The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs is playing a major role in the drive to increase the level of food and nutrition security in Antigua and Barbuda.
Speaking at the end of the cassava and sweet potato bread-making initiative on Friday, agricultural assistant in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs, Brent Georges, said the just-concluded exercise goes a long way to further promote food and nutrition security among citizens.
“Because of the fact that we are substituting white flour for ingredients grown locally, the ingredients used thus far are gluten free and can also help towards reducing the incidence of Non-Communicable Diseases in Antigua and Barbuda,” he said.
Georges said that in preparing for this training programme, the Ministry of Agriculture gathered information and also facilitated it by resourcing the raw material and guiding the process, based on recommendations from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
He lauded the collaboration of IICA, CARDI and the Epicurean bakery for making the venture a resounding success.
“I must say thank you very much to Epicurean who has always been willing and supportive of this initiative.”
This venture is also being expanded to include other bakeries across Antigua and Barbuda. Brownies Bakery has assisted with preparing the sweet potato and cassava for this programme and has expressed interest in hosting the baking exercise for one of the future programmes.
Craig Thomas of IICA said that the last day attracted trainees from local groups/church organisations and the ministry of agriculture.
Thomas said that the feedback he has gotten since the baking activity started earlier this week was very positive and they will be reviewing the economic benefits of bringing these commodities on the local market.
Two of the trainees who were involved in the programme said that they were very pleased with the experience and will share their skills with others.
Junior Officer Webson, who works at the prison, said he has been baking for a number of years and the training session was informative and educational.
He said this was the first time he used sweet potato and cassava to make bread, but he believes that this was the best way to go as most people are choosing healthier lifestyles.
Cindy Simmons-Lee from the Seventh-day Adventist Community Services said it was quite an experience for her as she had never thought of making bread using sweet potato and cassava.
“It s a new thing for us and we must learn to use more of what we have,” Lee said.