Free Essay

Tropic Paper Manufacturing

In: Business and Management

Submitted By chan9219
Words 5737
Pages 23
Table of Contents Abstract INTRODUCTION: * Rationale * Problem Statement * Main Purpose of Study ……………………………………………………………. * General objectives * Specific Objectives * Hypothesis/Research Questions LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS................... METHODOLOGY/RESEARCH DESIGN * Scope and Limitations …………………………………………………………….. * Procedures * Data Sources * Budget....................................................................................................................... * Instruments * Budget ……………………………………………………………………………... Results and Discussion ……………………………………………………………………. * SWOT Audit ………………………………………………………………………. * SWOT Matrix …………………………………………………………………….. Recommendations ………………………………………………………………………… Summary and Conclusion References Appendices

Abstract
Extensive importation of foreign products continues to cripple the Jamaican economy. The country imports just about everything as such this limits the amount of foreign exchange that could contribute effectively to the country’s development. The importation of paper is an area of concern which we believe must receive careful attention and must be seriously addressed. Paper is a resource that is utilized daily in many operations if not all and this precious resource has to be imported from other countries while the resources available in the country which could be adequately utilized in producing this heavily used commodity are being wasted. The parish of St. Thomas is indeed a parish that possess a vast amount of coconut husks and hibiscus leaves which could be used to create paper which will without a doubt help to increase export while decreasing paper importation and impacting positively on Gross Domestic Product. The Coconut husks and hibiscus leaves are resources which we believe if used effectively can create increase economic development and provide employment opportunities for many in the manufacturing sector. The Coconut husks possess a wide variety of uses and can be used to make a quite a number of products. Similarly, today, there is currently a trend towards becoming socially responsible in Jamaica. Many persons are more mindful of actions they pursue so as to limit the negative impact on the environment, thereby engaging in activities that positively impact the environment. It is with this notion in mind that this study seeks to utilize an alternative to manufacturing paper through the use of coconut husks and hibiscus leaves which does not result in actions that affects the environment. Studies have shown that this research proposal is feasible as hibiscus leaves have been used to create paper and the coconut husk possess the properties to aid this venture. This effort will add value to the lives of the business operators, significantly reduce the unemployment rate in St. Thomas and thereby improve the country’s standard of living.

Rationale
Agriculture is the basic industry of Jamaica and the island possesses a wide variety of soil and suitable climate, making it possible for nearly every tropical product being able to be grown here. Among the chief economic crops present in Jamaica is coconut which was introduced into the island from Far Eastern countries. The researchers of this project have discovered that coconut is the most widely cultivated of all the palms, grows best on alluvial soil which is available right here in Jamaica. Gleaner (1998). Blake (2014) explained that our beautiful island is also blessed with an abundance of lush greenery hibiscus flowers which serve a number of very important purposes. We are taking the initiative to propose a new mean of utilizing an alternative method of manufacturing paper through the use of coconut husks and hibiscus leaves in the parish of St. Thomas. With the implementing of this product the paper manufacturing company in Jamaica will be offered an alternative means to source paper at an affordable yet competitive price. This will enable purchasers of paper to be able to better afford paper relative to the hassle involved in paper importation. This will have a great impact on the economic development of the parish of St. Thomas which is also known for coconuts and in due process introduction in other parishes thus successfully contributing to the overall development of the Jamaican economy as opportunities lie in exportation of this new product. We also want to establish how viable this new offering is to reporting/broadcasting companies like The Gleaner Company, The Observer Company, both public and private printry offices who use a large amount of paper on a daily basis so as to make their daily news available to the general public. It was revealed by one of the purchasing manager at The Jamaica Observer Company that importation of paper from countries such as Canada is expensive as paper is not manufactured in Jamaica. In fact, economic problems affect just about every country and for countries to better aid their respective development, effective utilization of their resources must be seriously considered and implemented so as to improve their standard of living thereby becoming economically structured. Manufacturing paper from the coconut husks and utilizing hibiscus leaves as a form of binding agent will not impact the environment negatively as this method of manufacturing paper does not involve cutting down trees. The husk of coconuts that are normally thrown away and seen as invaluable plays a greater role in manufacturing something as great as paper which is very much in large consumption. In addition, hibiscus leaves which are often wasted away will also be used as the primary ingredient in manufacturing paper as proposed in our research.

