Cassava Farmers go to School

by: - October 24, 2019
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On Tuesday October 22nd, the Ministry of Agriculture officially launched its masterclass: a farmers field school for cassava farmers in the north east of the island.

The official launching of the eight-week program took place at the resource center in Calibishie and is expected to engage about 30 cassava farmers.

According to Technical Officer for Projects and Services of the Division of Agriculture, Ryan Anselm, the main objective of this project is to further develop the cassava industry.

“The Ministry of Agriculture is implementing a Cassava Industry Development Project funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and [executed] by the Food and Agriculture Organisation. The main objective is to conduct market assessments and technology validation and dissemination of that technology, “ Anselm explained.

Anselm says this course is hands on and farmers will get the opportunity to learn new techniques for cultivating cassava through field experience.

This farmer field school is intended to share knowledge and it is a participatory approach where farmers will learn by doing and understand the production system, sampling and diagnosing pest problems.”

Coordinator of the class, master trainer and Agriculture Officer at the Division of Agriculture, Kian Stevenson, says the vision is for cassava farmers in Dominica to be empowered to increase contribution to the sector.

Stevenson shared, “We work together from seed to harvest and processing on a regular basis. At the end of the process we leave an empowered farming community and sector. Everybody participates and learns together.”

Recently the Ministry trained extension officers and other staff to execute the training school.

The program is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank and implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture with technical assistance from the Food and Agriculture Organization and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute.