[PRESS RELEASE] Dominica, Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines chart a course for their dasheen value chain

Stakeholders from all three countries are working to upgrade their dasheen value chains to increase production and access to local, regional, and extra-regional markets.  

Dasheen was the focus of weeklong discussions among some 50 stakeholders including farmers, exporters, government representatives and regional partner Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI).

From February 13-17, 2023, these stakeholders from across the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines engaged in an assessment of the dasheen value chain of each country, facilitated by the Caribbean Value Chain team of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

This weeklong Regional Dasheen Value Chain Working Session is a part of activities under the regional cluster of projects on Promoting Windward Islands Food Production and Trade Corridor through National and Regional Value Chain Development. The workshop sought to identify the challenges along the dasheen value chain and to establish an action plan for increasing the efficiency and profitability of dasheen production.

The three countries discussed the current state of their dasheen sectors, the root causes of its challenges, the steps necessary to remove the vulnerabilities faced by farmers and to ensure secure, fair, and profitable markets for dasheen. Marketing, production, cost of production, mid-supply chain, sustainability, primarily in relation to gender and climate change, were among the topics discussed.

Farmers, regional and international exporters shared the realities on the ground in dasheen production. Mr Lenson Grant, a young dasheen farmer from St Vincent and the Grenadines, shared his challenge of lacking access to a stable market for dasheen and noted that this resulted in inconsistent prices for the product. He highlighted that while he loved planting dasheen, these challenges significantly impacted his earnings.

Mr Nick Bernal, Exporter of Seasons Farm Fresh serving the Caribbean markets in Miami and New York, remarked that while the Caribbean offers high quality dasheen, there is an issue of consistent supply from the region. He added that the future of dasheen production needs to be large-scale to be profitable on the export market and that a coordinated effort in filling this gap would greatly serve the development of a regional dasheen industry.

These sentiments led to discussions on how to alleviate some of the challenges to production, marketing and supply in a holistic and collaborative way that involves all stakeholders at the government, private sector, and farm level. This would ensure a consistent and quality supply of dasheen to adequately supply the local, regional and export markets.

Ms Romuld, FAO International Value Chain Specialist remarked that success of the dasheen value chain was highly dependent on all stakeholders, including farmers, processors, exporters, various government representatives, financial institutions, investment promotion entities among others, having a strong and effective partnership, particularly with the private sector. She emphasized that countries, especially those keen on exporting high potential crops like dasheen, would require strong private sector investment to ensure sustainability.

The working session concluded with a preliminary draft of an Upgrading Strategy that will define the goals for the dasheen sector in each country and identify a path to achieving these goals over the next five years. Over the coming weeks, the countries will establish national value chain teams to deliver a final version of the Strategy for implementation, guided by FAO over the next two years of the project.

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  1. February 24, 2023

    Not sure who’s idea this was ,but we must give credit on this one.quite clearly they get it ,they get what needs to be done and they get what action they need to take. Working collectively as a region this should include st lucia 🇱🇨 as well .WORK COLLECTIVELY TOGETHER, ONE TEAM. Let’s hope this is the start of things to come.

  2. Zandoli
    February 24, 2023

    I know an importer in the city where I live and years ago he told me he had imported some produce from Dominica and consistency of supply was the biggest issue. He was happy with the quality of the produce, but getting sufficient quantity on a consistent basis was a big problem.

  3. OneLove
    February 24, 2023

    Dasheen or CBI passports?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2
    • Mike
      February 25, 2023

      CBI is fast money with no accountability, a large commission for the politician and the lawyers plus more kickback money on the backend from any construction. Dasheen monies goes straight to the Farmer and the other supporting businesses, in other words straight into the economy so I think CBI wins hands down.

      • Gary
        February 27, 2023

        Why do you make such statements, lol, be content with what you perceive.

        • Beta
          March 1, 2023

          Why don’t YOU make such a hollow comment? Is that all you can contribute?

    • Gary
      February 27, 2023

      You asked a question Dasheen or CBI, what is your answer, my answer, CBI. The CBI has contributed far more to the development of The Country, than Dasheen production. Now, that being said, it does not mean we should not explore dasheen production and tap its full potential as an agriculture produce to contribute to our GDP. Why is it at this stage we are trying to come up with an assessment of the dasheen value chain of each country.

      Mr Nick Bernal, Exporter of Seasons Farm rightly summarized the present situation, an issue of consistent supply. Don’t we remember the days of Bananas, the model of how we had consistent supply, the Winward Islands came together with their production, why can that not be replicated, what about some sort of ration system with planting. I hope such discussion does not have to be repeated 5 years from now again to solve this problem.

      • Martin
        February 27, 2023

        Mary, for once in your live you told the truth, you corrupt little creature.

        • Gary
          February 28, 2023

          I’m a human being, not a creature of your malevolent
          perception. Tell, me What does truth means to you, does it have to be in accordance with your partisan Political beliefs, lo.l

          • Clara
            March 1, 2023

            No, all those worshipers of the CM are creatures and that includes you. Corrupt creatures, who are willing to sell their country for a few dollars. There we have it. Get out of here!

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2
  4. Roger Burnett
    February 24, 2023

    The press release makes mention of the problems faced by “stakeholders” but says nothing about the culinary potential of dasheen beyond its acceptance as a vegetable.

    A study I made for DEXIA over ten years ago explores this potential but my report has since languished in a filing cabinet, onseen and unacted upon.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
    • Confused
      February 24, 2023

      What do you mean by”onseen” and “unacted” ?

      • Roger Burnett
        February 25, 2023

        Sorry, it should read “unseen” and unacted upon. Meaning that, no notice was taken of my submission.

    • Beta
      February 26, 2023

      …and how about ‘value chain’. That’s all they do, day in day out using fancy words they themselves do not even understand. The main point to get the product right is totally neglected. Only talk and propaganda as usual…

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1
    • Alvin Bernard
      February 26, 2023

      Who owns this document? Can it be circulated wider than it has been?

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