Statement of the Problem
Traditionally, trees have always been the primary source of raw materials to make paper. However, as the demand for paper increased, so did deforestation and this contributed to a rippling effect of several environmental implications. To have a better understanding of this effect, let us take a brief look at the importance of trees and why deforestation is so detrimental to the environment. Trees play a pivotal role in the environment as they absorb carbon dioxide that is emitted in the atmosphere. Where there are little or no trees to absorb this emission, the carbon dioxide damages the ozone layer which in turn contributes to global warming or such might remain in the environment and contribute to numerous health effects. Additionally, the fewer trees we have through deforestation the greater the problems of soil erosions, damage to animal habitats, reduction in food sources or the least likely we are to get a natural shield from natural disasters such as hurricanes. It is estimated that by 2050, if we should continue on the same path, our future generation will not be able to reap the benefits of this precious resource. This propelled environmentalists to plea to the world to “go green” and use more eco-friendly measures of manufacturing or recycling paper. Adapting to a paperless society is a challenge, and this is one change that will not come over night. Among the problems highlighted, we therefore, propose an effective, eco-friendly alternative means of making paper through the use of coconut husk and hibiscus leaves. Coconut or the “tree of life” is a very versatile plant; from its roots to its leaves, the benefits are abundant. The average consumer of coconuts consumes its content and discards the husk, especially its outer layer. Therefore, collecting this resource and using it to make paper in the parish of St. Thomas and by extension Jamaica, will give rise to an environmentally viable paper manufacturing process. Besides environmental benefits, this form of paper manufacturing will curb the country’s unemployment rate and strengthen its weaken economic state.

Purpose of the Study
General Objectives
The present condition of our country regarding the use of paper demands that people explore other means whereby proportionate products can be produced out of raw materials which are commonly disregarded. The purpose of this study is to have an effective means of manufacturing paper through the use of coconut husks and hibiscus leaves. Specific Objectives
This study will involve finding an effective alternative material for creating a durable, environmentally friendly, and cost effective paper. Other factors will include: * Analyzing and gauging the quality and strength of the created paper, * Proposing an alternative material to be used in creating paper, * Provide a cheaper way of manufacturing paper while saving more natural resources to lessen global warming.
All of these factors will be used to prove the feasibility of the study and focus on the production of paper by the use of coconut husks and hibiscus leaves. Coconut husk is one of the main ingredients of this study, or Coir also known as the coconut fibre. With the negative impact of destroying trees to manufacture paper, the coconut husk is an effective solution.

Hypothesis / Research Questions 1. How can paper made from coconut husk and hibiscus leaves minimize cost? 2. How does it impact the environment? 3. How does paper made from coconut husk and hibiscus leaves contribute to the growth and development of society? 4. What are the main benefits of making paper from coconut leaves? 5. How efficient or effective is the use of paper made from coconut husk and hibiscus leaves compared to paper made from other sources?

