Jamaican Cassava Chips 'To Di Weeeerld' PDF Print E-mail

Agriculture Minister Tufton at The Cassava Chips Factory
Cassava chips, anyone? Production of cassava chips is part of Jcan solution to the food crisis.The chips are being produced by Jamaica Producers,  which has successfully cornered the banana chips market for close to a decade, marketing the St Mary brand.

The company is now investigating exporting the product to Latin America and the Caribbean as research has shown that there is little or no competition in that area.Jamaica Producers now has over 550 acres of bananas and cassava, and employs 450 workers.

The company projects 10,000 tonnes of produce next year, a large portion to be converted into snacksCommercial director Rolf Simmonds stated that "Our snack business has realised 17 per cent compounded annual growth in the last five years and we expect this trend to continue".

He said the St Mary factory is able to produce one million bags of chips per week and is now actively pursuing export possibilities for the new cassava product. "We are now looking at the Caribbean and Latin markets in the US," he said. 'There are not many manufacturers in that market."

Agriculture Minister Dr. Christopher Tufton, who drew some heat in his budget presentation earlier this year by recommending widescale planting  of cassava as a substitute for imported starches, said he now feels vindicated. "They call me the cassava man," he said. "But now, not only can you get cassava from the field, but you can get it in two flavours, original and barbecue.”

And in continuing to champion  he cause for local food security, Tufton urged Jamaicans to become less dependent on imported produce in the face of the recent global food crisis.The minister argued that although commodity prices are currently on the decline, recent price hikes in wheat and corn starkly outlined the fragility of our food supply.

In lauding Jamaica Producers' efforts, Tufton said that other entrepreneurs should emulate the company and become involved in value-added agriculture."They are role models and should be a catalyst for the growth of the sector," Tufton remarked.  


                      Source : www.jmaicaobserver.com    writer : Patrick Foster

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