Can Barbados Develop Cassava as a Successful Agro Industry?

Prepared by the Facebook Group: Surviving Our Harsh Economic Environment (SOHEE)
 It is a perennial crop hence it can be harvested as required

It is a perennial crop hence it can be harvested as required


Currently a significant number of persons are moving away from gluten (e.g. wheat) flours. As a consequence they are looking for alternative flours. Some of the main alternatives are cassava, arrowroot, corn, rice, breadfruit, etc. In our neck of the woods, we possess the expertise and soil for the growth of cassava, arrowroot and breadfruit flours. Cassava is most likely going to require the least amount of time and effort in order to become an economically viable crop.

Below Is A Synopsis To Getting A Cassava Industry Up And Running Here In Barbados.

Positive Attributes of Cassava:
1. Cassava is the third-largest source of food carbohydrates in tropical climates
2. It is a perennial crop hence it can be harvested as required
3. Cassava gives one of the highest yields of carbohydrates/ starch per cultivated area
4. Cassava is one of the most drought-tolerant crops
5. It grows well in most soils
6. Is not liked by the monkeys (Good news for Barbados)
7. Excellent source of gluten-free carbohydrates
8. With ideal growing conditions can yield on average 12.5 tonnes per hectare (NB: In India with a the yield of 34.8 tonnes per hectare – 2010)
9. Per unit weight, it commands a relatively good price on the International markets
10. Extremely digestible

Potential Food Uses:
1. As an alternative to wheat (gluten) flour
2. As one’s primary source of carbohydrates – replacing rice/ potatoes/ sweet potatoes/ pasta
3. As a wafer
4. In deserts
5. In beverages

Nutrition Profile:
1. Primarily carbohydrate
2. Vitamin C
3. Thiamine
4. Riboflavin
5. Nicotinic acid.

Non-Food (Industrial) Uses of Cassava
1. Animal Feed
2. In manufacturing ethanol
3. In the textile industry
4. In manufacturing paper
5. In manufacturing clay

Location: Lands formerly used for the growth of sugar cane

Time of production/ marketing: 2014

1. Capitalize on market demand
2. Number of companies who EXCLUSIVELY specialize in non-gluten flours
3. Via gluten free alternative cooking magazines/ cooking shows/ etc.
4. Via certain health organizations – e.g. Celiac

Driving Forces:
1. Worldwide demand
2. Ideal soil
3. Monkeys are not attracted to same
4. Grows easily
5. Lots of available acreage
6. Position to develop a “brand”

Number of People Than Can Be Employed: 400 to 1,000

Start-Up Date: As soon as possible

44 thoughts on “Can Barbados Develop Cassava as a Successful Agro Industry?

  1. A very versatile crop indeed should be developed. I love cassava chips , we could make them here BUT only the imported ones are found in the supermarkets. I recently brought back some farine from Martinique where it is sold at all supermarkets next to imported foodstuff. I love it as a breakfast cereal and was served as one in Martinique. My hostess made a pineapple upside down cake using cassava flour. It was scrumptious. It is about time we stop talking and start doing.

  2. Very easy to grow.
    Can be grown organically as it is resistant to most pests.
    Cassava flour/farine can be kept for months at a time without refrigeration even in the tropical heat, so it is a good food to have on hand in case of emergencies.
    Cassava flour is tasty (I had some cassava bakes for breakfast this morning)

  3. Maybe we could persuade the crop thieves to bring their family land, back yards, side yards, side yards into production If the crop thieves are growing their own food they will have so much that they won’t need to steal

  4. I know that I upset a lot of people in my responses to ADRIAN LOVERIDGE.

    But the thing is he is only concerned with the Tourism Industry because that is where he makes his millions. As a result he is only interested in the Government emptying the Treasury into the Bank accounts of Hoteliers.

    However what this will do is to starve all other industries in Barbados. Case in point the Cassava department of the Country’s Agricultural Industry. For a change this is an excellent article. The potential of Cassava is immense. But funds need to be put into development. If all our funds are put into Tourism how do we develop alternatives?

    Another crop with great export potential but at present given no attention is the Breadfruit. In England for example large quantities of Breadfruits are imported from the Pacific, but guess what? They prefer the Bajan Breadfruit but they cant get enough of them.

    However the most dangerous obstacle to any type of Agricultural diversification in Barbados is not ADRIAN LOVERIDGE BUT the Barbados Labour Party. I am sure many of you can remember that under Carmeta Fraser a thriving export industry in Powered yam was developed. We could not get enough to export. The planting of yams should have been expanded and the country would have benefited tremendously. It is no secret that Carmeta Fraser was a member of the Democratic Labour Party and as a result when the Barbados Labour Party took over the reigns of Government the fist order of business for them was to shut down the Powered Yam facility, not that it was a failure. It was just spite on their part.

