President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ & Exporters Association, JMEA, John Mahfood says cassava and breadfruit may not be meaningful replacements for wheat under the government’s plan to use them as a substitute for the commodity.

The Ministry of Agriculture is planning is to substitute wheat with breadfruit and cassava.

The call for import substitution comes at a time when global prices for staple items such as wheat and flour have increased exponentially due to the ongoing Ukraine/Russia war.

Both countries are world leading producers of wheat.

Agriculture Minister, Pearnel Charles Jr. says Jamaica is at a point where it has to make changes to limit the effects that global events have on local supply.

But Mr. Mahfood says there are several hurdles ahead.

Minister Charles Jr. says they must take steps to reduce Jamaica’s import bill and improve accessibility.

He says they’ve already engaged the Cuban government that has successfully undergone similar projects.

Pearnel Charles Jr., Agriculture Minister.