Mon | Oct 23, 2017

Embassy team tours cassava farm

Published:Wednesday | February 18, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Morgan Perkins (right), United States Embassy agricultural attache for Jamaica, Haita and the Dominican Republic, speaks with Cedric Blair, managing director for Red Stripe prior to the tour of the Red Stripe plant.
Morgan Perkins (left), agricultural attache for Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic (left) and Cleveland Charles (right), counsellor, political and economic affairs , United States embassy, hold a harvested cassava tuber at the Red Stripe cassava farm located in St Catherine.
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Arising from its interest in Red Stripe's innovations over the past year - mainly its cassava project - two weeks ago, a contingent from the agricultural division of the United States Embassy toured the Red Stripe cassava farm in St Catherine and the production plant along Spanish Town Road.

The visitors were given a comprehensive report on the growth and development of the cassava plant, as well as its harvesting and how it will be used by Red Stripe. They were showed samples of the tuber to get a better idea of the product, as well as the planting and reaping processes. They also toured Red Stripe's production facility at its Spanish Town Road plant.

Morgan Perkins, agricultural attache for Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, was impressed by the efforts of the beer giant. He explained that it is a good initiative to use more local resources to make their products.

Cedric Blair, managing director of Red Stripe, said the company would be setting up plants across the island for the purpose of harvesting cassava and producing the beer.

"Cassava needs to be harvested and sent for production within 24 hours in order to get the best quality. It is only fitting that we have plants located around the island to get the fresh produce as soon as it is harvested," he said.

Red Stripe will be looking at spending more than US$600 million on this plan. It will be building a relationship with the United States team to find out how both can partner in future projects.

"We fully support any initiative that is different and can benefit persons and the country. This, in particular, will help cut costs as it will be solely dependent on local products, and these are things we look for that we can bring back to our country to help with development," said Perkins.