JIS News

Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS) at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Harvey Reid, is encouraging the expansion of the farming of Jamaican lemon grass.
Professor Reid told JIS News that local and overseas markets are open for the by-products.
“Almost every farmer has lemon grass growing on their farms or in their back gardens and, traditionally, we have used lemon grass as a tea, or for a cold or fever. It depends on what you want to do with it, whether you are going to make the oil, tea or make by-products,” he said.
However, he cautioned that, before taking up the project, farmers make sure they have a clear objective of what they are planning to do.
“The potential for lemon grass products is enormous, (but) you don’t want to plant it and don’t have a market for it; establish who will buy it from you, or if you are going to produce it for yourselves,” he said.
Professor Reid said that among the many things that are made from the grass are: cosmetic line, including body wash, hand wash and body lotion; beverage line, tea and lemon grass drink; candles; and products such as shampoos and conditioners.
He outlined that, for over 15 years, he has researched the grass and, in 2005, formed a company, Country House Products, to extract the many by-products from lemon grass.
Professor Reid advised that persons wishing to enter the market should contact Dr. Sylvia Mitchell at the UWI Biotech Centre, or email: countryhouseproducts@yahoo.com.

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