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Arrowroot harvesters in North Windward

Arrowroot harvesters  in North Windward

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Arrowroot farmers in the North Windward area now have one more reason to invest in the planting of arrowroot as three new pieces of machinery have been provided to assist with reaping the crop.

Speaking at a demonstration on Tuesday, area representative Montgomery Daniel told the gathering that the machinery allows for more effective and efficient harvesting of the crop{{more}}.

He said that planting and harvesting arrowroot requires a large labour force and having the machinery would assist in increasing the productivity level of farmers.

The equipment is designed for row-crop harvesting, and according to Daniel, is performing well. “The equipment is doing extremely well, it is going down to a depth of 14-15 inches and taking out the rhizome very well,” he stated.

He said all that is needed now is for persons to walk behind the machine and pick up the rhizome as the machines move along. The machine will take approximately four hours to complete one acre of harvesting.

Daniel also told the gathering that this year is a good one for the industry as their main buyer has decided to raise his buying price to 40 cents extra per pound. Prior to this it was US$2.40 per pound.

“I am about to go to Cabinet to ask them to increase the price of rhizomes to the growers so that the farmers can get a better return,” Daniel stated. “I am hoping that Cabinet can give us at least 15 cents,” he continued.

Three pieces of equipment were allocated to the residents including two harvesters to dig up the arrowroot and a bush cutter to cut the arrowroot bush before the harvesting.