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Red Stripe on Track with Cassava Production

Beer manufacturer Red Stripe Jamaica, plans to have 40 per cent volume of the locally grown cassava in the production of its malt, beer and stout beverages by 2020 — but could find itself working overtime to reach the target after experiencing some setbacks on its pilot cassava farm in Bernard Lodge, St Catherine.

“It’s one of the most challenging farms to operate. We depend on the National Irrigation Commission for water and there were times when there is no water, the pressure in the system is low, there is a burst main pipe…,” Production Supervisor, Narado Richards told journalists during a tour of the company’s cassava farms on Monday.

In addition to water issues, Red Stripe was also faced with poor soil quality and wasted space as a result of the 36-acre property which is being leased from the Sugar Corporation of Jamaica (SCJ), previous use for illegal sand mining activities.

Of the 36 acres, Richards noted that only 24 acres has been identified as arable land with the remaining amount being used as green space. Last year, Bernard Lodge cassava farm produced the highest yield of 28 tonnes per hectare compared to 17 tonnes in previous years, but was nonetheless lagging behind yields from Wallen and SpringPlain cassava farms and the potential of the newest addition, Windsor. The increase in yield, according to Richards, was attributable to work being carried out by the NIC.

Published in the Jamaica Observer
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