GREENLIGHT

E C T A D Ne w s l e t t e r Issue No. 07

ECTAD

Promotes longer through healthier eating habits
This issue will focus on:•

living

Eat to live…Live to eat right!
With emphasis now on eating the right foods here are a few tips for you: • Pick the fruits in your back yard and eat them with your family. • Make salads and exciting dishes using the vegetables in your garden. • Use non fat or reduced fat dressing and prepare foods by steaming, boiling or baking them. • Make fresh juices with your oranges, guavas and bananas so your children can take to school; lead by example, take some to work with you. Reduce sugar; drink more water. • Take leisurely walks with the spouse or the kids; play ball, skip ropes and tease them around the yard. Exercise is good for you. In our last newsletter, we invited you to follow us as we explored new marketing opportunities and discovered the latest technological advancements; in an effort to enhance the lives of our rural communities. In this issue, we ask that you embark on another journey with us. This time we take you on a road that leads to longer life and better living; where ECTAD strives to improve the health of the nation and the wealth of its people. Every day the men and women of ECTAD commit themselves to ensuring its members, farmers, stakeholder and public the highest level of results in all aspects of agriculture awareness. ECTAD and its members pride themselves in overcoming new challenges and achieving new objectives to keep up with the changing world. Explore ECTAD’S Tips for healthier life!

fruits, vegetables and crops that are grown on our local farms and can prevent Non Communicable Diseases

Eating

Healthy people building a foundation for a wealthy nation!

Captivating

the nation’s interest in health and Nutrition and its linkage to agriculture.

Trips

to the different Caribbean Island and to Europe in an effort to broaden ECTAD’S Scope on ways to support and bring farmers up to date with advancements and changes around the world on important issues and achievement of new goals and objectives by ECTAD members

Awareness

Decision for upcoming activities and
events planned by ECTAD

Growing what we eat and eating what we grow!

ECTAD and its farmers celebrates Health and Nutrition: A major part of our everyday life

percentage of the types of food to be eaten, Mrs. Robin disclosed that the breadfruit was popularly selected because of its national significance. “So, we imposed the food group on a breadfruit graphic and it has a proportion – how much you should be consuming.” Noting that sugars and sweeteners are on the graphic, Robin said, “as nutritionists, we would like to see it come off but the truth of the matter is people were consuming ten per cent of their energy from sugar and we had to include it”. She pointed out that the most things on the breadfruit were fruits, staples, vegetables and legumes, which were peas and beans. “If you have a plate, most of your food should come from these items and I think that is the shift that we need to make as opposed to what happens now in which most people would have “half their plate with meat and the other half with rice and then they would have a teaspoon of vegetables on weekends only”. She is calling on people to eat more fruits and vegetables. She also pointed to the culture of stew and fried foods and suggested that Vincentians must reduce eating fats and oils to eat healthier. The pilot project, which is entitled: “ICM Skills to Enhance Linkages between Agriculture, Health and Nutrition”, is funded by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). Its overall objective is to contribute to improvement of health in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and creation of wealth in the rural areas. The purpose of the project in to increase the production and consumption of horticultural products in St. Vincent and the Grenadines with the expected results being: (1) the general public and the rural communities and the youth are aware of the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables and the need to change their diets and adopt more healthy eating habits; (2) developing a strategy at the community level to improve the production and distribution of fruits and vegetables and to facilitate dynamic linkages to nutrition and health; (3) stakeholders are mobilized around the project, which is carefully monitored.

ECTAD program

launches

Nutrition

Awareness

ECTAD has launched a nine-month pilot project entitled ‘ICM Skills to Enhance Linkages between Agriculture, Health and Nutrition”. The overall objective of the project is to improve health in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and create wealth in the rural areas through increased income to farmers. In this regard, ECTAD will work with the Ministry of Agriculture to promote and increase production of local fruits and vegetable and will work with the Nutrition Unit to promote nutrition guidelines that have been developed by the Unit. During a power-point presentation at the launching of the ECTAD pilot project on 25 September at the Peace Memorial Hall, Mrs. Andrea Robin, Head of the Nutrition Unit, said that in developing the dietary guidelines, the Nutrition Unit found that local fruits and vegetables are not eaten because they are expensive. Mrs. Robin indicated that the Nutrition Unit wants to collaborate with ECTAD in moving the guideline from a piece of paper to something that people can actually use and practice in their homes. So, they will be able to identify the various combinations of local foods that they can use. She explained that the food groups are depicted by a bread fruit that is cut up in sections, showing the respective

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Re-linking health and agriculture
Address by Jethro Greene

Mr. Greene says it is ironic that it takes a crisis situation in which CNCDs are responsible for 60% of our annual deaths for our policy makers to realize that it does not require millions of dollars or foreign consultancies to realize that the solutions to our problems lie right at our doorsteps. He says Caribbean peoples “so underrate ourselves that we believe that the simplest of solutions that are within our grasp cannot be correct because they are too simple and do not come from a foreign Imperialist advisor”. According to him, such an attitude by our people is in keeping with those of us, who promote apple over banana and mango although our fruits are craved by European children.

