Addressing Food and Nutrition Security Threats in the Caribbean: Lessons from the Cassava Value Chain in Barbados

Cassava production is one of the most promising industries to deal with the main challenges that Caribbean region is currently facing. Cassava as a strategic locally-produced crop with a vast potential could contribute to addressing the issues of agricultural diversification, economic revitalization, climate change and food import bill. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the main perspectives of the cassava industry development. The paper presents the results of analysis of the profitability of the cassava value chain development in Barbados in terms of economic opportunities for local producers and processors. High production cost of cassava roots and traditional farm management system with low yields are the main constraints of cassava value chain development. Cost-benefit analysis applied to evaluate cassava production models and small-scale plants (mash, flour, chips) shows that returns and generated value can be multiplied many times, when cassava yields are increased up to 28 MT/Ha and higher. Results indicate that growing cassava and transforming it in various value-added products can be a profitable activity if local farmers decrease production costs under proposed management systems and guarantee a constant supply of fresh cassava roots at competitive prices. Policy decisions and incentives are needed to stimulate private sector investments in the development of this industry.

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Farm and Business - The Journal of the Caribbean Agro-Economic Society, 08, 1
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2019-08-30

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