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  • The $150 million invested by Red Stripe in local cassava production, to cut much of its imported raw material to its brewery, has been hailed as a move to make Jamaica more competitive and reduce the debt burden.
  • According to Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, the Government’s economic reform programme is aimed at putting more Jamaicans to work, and Red Stripe, with its investment, is boosting the production process, and ensuring “stability in the Jamaican economy".
  • The Minister’s comments came following a tour of Red Stripe’s cassava farm in Bernard Lodge, St. Catherine, on October 28.

The $150 million invested by Red Stripe in local cassava production, to cut much of its imported raw material to its brewery, has been hailed as a move to make Jamaica more competitive and reduce the debt burden.

According to Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, the Government’s economic reform programme is aimed at putting more Jamaicans to work, and Red Stripe, with its investment, is boosting the production process, and ensuring “stability in the Jamaican economy”.

Dr. Phillips said Red Stripe has made efforts to make Jamaica a more competitive environment, and “what we are seeing is the result of our efforts of reducing the debt, and inspiring confidence in the stability of the Jamaican economic environment.”

The Minister’s comments came following a tour of Red Stripe’s cassava farm in Bernard Lodge, St. Catherine, on October 28.

“It is also the result of the tax regime that has been (put in place), not only in relation to unifying the rate for all agricultural products, but equally important, reducing the rate on industrial inputs into the production process, and the doing business reforms that have been undertaken,” Dr. Phillips added.

In January, Red Stripe signed a lease agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture for lands at Bernard Lodge in St Catherine, to facilitate its cassava-growing project. Red Stripe plans to cultivate 2,400 acres within five years and provide employment for 2,400 persons (one person per acre).

The Minister said that the farm is an “impressive” display of the possibilities that exist for investment prospects in Jamaica. He noted that the cassava project, which is turning over more yields than the national average, is evidence of an agricultural revolution that is taking place in Jamaica.

“We are seeing first rate agricultural science and agronomic science being brought to bear on the production of a crop, which has traditionally been ignored by local agronomists. We are seeing yields of three to four times greater than the average national yield for cassava,” Dr. Phillips said.

Underscoring what the investment means for Jamaica, the Minister said it has had great impact on job creation, on economic growth, and on expansion of the agricultural sector.

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