ECTAD’S Workshop on Health and Nutrition ECTAD joined the Nutrition Unit to celebrate Nutrition Week 2007. Coordinator of ECTAD, Mr. Jethro Greene in his nutrition week message noted that the week of observance comes at a time when CARICOM Heads are sensitizing their respective populations and the entire region on the challenges of combating chronic non communicable diseases (CNCD). According to Greene, it is ironic that top government advisors are now advising their governments about the need for the populace to be more conscious of and engage in healthy eating habits when these same advisors had for years advised governments to decrease emphasis on agriculture and place more focus on other sectors of the economy. “How can we fight chronic non communicable diseases without embracing agriculture – an activity that is generic to the Caribbean and one which has provided subsistence as well as being the livelihood of generations of people throughout the region?” Greene asked. He added: “For many years, most of us in agricultural development have been advising our governments on the need to develop our agricultural sector in the interest of ensuring that our people eat locally produced nutritious foods; and for food security.” “Maybe, we need to show our local population that foreigners eat our local fruits, too,” Greene asserts. “ECTAD believes in action and not talk. We will take the bull by the horns. We will work with the Ministry of Health and its Nutrition Unit as well as the Ministry of Agriculture and the various stakeholders, including CARDI to ensure that banana along with other local fruits and vegetables are on our tables, our children’s tables, and on the tourists’ tables. We, at ECTAD, want to make sure that people all over the country plant up their backyard for fun.” The ECTAD Coordinator says ECTAD has made a commitment to work with young people to make agriculture sexy and in the process, make Vincentians eat healthier, “and in so doing we will save our nation precious millions of dollars in reduced health bills”.

Banana from our own back yard!
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Health Minister speaks importance of eating right

on

the

Chronic non communicable diseases are responsible for over sixty per cent of deaths annually in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Minister of Health and the Environment, Dr. Douglas Slater, made the disclosure while addressing the opening of an ECTAD Pilot project on Tuesday 25 September 2007. He stressed that the Ministry of Health and its Nutrition Unit have been out front in the wellness campaign, and that he has spared no effort in trying to educate the nation on the need for proper nutrition. “I, even at the parliament level, chided the opposition leader and the Prime Minister at the same time,” Dr. Slater said, “and I have discussed with the Prime Minister the need for him to lead by example because there is going to be a challenge on him.” The Health Minister was the second speaker at the launching exercise, which was aimed at linking agriculture, health and nutrition. He noted that in the past week there had been much public discussion on the “Wellness Revolution” but that message had been out a long time and the Prime Minister is welcomed on board, particularly if it takes him to talk on the issue to stimulate the interest of the nation. Dr. Slater added that as a physician and as the Minister of Health, he can confidently say that chronic non communicable diseases – pressure (hypertension) and sugar (diabetes) - cause the highest morbidity ( illness and mortality), not HIV. Dr. Slater advised that it is the responsibility for us as individuals to check the information to know what is proper to eat.

President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce Challenges Vincentian to eat from the farm and kitchen
Businesses now have the opportunity to link health and agriculture and make money in the process. President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Jerry George made the statement, claiming health and agriculture were linked in the past but were de-linked by business. He said too many people are eating out of the factory rather than eating out of the farm and kitchen. According to him, this is where the private sector caused a lot of the problems that we are having today and that is why he is calling on the private sector today to help solve the problem.

George said a century ago, food was more nutritious than it is today. He also said almost everyone farmed a hundred years ago. “Today there are too few farmers. We grew our own food back then. The kitchen garden was a very short distance from our table, but today very few of us grow anything. In fact, farming is run by huge farming businesses.” He said the shift from the family farm to corporate farm caused three things to happen: (1) introduction of chemical fertilizers on the big farms, which are absorbed by the plants and enter the human body when we eat the farm produce; (2) introduction of toxic pesticides because, as he explained, when too much of the same specie of plant is placed in the same area, certain pests are attracted to the area, so poison had to be introduced but the poisons also reach into the human body. George said the third factor is destructive food storage practices and processing techniques. He said when God created the various fruits and vegetables, he put into them vitamins and minerals that we take out in present day processing. George said people are impressed, these days, by how the food looks, how it tastes and the brand name that goes unto the food without realizing that the production methods today are killing the food that we eat.

