Old Harbour Development Committee looks to cassava
On Friday, October 14, the Old Harbour Development Committee's focus will be on cassava as it celebrates Cassava, Seafood and Cultural Fest at Port Esquivel Sports Complex in St Catherine.
Monica Gardener, Social Development Commission (SDC) representative for the area, said the event is designed to acknowledge to Jamaica's rich culture.
"Cassava has, since the days of our aborigines - the Arawak Indians - been one of the main staples. This was then, and is now, enjoyed with the seafood from the bay," she said.
Schools from the surrounding areas are expected to be involved through the 4-H clubs as well as present with cultural items.
"With the focus on what the event encapsulates, several entities will be involved. These include the schools, Rural Agricultural Development Authority and the Jamaica Agriculture Society, 4-H clubs, the business sector, farmers, fisheries, and other stakeholders. There will be competitions, displays, demonstrations, trading and performances, among other activities," shared Gardener.
According to Gardener, the aim of the event is to enhance awareness of local economic activities at the community level through the concept of a LED (local economic development) village and to create synergies between LEIs (local economic initiatives) and service providers, both at the local and national levels.
"Additionally, the event aims to bring our farmers, fisherfolk, culinarians and other resource personnel together in an environment that will provide information on health and well-being; education and training; trading; entertainment and other services, thereby addressing issues such as unemployment, training and education, and crime that are currently affecting this area and adjoining areas," she said.
Gardener also told Rural Xpress that she is hoping those attending will be exposed to the versatility of the cassava plant. With that in mind, she said a thrust will be made to provide education on the different methods of producing and preparing cassava.
"We also hope to facilitate improvement in the production of cassava in the area and adjoining areas, as well as to explore other means of marketing cassava and other products," she said.