Saint Lucia: The Agriculture Ministry, in collaboration with the Taiwan Technical Mission, has stressed the importance of consuming locally-grown foods via an eggplant exposition. The Eggplant Culinary Experience is intended to encourage a conscious shift in consumption habits and behaviour toward the use of eggplant.
At the event, students from the Stanley Jon Odlum Memorial Secondary School, the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School, and the Upton Gardens Girls’ Centre showcased different ways the crop can be incorporated into daily meals. Dishes on display included cheesy eggplant, eggplant bread, candied eggplant, and hotel-style eggplant, which, while appetizing, are also high in potassium and fibre.
Ambassador of the Republic of China to Saint Lucia, Peter Chia-yen Chen, in commending the students on their creativity and innovation, said his government has taken note of youth interest in various aspects of the agri-food industry and, as such will remain steadfast in working with the agriculture ministry to promote capacity-building in Saint Lucia’s agriculture sector to improve livelihoods and enhance food security.
“The eggplant is one of my favourite vegetables, but today is beyond my expectation. I did not know we could use the eggplant to make so many different foods,” Ambassador Chen said.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food Security, and Rural Development, Alfred Prospere, in highlighting that the rising costs of food imports and product unavailability remain a challenge for Saint Lucia, notes that efforts like the Eggplant Culinary Experience are strategic actions aimed at boosting awareness of the need to buy locally to strengthen Saint Lucia’s food security.
He added that measures to improve the quality of items produced on the island form part of a suite of interventions by the Ministry of Agriculture to enhance and sustain agri-food livelihoods; and augment nutrition and food security in Saint Lucia.