Literature Review and Theoretical Considerations
Since its invention, paper has become an indispensable part of our daily lives. Derived from the Egyptian word “papyrus”, paper, as we now know it, marks its beginning as far back as 4000 BC. Papyrus came about after the Egyptians discovered a need for a medium other than stone to transcribe on, and this need was satisfied through the use of reed, an Egyptian plant (Dunn, 2013). However, it was not until about AD 705, when Chinese scholar, Ts’ai Lun invented paper closer to what we now use today that paper making rose to prominence (Kinsella, 2014). Following his discovery, Lun perfected the art of paper making and word of his invention spread throughout Asia and to Europe by the late 14th century. Over the years more developed methods of paper manufacturing was incorporated.
Today, paper has proven itself as an almost crucial commodity and its uses are countless. In modern paper manufacturing processes, paper is made from the wood of fast-growing trees such as fir, pine and spruce, water, other chemicals and energy. Wood fibre is the dominant or primary raw material, and a combination of both hard and softwood is used to create varying texture and durability of paper. As the demand for paper increased, manufacturers began to cut down more trees to meet this growing demand at the detriment of the environment. To address this issue the general public’s interest in environmentalism has been increasing in recent decades, and a “green consumer base” has developed which is “worried about more than just the purchase and the consumption process” (Zinkhan & Carlson, 1995, p. 2).
As environmental issues have gained prevalence in today’s society, the environmental consciousness of individual Jamaicans have also grown. Since research continues to illustrate the impact of individual consumption on environmental quality, governments and other organizations have started considering the role of individuals in helping to address ongoing environmental concerns (Barr & Gilg, 2006). In spite of the large number of communication campaigns designed to encourage these individual environmental behaviours, people often do not adhere to the appeal. Among the plea requests from environmentalists and other interest groups were calls for a halt on deforestation, and more encouragements to “go green”, replanting trees or recycling paper.
In an article written by Michael Pilarski for Rainforest.org, he stated that “two (2) out of every five (5) trees are cut for pulp”. He went on the say that “it takes a heavy-duty industrial process to turn wood into paper. The process releases large amounts of dangerous pollutants, such as chlorine, dioxin and furans into the air and water. As the forest diminishes and public’s opinion on saving the forest grew, there is an increasing interest in alternative fibre crops” (www.rainforestinfo.org). Fibre crops identified by Pilarski were hemp, kenaf, banana and cereal. It is important to note that these are not the sole alternatives to wood-free paper. In fact, paper can be made from coconut husk and hibiscus leaves as well.
Cocos nucifera, or coconut, as it is commonly called is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family). Early Spanish explorers referred to the plant as coco, meaning “monkey face” because there are three indentations (eyes) on the hairy nut that resembles the head and face of a monkey, while nucifera means “nut-bearing” (www.coconutresearchcenter.org). The name coconut may refer to its entire coconut palm, the seed or the fruit which is dupe and typically not a nut. Coconut trees can be found throughout the tropics and subtropics area, where they may grow up to 30m (98ft.) tall in mostly sandy, saline soil. According to iNaturalist.org, when grown on very fertile land, a tall coconut palm tree can yield up to 75 fruits per year, but more often yields less than 30, mainly due to poor cultivation practices. However, in recent years, improvements in cultivation techniques and breeding have produced coconut trees that can yield far more (www.inaturalist.org).
