JIS News

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  • Nutraceuticals could form the next national industry as the National Commission on Science and Technology’s (NCST’s) work in local science and technology development is ‘bearing fruit’, says NCST Director General, Professor Errol Morrison.
  • “Jamaica claims that over 50 per cent of the plants that have been designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having health benefits is available right here in Jamaica. Yet, we have never been able to exploit these to an international level,” he pointed out at a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’.
  • That reality, he said, is about to change as a new strain of ginger, which is being backed by the NCST, has been anecdotally found to havepotential health benefits, such as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Nutraceuticals could form the next national industry as the National Commission on Science and Technology’s (NCST’s) work in local science and technology development is ‘bearing fruit’, says NCST Director General, Professor Errol Morrison.

“Jamaica claims that over 50 per cent of the plants that have been designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having health benefits is available right here in Jamaica. Yet, we have never been able to exploit these to an international level,” he pointed out at a recent Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’.

That reality, he said, is about to change as a new strain of ginger, which is being backed by the NCST, has been anecdotally found to havepotential health benefits, such as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

The ginger plant has been used to develop a nutraceutical called Zon Teasan, which will be launched by Zon International Holdings on June 24.

The new strain of ginger, McGhie JCG (Jamaican cinnamon ginger), was developed through the collaborative efforts of the NCST, Northern Caribbean University, Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and a number of  international tertiary institutions.

“This new plant is giving us the opportunity to revive a ginger industry and not just a general ginger industry but one with these specific properties.This commercial development is what we have been hoping for over the last decade.This has the potential for a new national industry…and this is going to be a major developmental path for the country,” said Professor Morrison.

He pointed out that the cultivation of the plant will require approximately 40,000 acres of land and should provide employment for 160,000 persons.