L-R Rueben Robertson, Dr, Douglas Slater, Jethro Greene & Jerry George

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“The only things that are left in the food are the carbohydrates, the protein,” he asserted, “and those are things that are making us fat … the processing of our food is killing our food.” George said this information should influence persons who would get into agro processing to keep whatever is produced as close to its natural form as possible. “We are depending on the scientist too much to put all kinds of concoctions that they themselves don’t know how to control.” George said. “Too many of us are caught up with brand name, not just in clothes and phones but in food and medicine. We need to get back to the land.” He said the private sector can become involved and it is not as difficult as it seems but we must not make the same mistake as the big overseas companies, who concentrate on making their product taste better than the competition, to last longer and to make sure that it is safe from bacteria at the expense or real, natural nutritional value.

He, however, bemoaned the subsequent decline in the country’s agricultural production along with concomitant increases in imports, foreign exchange leakage and “the detrimental effects on our population’s health”. Robertson said, in recognition of those problems, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture collaborated between 2005 and 2006 with the Food and Agricultural Division of the United Nations and the Caribbean Food and Nutrition Council on a sub regional program that addressed matters of developing dietary guidelines for healthy lifestyles. He said experts from both Ministries did a lot of work to develop a brochure, entitled: ‘Developing Healthy Guidelines for Healthy Lifestyles’ He also commended CARICOM Heads of Government for placing emphasis at their intersession meeting in Trinidad and Tobago, a few weeks earlier on addressing non communicable diseases, “which are posed by our own type of consumption here in the Region”. Noting that Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves announced his intention to launch a ‘Wellness Revolution’ in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Chief Agricultural Officer said, “Linking Agriculture to Health is now a critical issue, which will now stimulate the kind of investment capital in agriculture to allow agriculture to play its rightful part in producing food for all Vincentians and CARICOM people.” Robertson also commended the National Food and Nutrition Council for doing very good work. He said the issue of the nation’s food needs has been addressed with emphasis placed on ensuring that every Vincentian meaningfully has the right to accessing a proper diet. This includes a mandate for the Ministry of Agriculture to oversee increased production of local root crops, fruits and vegetables to meet the national food needs, which are currently being met by both domestic production and imports.

Chief Agriculture Officer Rueben Robertson commends ECTAD
Chief Agricultural Officer, Reuben Robertson, has commended ECTAD for launching its pilot program, “Linking Agriculture to Nutrition”. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the workshop, Robertson said: “We applaud ECTAD this morning to host this very important session, ‘Linking Agriculture to Food and Nutrition’”. He pointed out that while the Ministry of Agriculture is playing a significant coordinating role in boosting production in the agricultural sector, it ought to also develop links with other stakeholders within the sector to ensure that the agricultural diversification program and the transformation process are well planned, oiled and implemented to the benefit of all Vincentians. He recalled that St. Vincent and the Grenadines produced so much food in the past that in the decade of the 80s Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados depended on imports from St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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North Leeward gets a fresh taste of Proper Health and Nutrition
The residents of North Leeward, including students from the Petit Bordel and Troumaca-Ontario Secondary schools came out to show their support to ECTAD, as it launched its workshop on linking agriculture with health and nutrition at Golden Grove. ECTAD’S Chief coordinator Mr. Jethro Greene said that these workshops are important to identify leaders and potential persons who can get the message across. He stated that with the invaluable assistance from the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation ( CTA-ACP0 and through ECTAD’S advocacy work ECTAD has been asked to coordinate the whole Caribbean Farmers Network including Jamaica with the Jamaica Agriculture Society which has over 100,000 members. Efforts will now be made to intensify the “Linking of Agriculture to Health and Nutrition campaign in the North Leeward area. Mr. Lennox Lampkin, Executive Director of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and commerce attended this workshop and said that he was glad when Mr. Greene joined the Chamber over two years ago and mentioned that ECTAD would have a focus on encouraging people to eat local foods. According to him, Vincentians should reduce their importation of meat that is packed with growth hormones, antibiotics and other contaminants. They should go back to using manure and reduce the importation of chemical. The very products that are not good for us are now branded as poor people’s food, and farmers sell their goods and buy these foods.

