If successful, a new initiative to develop the toloma industry in Delices could yield significant benefits for toloma farmers in the area.
Chairman of the Delices Village Council, Michael Etienne said in an interview on state-owned DBS Radio recently that a new group called Delices Organic Tolomah Sustainable Initiative (DOTSI) has been formed and two years of research conducted, it is believed that based on upon the results the research, they are on the right track.
“What that means is, we are embarking upon an initiative that will have toloma grown organically, so that it can yield a lot more profits,” he stated.
He continued, “We are looking at paying farmers between $50 and $100 a pound of toloma, because the starch from toloma is very healthy and that is what the US [United States] market is looking for right now.”
Etienne said that the group has contacted the various markets and has gotten positive feedbacks.
He said the group has also gotten monies to help the farmers clear their lands.
“We have formed the groups that will look after their land to ensure that it is organically grown,” he added.
Etienne said at present in the village, there are toloma farmers who have 2-3 acre plots that has not been used for 2-3 years, “so it is ideal for that kind of growing toloma.”
He mentioned also that the group is embarking, with the same initiative, to create organic fertilizer using the bi-product, the waste from the toloma to create that fertilizer for future use for the toloma farmers.
“The research has been done and the markets are coming on stream, the farmers are excited, we have formed a group, we have opened up whatever is necessary to have seed money come through,” Etienne asserted. “We are very transparent, we are very accountable for what is going to happen and we are going to make sure it happens.”
This article was originally published on Dominica News Online.