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Prospere Advocates Increased Plantain Flour Production

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Agriculture Minister Alfred Prospere expressing concern over food import costs amid an impending price increase for bread has advocated increased flour production from plantains and other crops.

“I wish we were able to use our plantain and other products to be able to produce flour. But you know we are doing that in some parts of Saint Lucia. But it is nowhere close to the quantity that we need,” Prospere told reporters earlier this week.

“I have seen top-quality flour produced from plantains and other things that we grow here. I wish we could increase that level of production so we can reduce on our import bill in terms of food,” the Minister stated.

Prospere said he was concerned about the cost of food imports and declared that Saint Lucia farmers need support.

He spoke ahead of the January 2023 increase in the price of bread as bakers contend with escalating production costs.

Creole bread would move from 35 to 45 cents, while the small pan loaf would cost $4.35 from $3.60.

The large pan loaf, which was $5.40, will move to $6.50.

In disclosing the new prices, Commerce Minister Ema Hippolyte explained that the last hike in the price of controlled bread was in 2008.

Hippolyte told a news conference on Monday that the government would continue to subsidise the price of flour to bakers.

Agriculture Minister Alfred Prospere observed that the government had spent millions in subsidies to support bakers over many months.

At the same time, he felt the bread price hike was necessary.

“But we have to now look at what we can produce locally,” he told reporters.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Corn flour is very un healthy cuz of the roundup pesticides used and the gmo seeds bread fruit will also work well.with all the millions squandered constantly im sure a few can be used to build a large enough factory and additional units can be added and expanded upon.a nice processing complex. So much wasting food and money wise a lil 10 million could have built such a nice facility such a shame what come first in st.lucia.

  2. This is a result of years of neglecting the agriculture sector. Every country produces something except this one. Almost all the factories have been closed down no investment except in tourism. No investment in your own people hence foreigners come in and take all the paying jobs.

    How is bread price increase necessary when the quality of bread on the island is so poor. Ideal bread for example full of holes…stale on arrival and you can’t even pick up a slice without it ripping due to poor sectioning of the slices

  3. This is the worst minister ive ever heard from. He speaks and speaks. In those times the people of the country dont have monies to invest in and factory that would process the quantities required to feed a nation. Again this government is failing. The pillars of a nation is Agriculture,Manufacturing and Tourism. Yourll are solely focusing on tourism. There will come a day when all of yourll will realise that the devisions yourll make are more hatming the country

  4. @Lookit … I am in TOTAL agreement with you!! 100%
    I always maintain that SLU is 50 years behind in a lot of things dealing with our economy.
    In 1997 when I heard Kenny declare that “bananas are dead, we are going into tourism!” I almost died, I was flabbergasted. AGRICULTURE should be the backbone of our economy!!

    The USA and Canada – their economy is based on Agriculture!! Look at all the American and Canadian food products on our shelves – all from Agriculture. Do the math!!! SLU can be doing it too – on a much more healthy scale.

    Flour can be made from breadfruit (very delicious and healthy), bananas, plantains and cassava. Mr Prospere – I only gape at your plea in awe!! Politicians are always The Last to observe, get on board, and realise their follies.

  5. Stop wishing and just do it Mr. Minister. You are part of the government of the day, acquire a few million and build the facilities needed to produce it on a large enough scale so we won’t have to import all that flour. Not only will it reduce our import bill, but it will also offer much needed employment to people that are yearning to work.

  6. No disrespect agriculture minister wat a waste enough of the BS no minister learned nothing from cov-19 SMH

  7. Stop focusing on tourism. Put more emphasis on manufacturing: it may just help to disintegrate gangs by putting their members to work. Let’s work on self sufficiency!

  8. The minister is wishing on a star. In a country that held politicians accountable we would be discussing actual plans to increase production, actual investment and infrastructure to make it happen. But in this country you can get paid from tax payers money and say all the things you wish for and expect to magically happen.

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