Ashamed of eating locally grown foods

Mrs. Terry Regis of the Food and Nutrition Unit in the Ministry of Health and the Environment also attended this workshop and reminded participants that a healthy lifestyle is the way to go. “Vincentians are ashamed to eat what is grown in their country”. This observation she made with deep concern and used the illustration of farmers vending their produce then taking their earnings to purchase white rice, which they cook with imported chicken and rejoice at having ‘a belly full’. “You don’t eat to get a belly full, you eat for health,” the nutritionist admonishingly declared at an ECTAD workshop in November 2007 in Chateaubelair. “Anything you eat should be nourishing to your body because you are responsible for these bodies … God is going to hold you responsible for them …. You are what you eat. Ms. Regis said that in counseling people, she encourages them to eat local staples, fruits and vegetables and she would invariably get the response: “me nah ah eat hard food … me like rice”. Ms. Regis proudly referred to her childhood days on Union Island, eating sweet potato, farine, cassava and cassava bread since in those days, the people on Union Island ate what they grew and grew what they ate including sugar apple, mango and watermelon. She encouraged her audience to engage in backyard gardening and to eat less imported meat.

Working Group at the North Leeward Workshop - - 6

CTA’S Partners from around the world gather in the Netherlands

The workshop was most fruitful in creating networking, and further development of a platform for genuine partnership between CTA and its partners. ECTAD was quite impressed with the dynamism and strong commitment of the Director of CTA Dr. Hansjorg Neun to participatory development and partnership. The skillful leadership by Thierry Doudet in facilitating conclusions at the workshop that everyone can buy into must also be recognized.

ECTAD member attends Gender

and Development Barbados
L-R Thierry Doudet, Jethro Greene, Dr. Ibrahim Tiemogo & Dr Hansjorg Nuen.

Program

in

ECTAD was invited to the Netherlands, to participate in an “Exchange and Follow up” workshop with CTA’S partners from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific. This workshop took place in Arnhem from the 22nd – 26th October 2007 and provided the opportunity for CTA and its partners to address challenges posed by their strategic plans. It also provided the opportunity for a closer look at CTA’S position in terms of its effectiveness and efficiency of actions conducted; its outreach, visibility and sustainability of activities. ECTAD continues to believe that CTA’S Partnership approach to development should be used as an example by other donor agencies, in terms of building real development bridges using development aid. The Partnership process of CTA involves consultation and not dictation. It creates the environment for development of trust and genuine dialogue on development issues. ECTAD also supports CTA’S effort to use ICT to strengthen the agriculture development process. Congratulation must go out to CTA and in particular the division that coordinates the National Program. Special mention must be made to Dr. Ibrahim Tiemogo coordinator and Armelle De Grave his hard working Assistant.

The Centre for Gender and Development Studies: A Nita Barrow Unit, held its 7th summer Institute in Gender and Development Studies at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados from June 29-August 1st, 2007. The course was coordinated and facilitated by Dr. Eudine Barriteau who is also the Head of the Centre for Gender and Development Studies and a professor at the University. The aim of the course was to introduce participants to theoretical and methodological approaches to the issue of gender relations. It examined the differential impact of gender relations on women and men and how these relations affect the process of change. It also sought to empower participants to improve the social situations and to enhance their capacity to contribute to the process of changing their societies. Nyasha Durrant of ECTAD, through sponsorship of the Oxfam GB office in Barbados attended the six week intensive training course. Oxfam and ECTAD have been closely working together and continue to support each other. Chief Coordinator of ECTAD Mr. Jethro Greene is currently working with Oxfam through the Windward Island Farmers Association WINFA, supporting their efforts to link agriculture to the tourism sector in St. Lucia under the Oxfam St. Lucia Market Access Initiative. - - 7

ECTAD’S small farmers still exporting to the United Kingdom
ECTAD’S farmers have been making continuous shipments of dasheen to the United Kingdom as part of an ongoing program in which small, rural farmers in St. Vincent are encouraged to become directly involved in the exportation of agricultural produce. The dasheen is produced by farmers from two main areas (Greggs & Richland Park) and is shipped to buyers in three different area of the United Kingdom.

Since the setting up of NCCARD, the sharing of research information and program activities by the Ministry of Agriculture and all stakeholders in the agriculture sector have become prominent. ECTAD is proposing to NCCARD even greater involvement of the private sector through the St.Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce. ECTAD hopes that this involvement potential private sector investments in to the agriculture sector.