    Unfortunately if this Government develops the Cassava, rest assured that the Barbados Labour Party will shut it down the first opportunity they get.

    Just saying.

  5. Not agro industry, but I plant some cassava every May Day, because I like to eat well, and as close to nature as possible.

    And my BLP MP always commends me when I am working the land.

  6. Love cassava and the bajan white yam is the best i have ever tasted, tourism my ass………start planting and exporting.

    • To lease a couple of the CLICO plantations would be ideal, form a company and let private sector players invest in it to raise the startup capital, a cooperative.

  7. @ David | July 15, 2013 at 6:20 AM |

    The government needs to move quickly and compulsorily acquire those CLICO plantation lands with the immediate intention of leasing or selling them to private sector players to either “beef-up” the arable acreage available to either cassava growers on a commercially large and viable scale or to save the sugar cane industry as they claim they are planning to do.
    There will be NO resuscitation of any sugar cane industry unless CLICO lands are brought back into cultivation. The longer these lands remain in their current state of abandonment the harder and more costly it would be to bring them back to a state of arability either for sugar cane growing or cassava production on an industrial and commercially attractive basis.

  8. @Miller

    It is the height of inefficiency that six years through an economic downturn we have not been able to mobilise strategies to diversify our production.

  9. Carson…………….i saw a breadfruit (photo) on BU the other day and I salivated…………stop with the damn tourism dependency, it will cause the islanders to be re-enslaved.

  10. @ Carson C. Cadogan | July 15, 2013 at 7:12 AM |

    So why isn’t your administration taking your suggestions seriously?
    Don’t you think 5 years is long enough a period to see some of your bright ideas come to fruition? Or do they the DLP honchos also consider you to be a damned idiot?

    Is the sugar industry dying? How come production has dropped from 35,000 tons to less than half of that since this administration came to power. Do you want to see sugar go the same way as tourism as you are recommending?

    Why not make the coming WENDY’S (franchise for the this part of the region owned by a Trinidadian business) restaurant serve breadfruit and cassava in their restaurant(s) as part of its licence to operate instead of importing GM grown food from North America using up very scarce forex?
    Wendy’s Restaurant will NOT be a net forex earner but will represent a massive leakage to import processed unhealthy food to feed an already NCD riddle population.

  11. Even though I work in the Tourism Industry, it has always been my belief that we as Bajans put too much emphasis on tourism to the detriment of other industries.

    I have always suspected that one day we would find ourselves in the position that we now find ourselves. When the Tourists stop coming in huge numbers because of their own personal problems whatever they are we will be in big trouble because of a lop sided economy and I have to see it become a reality.

    The Mighty Chalkdust sang about us and Tourism for years but no one paid him any attention.

    What we did was persue mindless short term Tourism strategies which inflated the coffers of our treasury. Under the last administration “GOLF” was the big thing for them, even though it yiealded little positive results but took up huge swaths of Bajan land.

    • @islandgal

      Keep posting, your comments went to spam. Keep posting and it will sort itself out.

  12. this blog is having problems posting comments. I don’t know if it is the type of browser or what.

  13. The BBC carried a story this morning showing that the Chinese economy is continuing to slow down and they say that everyone should be worried about that.

  14. @ Carson C. Cadogan
    “The scourge of praedial larceny is a continual, never ending problem for farmers in Barbados. And Pile said that contrary to statistics, it was not decreasing at all.”

    “It is not that crop theft is down; people are just so fed up they are simply not reporting it anymore,” he said.

    The above from a nation report January 2013.

    So the situation is worse now than when the DLP took office in 2008. You really think farmers are so blasted stupid as to go into Cassava in any major way when successive BLP and DLP governments have done nothing substantive to reduce the scourge of crop and livestock theft.

  15. Sadly it can be grown many, many places, but if we can save on importing wheat based products then go for it.

  16. I always hear farmers complaining about “The scourge of praedial larceny” but I am yet to hear them say what THEY are doing about it other than complain, complain, complain.

    There are positive steps that they can be done do to reduce the incidents of praedial larceny , but from my point of view their best solution seems to be to do nothing at all but complain.

  17. @Carson C. Cadogan
    “There are positive steps that they can be done do to reduce the incidents of praedial larceny…”

    Please enlighten us.

  18. If I have to enlighten farmers what to do then they are in the wrong business.

    Let me put it this way, as a homeowner I have never had a breakin at my residence because of the measures which I have taken to safe guard my premises which includes being on very friendly terms with my neighbors so that they act as my eyes while I am away from home.

    I don’t just sit down and complain about peoples houses getting broken in and leave it at that.

