CARDI signs Agreement with Red Stripe, Diageo … cassava sugar to be used as replacement for barley syrup
As the Regional leader in agricultural research for development, the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), at its Jamaica Unit Open Day on Wednesday 19 February, 2014 announced the signing of an hallmark Agreement with Diageo parent Company of Red Stripe, to provide technical assistance to a Project to grow 36 acres of cassava for the supply of tubers for processing into sugars and planting material to establish 300 acres of cassava.
This Programme is the first step in a series of activities for the eventual production of over 2,000 acres of cassava for use by Red Stripe, Diageo. The cassava will be utilized to produce cassava sugar which is intended to replace imported high maltose barley syrup presently used in the production of Red Stripe beer. Diageo plans to replace about 30% of its imported barley syrup with the substitute cassava sugar produced from the 2,000 acres of cassava.
Phase 1 - Production of the 36 acres is expected to commence immediately at Bernard Lodge, on land already leased by the Company. Land clearing has commenced; and it is expected that within the next 4 weeks, approximately 6 acres of the area will be tilled, provided with irrigation and planted. The Project will also ensure knowledge transfer as targeted beneficiaries, primarily farmers, on the production of cassava for tubers and planting material will be trained.
Mr. Morris Taylor, CARDI’s Commodity Leader, Roots and Tubers based in its Jamaica Unit is the coordinator of the Programme, with other expertise in soil management, agronomy, water management and entomology to be provided by the technical staff of CARDI from across the Region.
CARDI, as the Region’s premier agriculture research for development Agency, has been, over the past 35 years, leading successful trials in increased productivity of cassava for fresh use and processed products, in the countries of Barbados; Belize; Dominica; Guyana; Haiti; Jamaica; Montserrat; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; and Trinidad and Tobago. These successes have been achieved through concerted, pioneering and fortuitous work in the areas of partnerships and collaborations; germplasm development, improvement and exploitation; production systems; and post-harvest technology and value added development.
Dr. Arlington Chesney, CARDI’s Executive Director, indicated that ‘this initiative opens a new and exciting vista for cassava as a serious, large scale commercial crop for the Region. It also heralds a new relationship between targeted and result driven research and large commercial business in the Region’.