Agriculture Science Technology and Innovation (ASTI)
Nyasha Durrant and Ipha Miguel represented ECTAD at a CARDI / CTA workshop on “Agriculture Science Technology and Innovation (ASTI) system” in Trinidad and Tobago in September 2007. Representatives from other Caribbean Countries such as Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Guyana, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and host country Trinidad and Tobago were also there. The objectives of the workshop were: 1. To increase understanding of the concept and application of the innovation system framework and its relevance to the agricultural sector in ACP countries 2. To develop skills to train others and facilitate ASTI system processes. More specifically: Analyze the Agriculture Science Technology and Innovation (ASTI) system Improve the interface between all sectors in the ASTI System e.g. farmers, scientists, policy makers (using strategies that focus on two sub-systems-farmers experimentation /demand-led research). Influence policy Improve information flows and shared learning processes, which enhance the ASTI as a whole. As a follow-up to the training workshop, ECTAD will be conducting a case study on Dasheen SVG and will work along with the local CARDI office. - - 8

ECTAD’s Dasheen packaged, palletized and
ready for loading According to ECTAD’S project officer, ECTAD is aimed at “helping people to help themselves” by creating employment and allowing for a reservoir of disposable income in rural communities.

ECTAD joins with NCCARD
The National Coordinating Committee for Agriculture Research and Development (NNCARD) was set up with the objective of creating greater level of cooperation and collaboration amongst key agriculture stakeholder and the Ministry of Agriculture. It is coordinated by the Caribbean Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI). The Chief Agriculture Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture is the Chair person for this committee. ECTAD participates fully in NCCARD and uses it as a platform for networking and information sharing among Agriculturists and Agriculture Organisation.

The important nutritional value of our local foods and recipes for making tasty dishes
Scientific name: Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott Family: Araceae Common name: Dasheen Dasheen is loaded with nutrients, much more so than the potato. It is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins C and E, potassium, magnesium, and folate. In many regions, the large leaves and tender stalks are also eaten as a vegetable; but, because they contain high amounts of oxalic acid, they require thorough boiling in several changes of water to render them safe for consumption. After this, they are said to have a pleasant flavour.

DASHEEN RECIPE

Callaloo (Trinidad) 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 medium onion 4 garlic cloves, minced 2 tablespoons chopped celery 1/4 cup fresh thyme 1/2 cup chopped chives 15 okra, sliced 1/2 cup chopped West Indian pumpkin (substitute butternut squash) 15-20 dasheen leaves, washed and coarsely chopped (or 1 bunch Swiss chard and 1/2 bunch spinach) 1 cup coconut milk 1 maggi seasoning, cube plus 4 cups water or chicken stock 2 live blue crabs, cleaned and washed in lime juice (or 5-6 pieces salted beef or salted pigtail) 1 whole scotch bonnet pepper (Congo pepper) 2 tablespoons golden ray cooking margarine Teaspoon salt (if using maggi cube taste first before adding salt or the soup will be too salty.) Put salted pork pieces in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Drain off this water. Repeat this process to draw off the excess salt from the salted meat. Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onion, garlic, celery and fresh herbs. Sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add okras, pumpkin and dasheen leaves and sauté for another minute or so. Add the coconut milk and stock or water, crab and hot pepper. Keep an eye on that hot pepper use one that is not bruised. You DO NOT want that pepper to burst while cooking. The heat from the burst pepper will overpower the other flavours. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 35 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Nutritional information is based on the following state: boiled, drained Serving Size: 1 cup mashed = 152g Calories (kcal): 88 Protein (g): 4 Carbohydrate (g): 18 Total Dietary Fiber (g): 8 Total Fat (g): 0 Saturated Fat (g): 0 Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0 Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0 Cholesterol (mg): 0 Vitamin A (RE): 0 Vitamin E (alpha-TE): 1 Vitamin C (mg): 5 Thiamine (mg): 0 Riboflavin (mg): 0 Niacin (mg): 1 Folate (mcg): 29 Vitamin B-6 (mg): 1 Vitamin B-12 (mcg): 0 Calcium (mg): 26 Iron (mg): 1 Magnesium (mg): 46 Phosphorus (mg): 49 Zinc (mg): 0 Potassium (mg): 684 Sodium (mg): 2

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Scientific Name: Cucurbita maxima. Family: Cucurbitaceae Common name: pumpkin

Stomach disorders: Pumpkin pulp is capable of neutralizing excess stomach acid because of its rich content of alkalizing mineral salts. It also has an emollient and protective effect on the stomach mucosa (lining). Its consumption, particularly pureed with milk or Soya beverage, is particularly indicated in case of excess stomach acid. According to Dr. Pamplona Roger 2004 sited in The Healing Power of Foods. Constipation: Pumpkin fiber is of the soluble type acting as a mild laxative not irritant to the intestine. Cancer prevention: Pumpkin contains three of the most effective, proven ant carcinogenic vegetable-based substances: beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vegetables fiber. Because of this, the pumpkin family constitute the foods with the highest level of ant carcinogenic effect. Pumpkins were used to treat bladder problems and as a pain killer. Its seeds are an excellent of fats and protein. Pumpkin Nutrition (1 cup cooked, boiled, drained, without salt) Calories 49 Protein 2 grams Zinc 1 mg Carbohydrate 12 Selenium .50 mg grams Vitamin C 12 mg Dietary Fiber 3 Niacin 1 mg grams Folate 21 mcg Calcium 37 mg Vitamin A 2650 Iron 1.4 mg IU Magnesium 22 mg Vitamin E 3 mg Potassium 564 mg Source: http://www.nat.uiuc.edu/mainnat.html University of Illinois Nutrition Analysis © 2007 University of Illinois Board of Trustees Facts