  19. @ Carson C. Cadogan | July 15, 2013 at 3:46 PM |
    “I have never had a breakin at my residence because of the measures which I have taken to safe guard my premises”

    Very fortunate of you Carson!
    Your bitch does a wonderful job of not warming your bed but also guarding your premises.
    But why would thieves want to break into a house bereft of materials possessions since the caring Samaritan name Carson loves his black brothers and sisters so dearly that he follows to a T the biblical injunction of giving his riches to the poor and lives an ascetic life of St. Francis of Assisi.

    We indeed commend you Carson for your Christ-like attitude.
    Why don’t you give your boss man some advice regarding safety and security?
    Please give him some tips on how not to let important files go missing or be “stolen” from his office.

  20. I like this idea, because we dont eat casava there was a yam processing plant? I think its about time that the people we send overseas to sell Barbados as a tourist destanation should be looking to sell Barbados products as well, there are supermarket chains that can buy enough of our products t

  21. Praedial Larceny is encouraged by Bajans of all classes and status. They stop their air conditioned cars and buy all the thiefing cane and other fruits sold near roundabouts.

    I believe the Government is not serious about Agriculture. When last did you hear anything important about agriculture from the Minister of Agriculture who is promoted as this brilliant person?

    We need to cut our food import bill as part of that 400 million. Import substitution must be the policy going forward. I believe that the Ministry of Agriculture has the most highly qualified staff of all the Ministries but the level of Productivity must be very low.

    Can agree that two or three Clico plantations should be taken over by the government just like they want to buy Almond and a food production group be created with half of NCC and Drainage unit workers as labour.

    The Defense Force who has nothing to do will be the protectors of these plantations from praedial larceny.

    Another Plantation should be put at the Disposal of the Prison and all criminals would work in chain gangs to produce foods for the school meals department and all health institutions where people are living.

    As usual there is only talk when it comes to agriculture but the day is coming when it will be only thing that would save us just like during World War II.

  22. “there was a yam processing plant?”

    And a thriving one at that, before it was killed off by the Barbados Labour Party government because Carmeta Fraser was involved with it.

    • @Clone

      Agree with you that the private sector will shy away from large scale investment unless as a collective we ensure that our laws on the books are enforced and beefed up where necessary. There is also the issue of labour supply, if we ahve to estable a workers register which has been advocated on BU then let us do it. The time for talk is done.

  23. There can be no root crop cultivation in this country without sugar cane, it is the only grass that can be economically cultivated out in order to rotate tubers in. Every 3rd former knows this but yet the experts keep spewing the manure that we sadly lack in the fields along with topsoil and virgin forest. Until the sugar problem is solved there will be no large scale agriculture in Bim and small farmers will continue to spend huge sums to overcome the obvious agriculture facts that we have known for over 300 years.

  24. @ Frustrated businessman | July 16, 2013 at 10:02 AM |

    Soundly argued and well presented!

    And that is what I have been pushing for this government to get those CLICO high rainfall arable plantation lands back into cultivation. Either by way of resolving the CLICO matter by year end with the preferred outcome that the existing real estate will be transferred into a new company owned by the policyholders and managed by competent honest people or failing a speedy legal resolution by year end urgent intervention by the government to compulsory acquire the plantations lands and issue an IOU to CLICO on behalf of its policyholders.

    The acquired lands must be immediately leased to private sector operators who must “re-cultivate” the lands into sugar cane to help heal the soils.
    Diversification into other root crops like cassava can take place on a rotational basis.
    Action is required now to save those plantation lands from reverting to a 1640 looking landscape.

  25. Plant all a clico land in lime trees and sell lime juce. You can rotate casava with things other than sugar cane. But cane is one of our better choices.

  26. Recipe
    Bajan Cassava Pone

    3lbs Cassava finely grated
    1 cup of fresh cows milk
    3 cups brown Barbados Sugar
    12 cup Corn flour
    2 egg well beaten
    2 tsp.Vanilla essence
    1 cup finely chopped raisins
    1 nutmeg
    1 stk.cinnamon

    Mix ingredients in a mixing bowl in order above until you have an even texture.Pour unto a flat baking pan with a 2 inch lip. Bake in 300 degree F oven for 45 mins. Stick center with a spic to know when finish. Cut into 3 inch squares 20 min later when cool. Serve with a cold glass of mauby or sorrel drink as a dessert on the porch this Sunday afternoon with close friends.Enjoy a true Bajan delicacy made from the cassava.

  27. I help to develop TTABA in Trinidad, and am be sure you can do the same in Barbados the issue is the proper raw material to get a good products, Cassava is Potential crop for the Agribusiness.
    Phone 58 414 3996925

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