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News > World

Saint Lucia Boost Cassava Cultivation to Replace 'White Bread'

  • A man cuts cassava root.

    A man cuts cassava root. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 February 2018

Cassava, a root vegetable rich in carbohydrates, is a healthier substitute for traditional white bread.

With the help of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Saint Lucia has embarked on a new agricultural project, planting cassava with the intention of using the flour and mash made from it as a healthier substitute to the traditional white bread, which is made from wheat flour. The Caribbean island's Ministry of Health and Wellness and Ministry of Agriculture are both spearheading the project.

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“It’s a crop that is drought resistant, so you can call it a climate-smart crop and cassava has been one of the root crops most researched by researchers and other scientists. It also has a better-finished product as compared to sweet potato and other root and tuber crops,” said Marcus Cherry, national coordinator of the project.

Another vital aspect of cassava cultivation is the production of cassava mash, which is used to make cassava blended bread. This type of food is produced by no less than four bakeries on the island, according to Caribbean 360.

“When FAO did an experiment in 2014 with us, they brought cassava flour, and they brought cassava mash. What we found was the end product with mash, as opposed to flour, gives a much better and softer product, much better than flour. However, mash may be more expensive because of the fact that you need freezing space,” said Sylvia Cadasse, manager of Manees Bakery.

She emphasized that greater visibility and marketing is needed to make cassava blended bread a more popular choice.

Cassava, a food crop rich in carbohydrates, is widely harvested throughout the year in tropical and subtropical regions for its edible, starchy and tuberous root.

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