· Idle Long pond cane lands being brought back into productivity
The government has signed off on a deal involving the growing of bamboo in Trelawny on the former Long Pond Sugar Estate.
Caribbean Business Report can confirm that the Jamaican government through the Sugar Company of Jamaica Holdings (SCJH) is about to sign a long-term lease for at least 2,000 acres of farmlands (formerly part of the Long Pond Sugar Cane Estate) just outside of Clark’s Town in Trelawny to cultivate bamboo. The SCJH, which is responsible for the assets of all Government-controlled sugar companies including farmlands, is expected to make a formal announcement on this project later this month.
As part of the overall project, CBR understands that a bamboo factory will be constructed in addition to the bamboo cultivation. The factory will be used to produce pulp from the bamboo grown. This product would be exported to produce toilet paper for the local and international market.
The project is to be launched during the first quarter of this year with actual cultivation to start within a year. Speaking in an exclusive interview with CBR SCJH Managing Director, Joseph Shoucair, confirmed our story disclosing that international distributor, Proctor & Gamble is the main financier to the project.
Proctor & Gamble is an international marketer of toilet paper and other consumer items and has been in business for over 180 years. The company specialises in a wide range of personal and consumer health, and personal care and hygiene products.
The project is being executed by a consortium of local and foreign partners which will be responsible for the growing of bamboo and the production of pulp. Caribbean Business Report understands that the pulp will be exported to Proctor & Gamble American-based toilet paper factory to produce the final product, which will be distributed through its international network.
The SCJH boss is optimistic that this project will be a huge success given the relatively short period to grow bamboo and the suitability of the soil in Trelawny. Shoucair was upbeat about this project and the fact that idle cane land on the former Long Pond Sugar Estate is being used up for agricultural production.
The Long Pond Sugar Estate comprise some 14,000 acres of land.
Some 4,000 acres of lands on the former Long Pond Sugar Estate in Trelawny is being made available to small famers in the area for cultivation. CBR reported last month that the 4,000 acres of arable cane lands would be leased to Trelawny Pride, an umbrella company of the All-Island Cane Farmers’ Association (AICFA).
CBR reported last month that fresh from breaking ground for its medical hemp project on the former Long Pond Sugar Estate in Trelawny, Organic Growth Holdings (OGH) Jamaica is seeking to lease more lands on the estate for hemp cultivation.
Having leased 635 acres of former cane lands, OGH Jamaica has put in a bid for more lands to carry on business. Co-founder and OGH President, Robert Weinstein said the company is seeking to lease additional lands, as he and his team of investors have big plans for Jamaica and the growing of medical hemp for the production of cannabidiol, or “CBD”oils.
Weinstein did not indicate how much land is being sought on the former sugar estate, which comprise approximately 14,000 acres of land. Based on our investigation, a sizable portion of the 635 acres of land already leased from the government through the Sugar Company of Jamaica (SCJ) Holdings is unsuitable for cultivation given the surrounding rocks.
Hence, the need to acquire more arable lands to grow medical hemp. SCJ Holdings has hinted that this request is being given favourable consideration.