Women's group launches bamboo charcoal project
Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer
The Network of Women for Food Security (NOW) has launched a project designed to propel Jamaica’s emerging charcoal bamboo industry and help alleviate poverty for women and rural families in Manchester.
NOW, a non-profit organization, was formed in 2013 by a group of women who were concerned about the impact of poor food choices, environmental illnesses and poverty on rural families.
The Rural Bamboo Charcoal Project was launched on Friday stemming from the group’s concern about the environmental impact of traditional bamboo burning, and other present day farming methods.
Under the project, a Vortex Rocket Retort Bamboo charcoal kiln system, will be used to produce charcoal. The system, which costs between J$185,000 and J$565,000, is said to be capable of producing in the region of 96,390 kilograms of charcoal annually at 100% production efficiency.
Executive Director of the group, Pauline Smith, says the system is an effective anti-poverty tool. She explains that a family with a kiln can make 100 pounds of charcoal per day which can then be sold for between J$4,000 and J$7,000.
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