Native to Central America, Pumpkins are a nutritious vegetable vine plant which date back many centuries. The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word 'pepon' for large melon. The French turned 'pepon' into 'pompon' and the English changed that into 'pumpion'. The present name pumpkin was chosen by American colonists. It was one of the major ingredients of the staple diet of Native Americans and colonists. There are about 26 species of cucurbita. As stated by the Webindia.com The spherical shaped fruits range in weight from less than 0.5kg to more than 50kg. Its ability to grow to such a large size makes it the largest fruit in the plant kingdom. The pumpkin plant which grow up to 25 feet long produces both male and female bright yellow coloured flowers with five petals. The female flower has a little pumpkin at the bottom. The leaves are lobed with 3 or 5 lobes.

Health Benefits
Hypertension: Pumpkin contain low sodium and very high in potassium. While a diet rich in potassium acts to prevent hypertension and its negative consequences (arterial blood clots and strokes). Coronary affections and arteriosclerosis: Those suffering from coronary heart disease (angina pectoris or myocardial infarction) should not fail to eat pumpkin at least three times a week. Renal disorders: Pumpkin acts as a mild diuretic in the kidneys, increasing urine production and encouraging the elimination of liquids from the body.

Tool

Pumpkin spread
2 C diced pumpkins 1/4 Chopped onions 2 Clove garlic minced 2 t vegetable oil Steam pumpkin with onions and garlic in 1/4 C water. When soft add oil and mash with a fork. Source: (Prevost Pricilla 1991 In her book Lifestyle Kitchen Selection.) . - - 10

Scientific name: Colocasia exculenta (L ) Schott Family: Araceae Common name: yams.

There are more than 150 species of yam, with a wide variety of sizes and shapes. The flesh ranges in color from off-white and yellow to purple and pink. Yams are available throughout the year, depending on the variety. Yams can be found in specialty markets and Latin American markets. Look for those with tight, unblemished skins, and store them in a paper bag in a cool, dark location for up to two weeks. The yam originated in Africa (although it may be the same plant that had been cultivated in Asia since 8000 B.C.); Yams are KNOWN AS THE Power food and is an excellent source of potassium and vitamins C and B, and a good source of thiamine. Source: Nutrition Data. COM

HEALTH BENEFITS
Asthma Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and antiinflammatory. This anti-inflammatory activity may influence the development of asthma symptoms. A large preliminary study has shown that young children with asthma experience significantly less wheezing if they eat a diet high in fruits rich in vitamin C. Capillary fragility Eating plenty of flavonoid- and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables helps to support the structure of capillaries. Cataracts Some, but not all, studies have reported that eating more foods rich in beta-carotene or vitamin A was associated with a lower risk of cataracts. Synthetic beta-carotene supplementation has not been found to reduce the risk of cataract formation. It remains unclear whether natural beta-carotene from food or supplements would protect the eye or whether betacarotene in food is merely a marker for other protective factors in fruits and vegetables high betacarotene. Kidney stones

Potassium reduces urinary calcium excretion, and people who eat high amounts of dietary potassium appear to be at low risk of forming kidney stones. The best way to increase potassium is to eat fruits and vegetables. The level of potassium in food is much higher than the small amounts found in supplements. Macular degeneration People who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables high in beta-carotene appear to be at lower risk for macular degeneration than people who do not eat these foods. However, another study found no association between age-related macular degeneration and intake of antioxidants, either from the diet, from supplements, or from both combined. Multiple sclerosis (MS) In one survey, researchers gathered information from nearly 400 people (half with MS) over three years. They found that consumption of vegetable protein, fruit juice, and foods rich in vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, and potassium correlated with a decreased MS risk. Night blindness Low intake of fruits and vegetables containing betacarotene, which the body can convert into vitamin A, may contribute to a vitamin A deficiency. Stroke Researchers have found an association between diets low in potassium and increased risk of stroke.

