Banking on Cassava
Under its 'Project Grow' initiative, corporate giant Red Stripe has added an additional 250 acres of land to its cassava project, having signed an agreement with the Government for the lease of Wallen Farms on March 10.
The land is located in St Catherine and the signing indicates the start of phase two of the project aimed at the sustainable creation of a cassava supply chain which will replace the majority of the company's imported outputs with local raw material.
Planting, which began in 2014, targeted some 300 acres of land leased by Red Stripe in an agreement with government through the Agro Investment Corporation, in January of last year. Having successfully completed the initial phase, the beer giant is moving ahead with this second phase. Eventually, Project Grow will see some 2,400 acres of cassava planted.
In his remarks at the lease signing, Richard Byles, chairman of Red Stripe, spoke of the tremendous support they have received from the private sector and the Government in the initial phase of the project.
"It is a multimillion US dollar renovation, upgrade, efficiency improvement that we're doing and Red Stripe is emerging as a model manufacturing company that is retooling and refitting itself into the economic realities of 2015. I expect that we will not only be more profitable, but we will also be far more efficient in the future," said Byles.
Project Grow is geared towards replacing 40 per cent of imported inputs used in the production of flagship product Red Stripe Beer, by 2020.