He told onion farmers at a field day exercise organised by the Ministry in Colbeck, St. Catherine, on Tuesday, that barring a repeat of similar conditions, or the onset of hurricane or other prohibitive factors, “we are going to see real economic growth in this country being spurred by agriculture.”
Samuda said he was “encouraged” by the current “surge of interest” in agriculture, citing brewing giant, Red Stripe’s Project Grow Initiative, as an example.
The undertaking entails the firm’s cultivation and use of cassava as part of the ingredients to manufacture the globally renowned Red Stripe beer.
In highlighting cassava’s “enormous potential,” the Minister said Red Stripe’s venture would provide business opportunities and guaranteed earnings for farmers.
Samuda said Government has committed approximately 3,500 acres of land to Red Stripe for cassava cultivation, most of which will be contracted to farmers to grow and supply the crop to the company. He described the heightened focus on cassava as an opportunity to utilise lands no longer deemed ideal for growing traditional crops.
It is anticipated that cassava and other locally grown crops will comprise at least 40 percent of the ingredients used by Red Stripe to manufacture beer, by 2020.
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