Thursday, October 7, 2010


Mennonites continue to lead the country in export processing skills and entrepreneurial ventures.

AGRO PROCCESSING FOR EXPORT takes another step in Spanish Lookout.

About 20% more corn is produced than can be sold locally. CORN IS A GLUT PRODUCT. So the emphasis is on exporting the excess.

Two containers of 50,000 lbs of corn each are to be shipped to Jamaica. The quick goal is to produce 5 containers a week. Haiti is another market and the estimate is 18 million pounds of corn can be exported here.

Product samples in a pilot project are now being tested to produce corn grits and corn meal by the private sector. The world is crying for our agriculture processed products. The Mennonites imported some machinery from Brazil to do the grits and corn meal production.

Not all corn varieties are suitable for export. Only two or three of the ten or so varieties of corn grown in the Spanish Lookout area are suitable. Pioneer´s 30F80 is one such variety. This particlar one has the hard kernals and orange color required for processing through machinery. The softer corn varieties lose too much during the processing line system. One of the things needed is a smaller amount of germ and larger amount of the harder kernal ( endosperm) in corn varieties.

Southerners in the USA eat a fine grits. The Caribbean community likes a coarser type of grit. The Miami market now has a lot of Caribbean people and they like our coarse type of grit from here. So particle size is a factor. Lots of tricks and nuances in any business, you can only learn from hands on experimentation. Which is expensive in labor costs and time. This sort of thing is supposed to be a function of the Research and Development department of the Ministry of Natural Resources. Like most bureaucracies they are waaay behind the learning curve and often don´t even know how to ask the right questions. The private sector is leading them around by the nose, while the bureaucrats scramble to catch up and justify their pay. It hasn´t helped that the politicians have squandered our fiscal resources over the decades since Independence. All these youths graduating from tertiary education are going to be looking for entrepreneurial ideas and it is the role of our Research and Development department in the Ministry of Natural Resources to stay ahead of the learning curve, fueling our export capability and growth of GDP.

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