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Cassava value chain/Jamaica - Cassava industry set to rebound

30 August 2015

Cassava industry is set to rebound in a major way, which could result in thousands of new hectares of the product being cultivated across the island, said the Agriculture and Fisheries Minister. During an interview with JIS News, the minister revealed that the Red Stripe beverage manufacturers, a major thrust towards cassava production will start soon across the island thus complement what is already being grown under an arrangement with that company. Red Stripe beverage company has done an initial pilot project out in St Catherine, which has been very successful. The main intention is to replace barley through using cassava in the production of beer. The programme will put cassava production on a sustainable footing thus fostering planting of cassava for local consumption. The minister pointed out that in addition to the 250 acres of land in St Catherine which are being put into cassava production by Red Stripe, the company has indicated that it needs some 2,500 acres across the island to plant the item. Smallholder farmers interested in cassava production will be in line to earn much from the sector, while provided with a sustainable employment as well. The cassava factory is set to be open parallel with the baking industry in North East St Elizabeth. The baking industry is also set to use cassava flour to replace wheat flour and this could mean more lands needed to be put into cassava cultivation with an expected land to sum up to 5,000 acres.


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