Coconuts are also referred to as the “tree of life” as a result of the high versatility of the plant. In fact, from its roots to its fruits, the uses and benefits of coconuts are numerous. The nut contains a white and somewhat sweet meat, which is eaten raw, and from which coconut oil is extracted. The nutritious liquid milk at the centre may be drunk directly from the nut (www.answers.com/topic/coconut). The husk provides coir, a fibre highly resistant to salt water, that is used in the manufacture of ropes and yarns, mats, carpets, car seat covers, flower pots, baskets, brushes, brooms, aquarium filters, sound proofing, mulch for plant growing, fuel, heat insulation, bristles, mattresses and doors. The plant also possesses several uses in traditional and modern medicine. “Since 2009, coconut has been grown commercially in eighty (80) countries, with total production of 61 million tons; leading producers were the Philippines, Indonesia, and India” (Corteau, 2011). Research by the Philippine Coconut Authority reveals the coconut industry in Philippine is considered a major dollar earner that provides livelihood to one-third of the country's population. The said source reveals that the abundance of fibre makes coconut a good, stable supply for cottage industries, among other valuable nation building projects.
The fibre from the coconut husk (that is, the area between the hard inner shell and the outer coat) is referred to as the coir. The chemical composition of coir fibre includes: water solubles - 5.25%, pectin & related compounds - 3.30%, hemi-cellulose - 0.25%, cellulose - 43.44%, lignin - 45.84%, and ash - 2.22% (www.agriculturalproductsindia.com/coconut-coir-products). According to the Coir Institute, mature coir fibres contain more lignin, a complex woody chemical and less cellulose than fibres such as flax or cotton, which makes coir stronger, although less flexible (www.coirinstitute.com/whatis_coir). In the fibre extraction processes, brown fibre is obtained from fully mature coconuts, while white fibre is obtained from green coconuts after about twelve months on the plant. The fibrous layer of the fruit is separated from the hard shell through de-husking (driving the fruit down onto a spike to split it). Next, the coir is shaped from fibre, woven or undergoes further processing to create desired product. Coir fibre, according to the Philippines is also suitable for making pulp and paper. The process of making handmade paper from coconut husks requires practice and patience. The first step is breaking apart the coconut coir into pieces and soaking it in water overnight. Next you will tear the scrap paper into 1-inch pieces and soak it in a separate bowl. The next few steps are the processing part, which requires a blender. In the blender, place a handful or two of the paper and blend until it looks like oatmeal. Pour the mixture into a tub and add a handful of the coconut fibres. Use a picture frame and piece of screen to dip into the mixture. Keep the screen over the tub until it is done dripping. Turn the flattened mixture out onto a paper towel and let it dry overnight. The contribution of coconut husks is immense in various countries across the world, as revealed on www.indiamart.com , individuals utilizing the use of coconut husks are delighted to introduce themselves as the leading manufacturers & Suppliers of Coconut fibre, Coir pith Blocks, and coconut husks. They boost that it’s A4 Copy Paper, other Paper products and Stationery items. They supply these products in large quantities with excellent quality at very competitive price and exports to India and other overseas companies.(Ganesan. T, G.V. International, India).
A member of the hibiscus family (Hibiscus cannabinus L), Kenaf is a 4,000 year old crop. It offers a way to make paper without cutting trees. Kenaf grows quickly, rising to heights of 12-14 feet in as little as 4 to 5 months. Upon harvest, the whole kenaf plant can be processed in a mechanical fiber separator, similar to a cotton gin. The separation of the two fibers allows for independent processing and provides raw materials for a growing number of products including paper, particle board, animal bedding and bioremediation aids. Vision Paper is focused on using the whole stalk of the kenaf plant in its pulping and papermaking, developing proprietary methods that provide cost competitive and technically superior fiber properties.
At the end of the growing season, the kenaf plant flowers. After blooming the flower drops off, leaving a seed pod behind. In most parts of the U.S. the seeds will not mature. While there are certain varieties of kenaf that flower early, the biomass production of those varieties is not substantial enough to provide fiber economically. Because of their African origin they require an additional 60-90 days of frost free conditions to reach the point of germination. This means kenaf cannot run wild across the country like a weed. It also presents some interesting challenges for developers to insure a consistent supply of seed for next year's crop. Much research work is being done in the area of seed development, with leading edge companies like Vision Paper developing innovative and environmentally sound solutions.

