HEART Trust Northwest stages Yam Expo
The versatility of Jamaican yellow and white yams, was on full exhibit at the HEART Trust Northwest TVET Institute's inaugural Yam Expo 2016, in Kenilworth, Hanover recently.
Students of the institution used the tubers to make delicacies such as stout drink punches and yam milkshakes, yam soups and yam pastries.
The ideas for the fusions of ingredients came from the trainees of the Kenilworth Campus as well as the Falmouth Campus in Trelawny.
Representatives from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority's (RADA) Home Economics Unit and the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, were on site to provide guidance and also showcased some creations of their own, such as yellow yam chicken nuggets and buns.
The expo also featured a fine dining restaurant where students from high schools who were invited, as well as members from the Kenilworth community, were exposed to, among other things, an array of yam-themed appetizers, entrees and desserts.
"We at Kenilworth asked our trainees to become creative by meshing other products with yam to make different dishes, and so a lot of research went into finding out the whole versatility of yam," explained Paulette Taylor, the Northwest TVET Institute's Deputy Manager of Training and Development.
Taylor said another side to the event was to teach trainees to become better entrepreneurs.
"We have an entrepreneurial club here, that actually teaches our trainees how to become entrepreneurs and how they can acquire the skills to use these products to generate income. So we hope the trainees will find this event instrumental in their lives and from what they see here they can embark on similar projects and become true entrepreneurs, and earn from it to make a living," said Taylor.
Sakee Grant, RADA's Acting Agriculture Extension Officer for the Cascade area in Hanover, said the expo has done a lot to generate youth interest in agriculture.
"We gave some of the trainees and visitors a demonstration of the mini-set technology and vine technology that is use in yam production as we are seeking to promote yam and the sweet yam production in the parish," said Grant.
Northwest TVET Institute is already preparing for next year's expo where the institution plans to focus on sweet potatoes.