Roots Redux


Mr. Laurent Jean Pierre’s (Director, CHEFSS Inc.) presentation is titled ‘Roots Redux: The ‘Jaden Kwéyòl’ and climate change mitigation from the lens of the Development of the Cassava Industry in Saint Lucia, Caribbean, through Research, Education, and the Integration of Environmental Principles throughout the Entire Production Chain’. Mr. Laurent Jean Pierre will have his presentation on June 5th, 2019 in the morning at the Renaissance Convention Center in Oranjstad.

Abstract of his presentation:
The paper surveys the contemporary role and possibilities of the traditional economic strategy of the Jaden Kwéyòl in St. Lucia, in the face of this uncertainty of climate change and the international concern for food safety, security, sovereignty, livelihoods and sustainability. Originally employed by enslaved people in order to empower themselves socially and economically and to ensure food security, the Jaden Kwéyòl, or backyard/Creole garden has prevailed in St. Lucia as a low-impact sustainable source of food and security for many families to date. By its very nature, the Jaden Kwéyòl uses low or no inputs, encourages biodiversity, biocultural diversity and supports a healthy and varied diet. More than just subsistence agriculture, or a kitchen garden, the Jaden Kwéyòl model is pursued in addition to individuals’ normal economic activities, livelihoods, while generating a surplus of food to be given, traded, or even sold to others within the local community. What insights and lessons can be learned today from this agri-heritage and how do we exploit the same for creating sustainable wealth that can be vital for future generations?
We contend that the model of the Jaden Kwéyòl is replicable for many peoples in diverse geographic locales and, by circumventing conventional food production systems which rely heavily on intensive agriculture and global transportation of agriculture; it not only contributes to the local community, but provides for and mitigates the effects of the pending food crisis. The Jaden Kwéyòl is a symbol of integration and ‘intercropping’, as opposed to ‘monocropping’ agriculture, due to its composition and positioning of (crop) species. Furthermore, renewed attention had been paid to root crops and in particular, to Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz), as a prime climate change crop, in order to cushion the impact of and adjust to climate changes.

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