Minister Bharath: KFC selling local sweet potato fries

(Trinidad Guardian) Consumers can now enjoy a local menu of sweet potato fries from the popular fast food restaurant KFC.

In addition to the normal potato fries, KFC will now be serving sweet potato fries in four of its outlets  but the locally grown sweet potato would be accessible in other outlets on a phased basis.

The announcement was made on Wednesday by Vasant Bharath, Food Production and Land Marine Affairs Minister, during the launch of a national campaign to promote food security in T&T, at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.

Bharath said the campaign which cost just under TT$1 million initially includes production work, media advertisements, print and electronic promotions and billboards. The initiative to serve sweet potato fries at KFC, Bharath said, is part of the Government’s mandate to first encourage citizens to eat local, which would lead to an increase in local food production, and, by extension, to start the process of reducing the $4 billion food import bill.

Bharath said sweet potato fries was just the beginning of the initiative and was hoping to have other local products, like cassava fries, served in restaurants, hotels and to have the tourism sector on board.

The 12-month national campaign, titled, Put T&T on the Table, which began on Wednesday, would include two major advertisements. The first would be to encourage consumers to eat local and healthy, and, the second would be an endorsement by Crime Watch host Ian Alleyne discouraging praedial larceny, strong marketing and promotional activities and a video on home gardening.

Bharath said the ministry has identified 3,000 acres of land for agriculture, predominantly in the Caroni area, south and north, and Orange Grove in the east. He said with developed countries beginning to hoard food due to harsh climactic conditions, resulting in food shortages and inflation, it was important for T&T to focus “more on food security by producing more of what we eat.” Bharath said the ministry would be providing support mechanisms to encourage the farmers to get involved in other areas of the food value chain.

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