Goal: Building safe & harmonious communities
Through its Food Security Strategy, the Government of Jamaica has identified irrigation as a major issue which has the potential to make a considerable impact on the production and productivity of agriculture. For small farmers, who are for the most part unable to access irrigation systems, agricultural production is limited due to the dependence on rainfall.
Against this background, Unitas of Jamaica a service agency of the Moravian church in Jamaica and the Cayman Island is seeking the assistance of the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, to have increased availability of water in rain fed communities at locations where improved rainwater harvesting is used to ensure all year production of domestic food crops. The project will be implemented over a 2 month period and focuses on rainwater harvesting through ponds and improving the capabilities among farmers in Good Agricultural Practices, which includes rainwater harvesting techniques.
The Unitas of Jamaica will oversee the implementation of the project with guidance from the NIC/Rural Agricultural Development Authority. The total project budget is estimated at J$7.3 million. This amount excludes the casual labour and the on-farm irrigation equipment needed for each farm operation; these inputs will be provided by the project beneficiaries. The overall objective of the project is to improve rural livelihoods, improve food security, and promote small farm enterprises.
The Minister of Agriculture had indicated his intention to generate jobs for the unemployed youths with the introduction of cassava production using mechanised conditions. One of the Government plans is to develop Agriculture so the Jamaica can reduce the amount of imported food and save precious foreign exchange.
Diageo the parent company of Denose &Geddes Jamaica Ltd sets its eyes on using cassava starch in beer and has being having a series of demonstrations in Jamaica to sensitise the local farmers to produce the very important starch that is used to manufacture the beer locally. The plan will focus on five crops, mainly cassava; Diageo has the plan to inject millions of dollars into the hands of Jamaican farmers and into the economy through sufficiency in cassava production for making various bi products.
The Government of Jamaica announced its intention to discourage importation of some items that can easily be produced in this country including cassava, irish potatoes and ginger products. At the same time encourages those interested in local production and export to develop the local production of these crops and at the same time encourages self-reliance on local food consumption.
The present government has paid attention on the development of agriculture and other non-oil exportable products. Cassava production, processing into chips & pellets, industrial ştarch, ethanol, garri, cassava flour and foo-foo is still a very lucrative agro-industrial project. Ginger produce in large quantities will be used as the source flavouring and other agro processing products.
In 2010 the Ministry of Agriculture has came up with lots of packages to benefit farmers to develop agriculture. These are great opportunities to exploit. Every hand should be on deck to encourage cassava production either through provision of funds or through encouragement of production for export market
Delivering freshly made foot crops products to consumers depends on extensive cooperation and mutual reliance between supplier and retailer. We stand behind our product, our service and our word.
LOCATION OF THE PROJECT
The farm will be located in Goshen, St. Elizabeth who will be a grower, seller and processor of cassava, sweet potatoes and ginger. Goshen Root Crop Producers will sells the product both at farmer markets as well as direct to juice processors. The business will be based out of Unitas of Jamaica, 3 Hector Street, Kingston 5 and the farm and plant office at the old Cassava Factory property located in Goshen district in St. Elizabeth which is a 143 acres parcel of land that the farming operations will be situated. This group of investors both locally and overseas will provide the initial funding and initiate the management as well as organizing the policies, standards and directions and provide the company with the working capital.
Presently the property targeted is owned by the Government of Jamaica and is not in production. This investment will see the investors enter into a lease and sale agreement to acquire the property over a ten year period. This request will be to formalised a reliable acquisition period to developed the present property management and administration of the ownership. This will allow the company and the Government to Benefits by:
- Increased capacity
- Access to greater resources, including specialized staff, technology and finance
- Contributes to National Food Security
- Conserves on Foreign Exchange;
- Become an Income earner
Justification for Plan
The continuing use of manual labour renders the countries agricultural sector productive process uncompetitive. Since globalisation countries are placing propriety on redevelopment and the large population of farmers must play a significant role in the development of the country especially in food production. Improving the value added section of Jamaica’s agriculture will go a long way in assisting the production of foods in various formats.
The company and the cooperative farmers group in the Jamaican based community, whose mission is to provide high quality, nutritional, and flavourful product for consumption both locally and for the agro export market. With the local market now requires approximately 1,000 ha of produce annually the company will seeks to encourage and accommodate the communities in establishing productive farming and processing of crops to increase income for their sustainability of agricultural production in Jamaica,
We will offer the following products:
- Cassava as feed ingredient -. animal feed
- Cassava as industry raw material – starch.
- Cassava as food – chips
- Ginger as raw material
- Ginger as oil Ginger as candy
- Ginger as soft drinks
- Sweet potatoes as industry raw material – starch.
- Sweet potatoes as food – chips, drinks
- Sweet potatoes as raw material
The products above but will form the basis of the operations while future products will be added as the market demands.
Production and Operations
The operations will commence with the:
- Construction of the facility
- Installation of the machinery
- Identifying the farmers who will supply the raw materials to the factory
- Getting the personnel to operate the factory
- Obtaining permit to operate
- Payment of requisite fees, licences etc
- Inspection by local regulatory agencies.
The market opportunity for native cassava starch will exist to some extent in any country that is becoming more industrialised and therefore consuming more starch in various industrial processes. It is assumed that starch processing will be carried out in a factory environment because of the sophisticated equipment requirement. Dry starch can be sold by the factory direct to the end user or further processed at the starch factory. Processing may include conversion into dextrins or formulation into starch based adhesives for the paperboard industry.
The main physical factors that are likely to determine success in exploiting this market opportunity are as follows: