by Tracy Moore
BARBADOS. The Nation Newspaper - Bridgetown,St. Michael, Oct.15, 2008.
GOVERNMENT has provided $400 000 to the Ministry of Agriculture and the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS) to conduct feasibility studies to replace a percentage of corn in animal feed with cassava. According to the Ministry of Agriculture's Chief Agriculture Officer Barton Clarke, all that was left for the ministry to do "is essentially some demonstration work that we can grow the cassava at a price cheaper than corn".
"The whole idea is that we would be able to replace a certain per cent of the corn that is used in the feed with cassava.
"More importantly, we have to grow the cassava, harvest it, chip it, and dry it so that it can be readily used by the three manufacturers [in Barbados]," he said.
He added that one of the three manufacturers, Pinnacle Feeds, was already on board and willing to supplement about 30 per cent of its corn with cassava.
"Of course, they will be purchasing that cassava at the same price that they now pay for the corn," Clarke noted.
In addition, he said the BAS was working with the Barbados Egg and Poultry Producers Association to garner some technical assistance from the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture based in Colombia, which has identified some varieties of cassava to develop agronomic practices for local conditions.