Reopen Cassava factory

Member of Parliament for North East St Elizabeth Kern Spencer has called on the government to reopen the Goshen Cassava processing factory in the constituency.
"If the government is serious about creating jobs and assisting with valued-added production then they need to take a serious look at this factory," said the MP.

He added that the facility, which needs to be retooled, is ideal for the processing of cassava, noting that a number of farmers in the area have already gone into cassava cultivation with an expectation that suitable market will be available when the crop is ready for harvesting.

"The farmers in the communities of Goshen and Pepper have already established a cassava farming group and cultivating the crop so the factory is needed to provide an adequate outlet for them," he told the Observer West.

In the mid to late 1970's, the Goshen Cassava factory produced a wide range of by-products from cassava processing, including flour and bammies.
It is not clear, however, why the plant was closed in the 1980's.

But yesterday, Spencer maintained that the abandoned plant has the potential to create much needed jobs for Goshen and its surroundings.

"There are several remaining farmers that are ready to come on board. The skill needed at the factory still exists in the community," he emphasised.

He argued that the factory could produce for export: bammies, cassava flour, cassava chips, cassava pancake mix and other valued-added products.

"The young people are in desperate need for employment opportunities and this could be one avenue to create the much needed jobs," Spencer emphased.

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