava policy development are all efforts channeled towards the sustainability of the cassava industry (value chain). Studies of the effects of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) accessions, time of planting and zones on productivity, have led to more effective production planning and taro (Colocasia esculenta) or dasheen research has added three more genotypes to the narrow gene pool. These achievements have bolstered food and nutrition security in CARICOM.
Cassava, Sweet Potato, Taro, Value Chain, Productivity, Varieties, CARDI, FAO