Cassava at a farm in Caroni. Photo by Marvin Hamilton
The National Marketing Development Corporation (Namdevco) is encouraging the public to use root crop flour as a cheaper alternative to wheat flour, given the 33 per cent increase in the price for wholesale flour announced by National Flour Mills (NFM).
Namdevco said local sources of root crop flour are available at its farmers markets. It said there is adequate production of crops such as sweet potato and cassava that are used for flour that consumers can get at reasonable prices.
“Our monitoring records indicate consistent quarterly productions of 1.15 million kgs of sweet potato and 1.07 million kgs of cassava which can readily be converted into root crop flour. This data shows that farmers continue to successfully produce a wide range of root crops despite external factors that can affect production, inclusive of climate change,” Namdevco said in a statement Wednesday.
Namdevco also said consumers can mix root and wheat flour to help extend the flour supply.
“We are aware that countries are being faced with limited supplies in wheat which is likely to create an imbalance in the supply and demand of wheat for domestic use. In light of this Namdevco encourages the use of composite flour made using a ratio of root crop flour and wheat when preparing meals which are easily accessible and nutritious.”
It said recipe demonstrations of root-based flour will be held at the Queen’s Park Savannah Farmers’ Market in Port of Spain on Sunday.
NFM, in its announcement Tuesday, said it had to raise its price given challenges to secure wheat flour owing to the war in Ukraine, and the limit on exports from wheat-producing countries like India.