THE MINISTRY of Agriculture and Fisheries of Manchester has embarked on a drive to have a sustained production of castor oil beans in the island to meet the demand of local and overseas markets.
Castor oil beans are used to manufacture a wide variety of products, including lubricants, plastics, paints, and hair and skin care ointments. The early Egyptians used it to protect their bodies from the dry desert windstorms, while in Jamaica, it is best known as a laxative to keep the bowels clean and as a hair treatment. This will be the first time that the Manchester government will be moving to have the castor plant, that grows wildly in many parishes, commercially grown as part of the productive sector
During a launch of the effort at the office of the Rural Agricultural Development Agency (RADA) in Mandeville, Manchester, more than 100 small farmers turned up to participate in the programme.
Minister of Agriculture Roger Clarke, who addressed the group, told them that the production of castor oil beans presents a new opportunity to increase their earnings. Member of Parliament for south Manchester, Michael Peart, said castor oil requires low maintenance and “has the potential to alleviate the economic stress” most small farmers are experiencing.
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