In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for sourcing locally produced food and food products is increasing. In Dominica, we are challenged with the potential risks associated with food insecurity based on our significant reliance on imported foods.
According to Forbes Magazine Senior Contributor, Daphne Ewing-Chow in article ‘Five Ways That COVID-19 Has Changed What Food Insecurity Looks Like In The Caribbean’, “Between 80 and 90 per cent of all food consumed in the region (in the amount of about $6 billion according to the latest numbers) originates from foreign countries, creating greater uncertainty between the months of June to November when there is an elevated risk of hurricanes.”
As such, increased collaboration with and among primary industries (farming and fisheries) and the agro-processing industry is vital to food security. It is vital to ensure that innovative approaches are taken to preserve and add value to local food resources.
Benjo’s Seamoss & Agro Processing Co. Ltd and Bannis Farms Products have pledged their support to the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investments in response to COVID-19. On March 31st 2020, the companies donated ten (10) cases of assorted Seamoss drinks (240 bottles) and 15 packs of plantain chips (240 packets). Four (4) cases of Seamoss drinks and six (6) packs of plantain chips were donated to the Ministry’s frontline workers, whilst six (6) cases of Seamoss drinks and nine (9) packs of plantain chips were donated to the persons at the quarantine facilities.
Mr. John Robin, Owner of Benjo’s Seamoss & Agro Processing Co. Ltd indicated, “As agro-processors, our primary role is to make food products available for public consumption. In collaboration with the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC) and Dominica Manufacturers Association (DMA), we recognize that increasing and diversifying our domestic food stocks will contribute to the enhancement of our food security and resilience from increasing crises.”
This content was originally published here.