Christopher Bodden, Gleaner Writer
AXE N ADZE, Hanover:
THE COMMUNITY of Axe n Adze in the cool hills of eastern Hanover is pushing the envelope on creativity.
By and large a low-income community, the Axe n Adze Citizens' Association, led by Pastor Rupert Shippy, has embarked on a mission to pull itself up by its own boot straps and to find creative ways to generate income and provide an occupation for many residents of this community.
This is being done through the production and sale of liquid curry.
Enterprise consultant D. Livingston Smalling pointed to the advantages of using this liquid product. "It can be used like tomato paste as it is pre-cooked. This also eliminates health risks and allows for faster meal preparation," Smalling told Rural Xpress.
He said the food would absorb the curry, giving "an intensely intrinsic flavour".
Shippy said, "This is the first time anything like this has been done anywhere in the world, and the aim of the project is to provide employment (in the community), while attracting other investors to the community."
The liquid curry, which is sold locally now, and curry in general, has a host of health benefits such as helping to prevent prostate cancer.
The other project by the Axe n Adze Citizens' Association is the coconut confectionery, which involves the production and sale of coconut drops, gizzada, and grater cake.
Smalling told Rural Xpress that the items are highly specialised as they are made with different flavourings. Also used in the production of the confectionery is the coconut shredder, which was provided by a local inventor. "This is a prototype. We are actually testing it, but it is working well so far," said Smalling.
The confectionery is sold to local shops and schools.
None of the coconut is wasted either as the shell is used to make jewellery, while the coya is used in stuffed toys.
As with every project that is implemented, there are always challenges, and this one is no different. The problem lies in obtaining raw material, in this case, the coconut. Because of praedial thieves, coconut farmers are selling their coconuts early as jelly coconuts, rather than having them stay on the tree until they are fully dry.
"(Coconut) farmers are complaining as these thieves sometimes cut entire trees down just to steal the coconuts," said Shippy. "This is the hindrance in us moving towards exporting as we can't get the volume required."
The ultimate goal, according to Shippy and Smalling, is to build a large factory on lands already identified in the community in order to house all operations under one roof.
PHOTOS BY CHRISTOPHER BODDEN