Yam Chowder
Serves 8 4 tablespoons oil 1 leek, white part only, chopped 2 1/2 stalks celery, chopped 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded, deveined, and chopped 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 pound mushrooms, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons tomato paste 4 medium sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes 6 cups chicken stock 2 cups corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned) Salt and pepper 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves for garnish In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Cook the leek, celery, and jalapeno until soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in the parsley, cumin, and mushrooms and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the tomato paste and sweet potato and stir well to combine. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Source: inflammationfactor.com

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Scientific name: Ipomoea batatas Family: Convolvulaceae Common name: Sweet potatoes

Once again, more research is needed in this area, but the stage is set for sweet potato to show unique healing properties in the area of blood sugar control. This root vegetable qualified as an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), a very good source of vitamin C and manganese, and a good source of copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. An Antioxidant-Rich, Anti-Inflammatory Food As an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene) and a very good source of vitamin C, sweet potatoes have healing properties as an antioxidant food. Both beta-carotene and vitamin C are very powerful antioxidants that work in the body to eliminate free radicals. Free radicals are chemicals that damage cells and cell membranes and are associated with the development of conditions like atherosclerosis, diabetic heart disease, and colon cancer. Since these nutrients are also antiinflammatory, they can be helpful in reducing the severity of conditions where inflammation plays a role, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6, which is needed to convert homocysteine, an interim product created during an important chemical process in cells called methylation, into other benign molecules. Since high homocysteine levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, having a little extra vitamin B6 on hand is a good idea. Source: (The George Mateljjan Foundation, 20012007) Sweet Potato and Chive Pancakes
makes 12 pancakes 1 pound sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled, and mashed 1/3 cup flour I teaspoon cornstarch 1 whole egg 2 egg yolks 1/2 cup milk 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup chopped fresh chives 4 tablespoons butter or oil for frying 1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream 1 teaspoon ground cumin In a food processor, combine the potato with the remaining ingredients except the butter, yogurt and cumin, until smooth. In a large skillet, heat the oil, Spoon the batter into the pan to form 2-inch pancakes. Fry for about 45 seconds per side, or until golden-brown. Serve immediately. Combine the yogurt with the cumin and serve over the pancakes. Source: Nutrition data.com

Sweet potatoes contain significant amounts of vitamins C and are a fair source of vitamin E. Along with beta carotene; these vitamins make up the terrific trio of antioxidant nutrients scientists believe may help prevent heart disease and cancer, bolster the immune system, and even slow the aging process. One medium sweet potato provides nearly half of your daily requirement of vitamin C. And, the fact that Sweet Potatoes are fat-free makes them a real vitamin E standout. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that it is usually found in foods rich in fat such as vegetable oils, nuts and avocados. But one sweet potato provides a healthy dose of vitamin E with no fat at all.

Health Benefits
Significant antioxidant capacities. In one study, these proteins had about one-third the antioxidant activity of glutathione—one of the bodies most impressive internally produced antioxidants. As an "antidiabetic" food. Sweet potato has been given this label because of some recent animal studies in which sweet potato helped stabilize blood sugar levels and lowered insulin resistance. An "Antidiabetic" Food Sweet potato has been given this label because of some recent animal studies in which sweet potato helped stabilize blood sugar levels and lowered insulin resistance. (Insulin resistance is a problem caused when cells don't respond to the hormone insulin, which is supposed to act as a key and unlock the cell in order to allow sugar to pass from the blood into the cell). Some of its blood sugar regulatory properties may come from the fact that sweet potatoes are concentrated in carotenoids. Research has suggested that physiological levels, as well as dietary intake, of carotenoids may be inversely associated with insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels.

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Farmers Corner

Q
What are some nutritional values of mango?

A
Eating mangoes in the season may provide a store of vitamin A in the liver, sufficient to last for the rest of the year and beneficial for the prevention of vitamin A deficient disorders like night blindness. Mangoes, both ripe and unripe are very good sources of vitamin C. Both vitamins A and C are anti oxidants and help to reduce the risk of certain cancers. Ripe mango provides a good source of calories. The ripe mango fruit is also a good source of potassium and only traces of sodium makes it suitable for hypertensive patients. Those on potassium restricted diet like renal failure diet should avoid mangoes. The ripe fruit is also a good laxative, increases the urine flow and cools the blood.

Question ‘n’ answer column Q
What percentage of people dies annually in St. Vincent and the Grenadines from non communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and strokes?

A
60% of the 700 people, who die every year in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, die from diabetes, heart disease, cancer and hypertension.
________________________________________

__________________________
Q
The sweet potato is a good source of dietary fiber. Does this root crop have other dietary benefits?

