Caribbean Development Bank supports sweet potato project

Source: Fresh Plaza

With the aim of enhancing food security and agricultural productivity, the Caribbean Development Bank will support production, processing and marketing of sweet potatoes in the Caribbean region.

A US$600,000-grant from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) will fund the research and capacity building initiative. The estimated total cost of the project is set to be US$810,000. This means the CDB funding will cover some 74 percent of that amount, with CARDI providing funding for the remainder.

The project involves market research, including value chain analysis to gauge levels of consumer demand, potential areas for investment and defining the existing gaps in the market. Field research will validate climate-resilient varieties and genotypes, including strains that are high yielding, drought-tolerant, disease-resistant, and suitable for processing.

Director of projects at CDB, Daniel Best said the project would help to break new ground for the sweet potato industry in the Caribbean. further quoted him as saying: “The goal is to help identify emerging or potential opportunities for market development, expansion and enhancement of the regional sweet potato industry. The planned research, particularly the business case development, will serve as a catalyst for more strategic investment in the industry while the technology transfer will accelerate its modernization.”