Consumption Patterns of Roots and Tubers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

The generalization that the consumption of indigenous root crops is on the decline in the Caribbean is widespread. However, in the absence of baseline data empirically testing this generalization is difficult. This study attempts to use the food balance sheet approach to look at the consumption of the commonly grown root crops-Dasheen, Tannia, Eddo, Sweet Potato and Yam-in St. Vincent and the Grenadines over the period 1997 to 2003. Using the simple trend analysis technique no support for the generalization was found. On the contrary, over the period there was an upward trend in the availability of the root crops for consumption. The suggestion that younger people consume fewer root crops than older people was also tested, by dividing the respondents into two groups, under 45 years and over 46 years old. A Chi-Square-Value of 0.167 was obtained which suggests that there is no dependence between age and the consumption of the root crops. The study also identified some of the key attributes considered in the consumption and purchase decision of the root crops and how the respondents ranked them in comparison to other starchy foods such as Rice, Irish Potato and Wheat/bread. It is recommended that the production and consumption of the root crops should be promoted in the Region as on means of reducing the Region's dependency on imported carbohydrates. However, the nutritional benefits that can be derived from their consumption must be clearly identified and where possible every effort must be made to add value to the raw commodities.

Issue Date:
Aug 15 2004
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
Total Pages:

 Record created 2017-11-30, last modified 2018-01-23

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