Guyana: Cassava Festival in Kwebanna – on December 14, 2019 ― ahead of Commissioning of Cassava Flour Factory

The Farmers Group along with the Hand-in-Hand Women’s Group in Kwebanna Village, Moruca sub-region, Barima/Waini, Region One, successfully concluded a one-week training exercise in preparation for the hosting of the first-ever Cassava Festival scheduled for December 14.

The session which was conducted by Hinterland Employment Youth Service (HEYS) Catering Facilitator, Margaret Cornette, saw fifty women participating in the five-day exercise.

The training targeted members of the two groups to creatively experiment with the Cassava Flour before the commissioning of the much-anticipated Cassava Flour Processing Facility.   

It will ensure the standardised amount of ingredients (mixture) are obtained in preparing several delicious foods to meet local and international standards.

After the training session, Chairperson of the Women’s Group, Barbara Peters, said, “We had a good time. There were fifty persons from Monday to Friday because we are preparing for the festival on December 14.”

Expressing great excitement, Peters said, “We used cassava flour and the cassava meal and the cassava starch and we made starch custard, starch pie, starch muffin, seasoned plantain coated with starch, cassava fruit cake, cassava ginger/cheese sticks, cassava puff, seasoned cassava, cassava surprise, quenchers. So, the training was very successful and I’m happy that the turnout was good.”

Participant Leandra France said, “I was in the Golden Apple Group because they put us in six groups and it was exciting and very interesting. I learnt that a lot of things can be made with cassava flour. This training will help us to prepare not only for the local people but for people who will be visiting our community in the future.”

Lorna Wilson from the Pineapple Group said, “I can tell you we had a very wonderful time with our teacher using the cassava flour and there was a sale at the end and most of the group had sold out. So now we are awaiting the Cassava Festival.”

Fabian France who is the Chairman of the Cassava Flour Processing Facility noted that “the training was good and it will benefit the ladies, it will also benefit all the nearby villages Manawarin, Santa Cruz, Warapoka.”

Cornette who spent the entire week working along with the women said, “I am very excited for the ladies; it was very interesting and motivational and they worked among themselves and it was good to see maximum participation”.

Meanwhile, Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous People’s Affairs Hon. Valerie Garrido-Lowe said, “The farmers are enthusiastic about the cassava flour and wheat flour mixture and we want to ensure the correct mixture that would make excellent bread, cakes and pastries, will be packaged and marketed.”

“Ms. Cornette, who does an excellent job in this area, was sent with a mandate to work with the villagers to come up with the right consistency, come up with the right mixture that can guarantee that when people use it, they can produce delicious meals,” the Minister added.

It was also noted that new and delicious recipes were created and will be unveiled during the commissioning of the facility.

Some thirty farmers are currently planting cassava to supply to the facility and during the launch of the project in March 2018, Minister Garrido-Lowe had remarked, “many of us plant cassava but how many of us earn properly from it? So, it is time that we balance it off, we have to get our cassava out there on the market and get paid for it.”

The Minister at the time also stated that “we will process the cassava flour and mix it with wheat flour; 40% cassava flour and 60% wheat flour and get a mixed product of Cassava Wheat Flour”.

The one-day Cassava Festival seeks to further highlight the great potential of Kwebanna and according to organisers, patrons will enjoy several delicious dishes prepared from by-products of the cassava.

There will be additional booths offering local foods, drinks and craft, in addition to several sporting events among them football, cricket and volleyball.

————–

Kwebanna Cassava Processing Factory is completed!

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, June 4, 2019

The wait for Moruca’s first Cassava Processing Factory is finally over now that the construction of the facility is completed. Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Valerie Garrido-Lowe and a team from the ministry, toured the facility recently.

Residents of Kwebanna, Moruca in Region 1 will now benefit from this project since the initiative is slated to provide many opportunities for persons living in the district.

With the establishment of this new facility, more residents will get access to employment opportunities, while cassava farmers will have the advantage of being the suppliers of the factory.

The factory will produce cassava flour as the main product. After a thorough study conducted by the Kwebanna Farmers’ Cooperative, it was determined that the production of cassava flour would provide a great source of income for farmers and vendors in the local markets.

In addition to the cassava flour, the factory will supply cassareep, starch and other cassava by-products.

Persons working in the factory will be specially trained by the Ministry of Social Protection’s Board of Industrial Training (BIT), which will provide training in processing.

The Ministry of Business will provide training in packaging.

The factory is a $26M investment by the government that catered to the clearing and preparation of 30 acres of land, the purchasing of cassava sticks for planting and the construction of the factory.

Images by: Anil Seelall

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On November 27, 2019 at 3:45 am

    Nice one…
    Yummy yummy for my tummy mummy.
    King Kong Demerara sugar replaced by
    Queenie Kasava products/byproducts.

    Q will jungle be cleared for growing kasava
    on plantations.? Hope not !
    Commercialised farming benefits the few
    not the many.
    A guaranteed price for all kasava growers
    is way forward.

    Commercialised farming is destroying
    the USA agricultural/dairy industry.

    Go figure
    Google milk farmers

    Kamtan 🇬🇧🇬🇾🇪🇸🇬🇧👽

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