Q
Did ECTAD play any part in providing food for the Grenadian public in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan?

A
Yes, sweet potatoes provide vitamin A and beta carotene (a compound your body converts into vitamin A), both of which promote healthy skin, hair and eyesight. Additionally, sweet potatoes contain significant amounts of vitamins C and are a fair source of vitamin E. Along with beta carotene; these vitamins make up the terrific trio of antioxidant nutrients scientists believe may help prevent heart disease and cancer, bolster the immune system, and even slow the aging process ____________________________________

A
ECTAD shipped over 5 million pounds of mixed agricultural produce to Grenada in the wake of Hurricane Ivan between October 2005 and March 2007.

_______________________________ Q
Apart from banana what is the next major fruit produced in St. Vincent?

Q
What is obesity?

A
Obesity is regarded as a state in which a man has 20 per cent more body fat than his maximum desired weight for his height, or 30 per cent in the case of a woman. - - 13

A
Orange

Team for this issue of our Newsletter:
ECTAD’S

Nyasha Durrant Administrative Officer

Jethro T Greene Chairman/Chief Coordinator

Healthier living, longer lives…It’s all about what we eat!
While some seem pessimistic about agriculture, I am optimistic. The quality and variety of food available in the Caribbean, if managed and harness properly, can significantly reduce the 60% of deaths from Non Communicable Diseases that we are experiencing. “A banana or mango a day will definitely keep the doctor away” should be the focus of our fight to improve the health of our people. The heavy leakage of the tourist dollar on food importation can be plugged up if we properly link our agriculture to tourism. Promoting the use of healthy foods that we have in the Caribbean can help the tourist market that is so conscious and concerned about health and environmental issues. The Caribbean have an image of Sunshine, Calypso, Music and beaches; things that reflect a happy people. We need to capture this in the branding of our Caribbean food and other products. Let the Caribbean happy sunshine image work for our business image also. My farmers, fear not, you have the power in your hands… food is power!

Telojo Valerie Onu Technical Project Advisor

Norgie Tucker Director/ Area Coordinator

Jeff Trotman
Communications Advisor

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ECTAD’S Rural Communities Committee Group Selected Representatives North Windward
Fancy Owia Juney Baptiste Avalou Baptiste Deon Osment

ECTAD’S Directorate
Chairman Jethro T Greene

South Windward
Greggs Vanessa Joseph Billidorn Haywood Carmel Williams Calton Ottley Rebecca Peters Valcina Fergus Vanda Lewis

Director

Sylvia Sutherland Billidorn Haywood Agatha Richards Valcina Fergus Norgie Tucker Monty Roberts James Clarke Telojo Onu Annis Cottle Vanessa Joseph Fancelo Wyllie

Richland Park

Diamond Village George Town

South Leeward
Vermont Keisha Malcolm Amor Jackson Princina Mitchel Louise Charles Cherly Smith Sydney Joseph

Admin. Officer

Nyasha Durrant

Peniston Retreat Barroullie

Marketing Assistant Secretary Agri. Ext.Officer Technical Partners:

Keisha Malcolm Keisha Hackshaw Ipha Miguel

North Leeward
CARDI IICA MAFF CaFAN Spring Village Miranda Porter Marleen Ashton Norgie Tucker Pat Ottley Nicole Morris - - 15

Chateaubelair

Rose Hall

BACKGROUND
The Eastern Caribbean Trading Agriculture Development Organization (ECTAD) is a registered non-profit farmers' organization that was established in 1995. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for rural farm families throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Caribbean. It has over 60 volunteer coordinators and over 1000 members/project participants covering over 18 villages. ECTAD believes in building and strengthening local capacity at village level so that farm families can become more independent and stronger and in turn, the community will be developed and involved in all aspects of issues affecting them and the country in general.

Editorial

Dear Readers I am pleased to be able to bring to you another issue of our Greenlight Newsletter. We at ECTAD strive to improve our performance in getting information to you that can give you an insight into our goals and achievements as a farmers’ organization. We also invite you to take a look at our plans for future development and partnerships. We view information as a valuable service that should be provided in a timely and effective manner. Therefore, as we improve our capacity to learn, we extend our knowledge to you. As you view this publication, we hope it can help guide you in your decision making processes whether in agriculture, health or other aspects of development. - - 16 On behalf of the farmers throughout the rural villages of St. Vincent and the Grenadines we extend special thanks and appreciation to the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (ACP-EC) (CTA). CTA has been a major part of ECTAD’S development drive to help small farmers in SVG, without whose help ECTAD would not have gotten this far this quickly.

Thank You!