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Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar, this week visited the Arrowroot Factory at Owia, where the processing of this year’s crop has begun.

Caesar said an additional 20 acres of arrowroot were planted in 2013 and the Ministry is looking forward to an increase in production.

He said that the Ministry has been working on the farmers’ behalf and was able to get an increase in the price paid to farmers for the rhizomes. Two years ago, the price for rhizome was $0.35 per pounds, but has now risen to $1 per pound.

Caesar attributed the increase to a hike in the price of starch, from US$5 per pound to US$7 per pound.

The Minister encouraged farmers to increase their production and acreages in arrowroot.

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“There are significant sums to be made, the returns are looking good and we are encouraging more farmers to become involved in the production of arrowroot in St. Vincent.”

He said there are 80 acres of arrowroot being planted in the country, namely in North Windward, North Central Windward, South Windward, and Marriaqua.

Caesar said that the Arrowroot Growers Association will be working with farmers throughout the country to ensure that they see the production of arrowroot on the Leeward side of the island, this year.

“There are several mechanisms and techniques that are in place and the Farmers Support Company will be providing credit to arrowroot farmers in the sum of $500,000,” Caesar said.

The Agriculture Minister encouraged farmers to continue with the programme of diversification, adding that the Ministry is looking at accessing markets in Asia for exports.

He said there is a demand for 80,000 pounds of arrowroot starch in the United States and the Ministry is in the early stage of exploring the packing arrowroot for medicinal purposes.

(A. Sam/API)

2 replies on “Agriculture Minister urges increased arrowroot production”

  1. Now I understand why you all didn’t stand up to present the budget. Arrowroot? I thought it was Cocoa, next we will be hearing Sugarcane. And what about the banana farmers who have cultivated bananas all their lives with more experience than most other countries anywhere in the world, are they suppose to just let all their expertise go to waste?

    And what about the infrastructure that are setup for banana, what are they going to be used for? I can go on and on, but I am an engineer not a farmer, but I can tell you one thing, you all need to get real.

    $500,000 dollars for an entire new industry? is that suppose to be some kind of joke, [ a member of the government] allegedly bought a house for one million dollars, more than twice what you all want to put into arrowroot,. Is this what SVG come to when a government worker has more money to spend than a sector SVG.

    It’s just sad, the farmers are the ones that built SVG, the farmers built it. Not the lawyers, not the Doctors, or any profession that some people believe is superior, even an engineer like myself, My profession is not as important as a farmer. When are the farmers in SVG going to get the respect they deserve? it’s more than time, and until they get respect SVG is not going to go anywhere. And don’t even talk about tourism, that is not going to help SVG for another 10 years.It’s just sad.

  2. Kenton, I made a comment on this Agriculture situation and it magically disappeared. It’s an election year and I know the government wouldn’t want different views about there politics. But if you are trying to be impartial, like most news of class, then you should at let us know how many orders you have gotten to remove comments from this site.

    Because everyone needs to know how the media is under attack in SVG and I will stop wasting my time and posting here. I could be wrong, but i find it very suspicious that my comment was removed for no reason.

  3. Can someone speak to the farmers to determine if they are making a profit from arrowroot? It would be nice to see some figures. I will also help if all the Windward Islands combine their efforts to sell to the US and Canadian market. My only concern is harvesting and processing the product. Arrowroot was removed from the ground on the Leeward side, so it could be an uphill battle to reintroduce it. The other point to consider is that most of the low level agriculture lands on the Leeward are gone. The Buccament Valley, Layou and areas below Layou were once major arrowroot producing lands. Those lands are all gone .

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