Jamaica’s Ministry of Transport and Mining is partnering with small farmers to boost castor oil plant cultivation to increase biodiesel production.
Minister Robert Montague said that the Ministry will be moving to secure some 5,000 acres of “unclaimed lands” to commence growing the castor plant.
Montague said that the Caribbean country has the capacity to manufacture and distribute castor oil on a large scale.
He said: “We are moving with the Jamaica Bauxite Institute (JBI) to institute a castor oil project. We have just signed off on a big deal with a company to supply the JUTC with biodiesel.
“We subsequently discovered that the mineral oil they use, the element they use is castor oil that they actually import from India and we can grow castor oil right here in Jamaica.
“So, what we are moving to do is to plant up a lot of these reclaimed lands with castor oil, process it and sell it to this company and the JBI will be leading that process to plant some 5,000 acres of castor oil.”
The Minister indicated that a deal has already been finalised with the Jamaica Castor Oil Growers Association to get production going.
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