JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Derrick Kellier, has welcomed the launch of the first locally developed sorrel harvesting machine which, he said, will significantly reduce the cost and reaping time of the crop.
  • The machine was developed by St. Elizabeth farmers and Directors of Turner Innovations Limited, Oral and Allison Turner.
  • To use the machine, farmers will be required to pay a 50 per cent deposit through a bank account that will be provided.

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Derrick Kellier, has welcomed the launch of the first locally developed sorrel harvesting machine which, he said, will significantly reduce the cost and reaping time of the crop.

“With the introduction of this machine, the de-seeding of sorrel will reduce, by at least 50 per cent, the time required by manual labour and will reduce manpower from 10 to one labourer per session. This will increase the opportunity for our local farmers to compete globally on the sorrel market by increasing income and reducing costs,” he noted.

He was speaking at the launch of the machine today (October 27), at the Ministry’s Old Hope Road headquarters, St. Andrew.

The machine was developed by St. Elizabeth farmers and Directors of Turner Innovations Limited, Oral and Allison Turner.

Mrs. Turner told JIS News that the product will be undergoing field testing among local sorrel farmers to determine its efficacy.

“Right now, it is …to find out how the public responds and seeing it really working in the field, and finding out what the problems are. In theory, everything is great, but when you actually get out there, you really see the real problems and you get an opportunity to work on them and correct them,” she said.

Mrs. Turner informed that the machine is an improvement over the prototype developed in 2013, to make it more conducive to the Jamaican market and to optimise output.

The improvements were undertaken through a grant provided by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBG) to patent, field-test and commercialise the machine.

The grant also financed the construction of a manufacturing area and office space. Additionally, as part of the condition of the grant, the inventors enrolled in business development training with the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship for the Caribbean.

To use the machine, farmers will be required to pay a 50 per cent deposit through a bank account that will be provided.

The machine will then be transported to the farm to harvest the crop at which time the balance is to be paid.

The machine is operated by one person with the capacity to process 2,000 pounds of sorrel per day.