Breadfruit Proposed to Relieve Shortage of Flour in Cuba

Two highly staple foods in the Cuban diet used to be rice and bread. Now both are hard to come by. Breadfruit cultivation and processing is being suggested as a solution for flour, first on a small scale and later expanded if it works out. Photo: (

By 14ymedio

HAVANA TIMES — After a year of flour shortage in Cuba, the Government announced this Thursday the launch of a project on the Isle of Youth to obtain breadfruit flour. The objective is to obtain this raw material to have greater availability or, directly to replace the wheat flour used in the production of breads and cookie.

Marlene García Collado, of the Tropical Fruit Research Institute, has told the Cuban News Agency (ACN) that the breadfruit tree (Artocarpus altilis) is a resource available in the area and that there are 50 producers dedicated to it.

The official press has spoken with one of them, a farmer who has a farm in Ciro Redondo (4 kilometers from Nueva Gerona), where a plant will be located that will collect the fruit, peel it, chop it and dehydrate it in an oven and then pulverize it, pack it in one kilo packages and seal it. The product is priced, according to ANC, at 81 cents per kilo on the international market, although in the special municipality it will be sold in Cuban pesos.

“When the micro-industry is consolidated, this healthy food option can also be used as an extender in the production of ice cream, as well as a thickener for compotes and juices and in the domestic kitchen to make croquettes, custards, flans and meatballs, among other delicacies,” explains the farmer Juan Marcelo Váquez.

Breadfruit flour is considered a very healthy product, with a higher nutritional quality than other vegetable flours and some studies consider it “an innovative creative alternative for the formulation and preparation of suitable foods, that is, processed to provide protein elements, accompanied by non-empty calories.”

Last May the Government announced a 30% reduction in the sale of unrationed bread due to the lack of wheat flour. In addition, it also reported a 50% drop in the delivery of the product to the gastronomic network and state agencies, although it aspired to guarantee the sale of rationed bread and the Health and Education sectors.

The lack of wheat flour forced the production of cornmeal bread, but this did not solve the shortage either. Over the last year, and in particular since January, the lines to buy bread in the unrationed market can go on for hours and prices in private businesses have doubled.

But the problem is not limited to the lack of raw material. In 2018 there was another crisis of bread shortage that at that time was not attributed to the wheat, but to the poor condition of the mills.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.

5 thoughts on “Breadfruit Proposed to Relieve Shortage of Flour in Cuba

  • The important initiative is to have a plan! If the breadfruit flour is as bad as the corn flour, feed it to General Frias’s ostriches and increase the availability of high protein soup bones.

  • When is Cuba government going to really let the Cuban people own their own businesses to become more independent? This breadfruit operation is a laborious and time consuming idea for any real benefit.
    Need to look outside the box as was indicated in the prior post by Stephen. Otherwise the breadfruit idea is another ‘spin’ as Moses refers to. More like quick sand!

    What a laborious idea!!! Like Stephen says, need to look at options outside the box. And as Moses refers to the time and expensive idea. When is the Cuban government going to let the Cuban people establish a private business that is cost effective? Like Moses indicates the breadfruit idea is another ‘spin’ type of idea!!!

  • Another fantastic “central planning” scheme announced to avoid fixing the habitual reality. When the breadfruit is ready for harvest, the farmers will be waiting for the Venezuelans to send gasoline, the Ministry of Transport to find spare truck parts, and the central planners to process the paperwork to authorize the transport. Then, a few weeks later, when all that is almost done, some obscure official will remember that the breadfruit product must be transported over water from Isle of Youth to the rest of Cuba, and the search for appropriate shipping will begin immediately, while the Ministry of Transport decides that another authorization process will be required to grant the new necessary permissions. Meanwhile, the breadfruit will rot on the ground. Of course, the government will act decisively to punish those responsible for the disaster. The bureaucrat who spotted the flaw in the central committee’s plan will be demoted and exiled to oversee the production of marabu somewhere in eastern Cuba, and the Minister of Transport will announce on Mesa Redonda that suitable disciplinary actions have been taken, and, oh, by the way, the whole unavoidable delay was really all the fault of the US embargo. Ya-da-datta-de, yah-da-datta-dah. And the beat goes on, the drums keep pound’n a rhythm to the brain.

  • More expensive to produce than wheat
    A better solution is to allow Canada and Holland to take over 50 percent the agricultural land and sell those crops at market prices in Cuba Allow Germany and Canada to bring joint manufacturing projects that sell into Canada and Europe I stead of from other lower wage countries. Set a minimum wage for agricultural workers to receive one U S dollar per hour plus 2 free meals a day plus free housing and basic medical care. Factory workers to make 2 U S per hour plus free housing and bacic medical care plus pay one dollar per hour tax to support local transport and infrastructure and medical supplies and soup kitchens to run local people.

  • Remember when Fidel got a bug up his butt about moringa? It was supposed to be a superfood that would solve the protein problem in Cuba. How did that work out? So now we read that Breadfruit flour is the latest superfood to solve food shortage problems in Cuba. Really?

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