In fact, it’s so acute, it may have been responsible for Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller postponing the General Election (Deer, 2015, December 2) along with to the reasons, such an influx of younger voters.
However, it’s not because of a shortage of the Sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa) fruit itself, but a lack of cheap labour to adequately pick and remove the calyx off this plant that’s a relative of the Hibiscus plant.
Turner Innovations Limited and the Sorrel Harvesting Machine gamechanger
Enter St. Elizabeth farmers and founders of Turner Innovations Limited, Oral and Allison Turner, who have developed a Sorrel Harvesting Machine (Williams, 2015, December 22) that makes this process a snap.
The Sorrel Harvesting Machine prototype was originally presented to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in 2011. Strangely, they seem to have doubted the design, at one point even considering a Sorrel Harvesting Machine (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, 2012, November 08) designed and manufactured by the University of Chapingo, Mexico.
Took awhile, but the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries finally began to see the genius (Williams, 2015, October 28) of the Turners. Not wanting to wait on the Government of Jamaica, Oral and Allison Turner made a submission to the DBJ (Development Bank of Jamaica).
They’re currently have financial assistance from First Angels (Gordon, 2015, October 4), a local Jamaican VC (Venture Capital) firm along with another company, a Mobile ticketing firm called Billodex (Collinder, 2015, September 11).
The Turners’ have also secured a grant from the DBJ (The Jamaica Observer, 2015, October 29) and as part of the condition of the grant, they’ve enrolled in business development training with the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship for the Caribbean.
How the Turner’s Sorrel Harvesting Machine works – Jamaican innovation at its finest
Since 2014, the Turners, have made modifications to the Sorrel Harvesting Machine in 2014 so that it can scale for commercial usage.
The Sorrel Harvesting Machine, which has the capacity to process 2,000 lb (907 Kg) of Sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa) per day, can be operated by one person. Within a ten (10) hour span it can produce six hundred pounds (600 lb) of the fruit and 300 lb of de-seeded Sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa) for replanting.
The picked Sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa) buds are fed from a conveyor belt into a funnel apparatus. This then separates the calyx from the seed pod cleanly, thus harvesting the Sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa) with such a high processing capacity, it can reduce the labour cost of hand stripping by 50% and manpower by from one person to a single operator.
The Turners, realizing this, have offered the services of their Sorrel Harvesting Machine to farmers. They’re required to pay 50% when they Sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa) buds are transported to their farm where the Sorrel Harvesting Machine is located.
Once processed, the farmer then pays up the other 50% of the Sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa) processing fee. Alternatively, the Turners have a mobile version of the Sorrel Harvesting Machine; they can come to your farm and make the same arrangement!
Hopefully by 2016, other Sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa) farmers will see the genius of the Oral and Allison Turner. They too can invest in this original Jamaican design.
Here’s the link:
Turner Innovations Limited’s
Comma Pen, Watson Hill P.O.
Website: Turner Innovations Limited
- Collinder, A. (2015, September 11). Two More Firms Get First Angels Backing. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/business/20150911/two-more-firms-get-first-angels-backing
- Deer, L. (2015, December 2). How Math, Sorrel Shortage of 2015, Dead Babies Scandal and Younger Voters stopped Jamaica’s General Election 2015. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/12/how-math-sorrel-shortage-of-2015-dead.html
- Deer, L. (2015, November 10). Why Great Jamaica Sorrel Shortage of 2015 caused by increasing yearly demand – How Turner Innovations Sorrel picking machine might save Christmas 2015. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/11/Great-Jamaica-Sorrel-Shortage-2015.html
- Gordon, T. (2015, October 4). With Angel Backing, Sorrel Machine Inventors Look Outward For Markets. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/business/20151004/angel-backing-sorrel-machine-inventors-look-outward-markets
- Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. (2012, November 08). Twenty (20) Extension Officers being trained in sorrel harvesting operations. Retrieved from http://www.moa.gov.jm/News/2012/2012-11-08_Twenty_Extension_Officers_being_trained_in_sorrel_harvesting_operations.php
- The Jamaica Observer. (2015, October 29). Locally developed sorrel machine to cut harvesting time, cost. Retrieved from http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Locally-developed-sorrel-machine–to-cut-harvesting-time–cost_19235894
- Williams, R. (2015, December 22). Processing of Sorrel for Popular Christmas Drink Now Cheaper and Easier. Retrieved from http://jis.gov.jm/processing-of-sorrel-for-popular-christmas-drink-now-cheaper-and-easier/
- Williams, R. (2015, October 28). Local Sorrel Machine to Cut Harvesting Time and Cost. Retrieved from http://jis.gov.jm/local-sorrel-machine-to-cut-harvesting-time-and-cost/