Methodology
This research is designed to look at an alternative method of manufacturing paper from coconut husks and hibiscus leaves. It also looks at the economic and environmental benefits that could be derived from using discarded coconut husks and wildly grown hibiscus plants. A quantitative approach was followed. Burns and Grove (1993:777) define quantitative research as a formal, objective, systematic process to describe and test relationships and examine cause and effect interactions among variables. In this study the information was collected through self-administered questionnaires distributed by families and friends to the subjects while interview questionnaires were personally distributed.

Research Design
Based on discussions and evaluations as it pertains to the different research techniques it was decided by the researchers to perform unstructured interviews via the telephone with Mr. Steven Black of Michael Black Farms Ltd. and direct interview with Mr. John Ledgister of Sunnycrest Farms. Additionally, a total of thirty (30) questionnaires were distributed to business operators selected at random within the parish of St. Thomas. This paper focuses on manufacturing paper from Coconut husks and Hibiscus leaves; but it is noteworthy that pertinent information was also garnered from the Coconut Industry Board of Jamaica to facilitate the purpose of the study more efficiently.

* Scope and Limitations - The researchers seek to determine a cost effective, eco-friendly and economically beneficial alternative of making paper in St. Thomas. This method of paper manufacturing is geared towards limiting or putting a halt on the need for the importation of paper in Jamaica, thus contributing to sustainable economic growth and possibly the development of the coconut industry.
Limitations
The limitations to this research are as follows: * The inability to conduct a more extensive research due to time constraints. * As with most research the potential risk on non-response was experienced as some business operators had challenges including the research group in their busy schedule. * There was no available source that could provide us with detailed information of this method of manufacturing paper elsewhere. * Jamaica is not a major manufacturer of paper, therefore the cost of setting up this industry is unknown. * The research required extensive telephone interviews with representative of Michael Black Farms. As students we have limited resources and may not be able to conduct an extensive interview as may be necessary. * The team were unable to do a legal size paper as we were unable to access a legal size mole and decker.
Delimitations
The researchers will address the above mentioned limitations by focusing on the major commercial area in St. Thomas, which is the parish capital. Appointments will also be made with these operations so as to reap the benefits of the most opportune time.
Procedure – This research was conducted in the parish of St. Thomas and involved a number of procedures that aided the research process. On Thursday May 5, 2014, the team manage to conduct a telephone interview with Mr. Steven Black; co-owner and operator of Micheal Black Farms Limited located in Nutts River, Morant Bay, St. Thomas. This provided additional information about the uses of coconut and its by-products within the parish and possible opportunities that could be capitalized on. On May 26, 2014, a total of 30 questionnaires were administered by families and friends who live or work within the specified targeted area to business operators in St. Thomas. This included a combination of both open-end and close-end questions. Additionally, on June 7, 2014 an interview was conducted with a coconut producer in St. Elizabeth who gave professional insight on his involvement in coconut production. Extensive research was done via the internet, books and articles. Gathering this information is critical; since making paper from coconut husks and hibiscus leaves is a new idea in Jamaica, people were opened to adapt to this new paper manufacturing proposal. The aim is to reduce environmental effects from deforestation, hurricane, landslide, to provide employment and more affordable paper of good quality. Data Sources - Researchers need to consider the sources on which to base and confirm their research and findings. They have a choice between primary data and secondary sources and the use of both, which is termed triangulation, or dual methodology. (“Introduction to Research,” n.d. ). The successful completion of this research project utilized both primary and secondary sources of data collection. The primary sources included interviews and the use of questionnaires. Additionally, secondary data included a combination of information and data from the web and historical sources including agency reports, articles, previous research and journals. These sources employed in the process allowed our team of researchers to gather information which provided sufficient view of the possibility of utilizing coconut and hibiscus leaves in manufacturing paper.

Budget Coconut Industry Board (CIB) in Jamaica will contribute coconut seedlings and fertilizer valued at $ 76,000.00 each year which will aid the production of Tropic Paper. The Environmental Foundation of Jamaica will be giving a start-up fund of $250,000 to assist in purchasing a truck. First Global Bank (FGB) will be offering a loan of $1,000,000 cash injection for the establishment of Tropic Paper Manufacturing Ltd. The Gleaner Company will also be giving strong support of this venture by offering free advertising slots for the first three months of operation. A partnership agreement will also be established with Michael Black Farms located within the parish. The company will be contributing the coconut husks which are generally discarded after use in their production process at a reduced cost.
The budget was calculated according to information garnered from The Coconut Industry Board of Jamaica and selected interviews with individuals in the industry.

Tropic Paper’s Setup Cost Layout Items | Costs (JMD) | Registration Fee | $ 24,000.00 | Equipment – 2 Stainless steel pressure cookers 3 Stainless steel Blender 1 Office guillotine | $ 143,360.00$ 131,851.00 $ 32,000.00 | Furniture/ Appliances | $ 25,000.00 | Trade Licensing | $ 5,000.00 | Design of Logo | $ 5,000.00 | Purchase of rhyno tanks | $ 130,000.00 | Water | $ 10,000.00 | Total | $ 506,211.00 |

Projected Capital Expenditure Capital | Cost (JMD) | Setup costs | $ 506,211.00 | Trucks for Pick-up and Delivery | $ 350,000.00 | Purchase Raw Materials (coconut husk & hibiscus leaves, chemicals) | $ 300,000.00 | Total | $ 1,156,211.00 |

Proposed Annual Operating Expenses Operating Expenses | Cost (JMD) | Cost of Labor | $ 1, 440,000.00 | Transportation cost | $ 490,000.00 | Utility cost | $ 300,000.00 | Protective gears | $ 60,000.00 | | | Marketing ExpensesNewspaper advertising/ FlyersTown criers/Social Media | $ 20,000.00 | | | Maintenance of trucks | $ 60,000.00 | Miscellaneous Expenses | $ 70,000.00 | Total | $ 1,440,000.00 |

Instrument
For the successful completion of this study, a questionnaire and an unstructured interview were crucial in acquiring the required primary data. Two sets of questionnaire were administered –one to the business operators who were considered to be regular or high users of paper within the parish of St. Thomas and one to a prominent and well-known business man of coconut production also in the parish of St. Thomas. The questionnaires consisted of: * Dichotomous questions- questions with two possible responses. * Closed-ended questions – questions which did not require respondents to express themselves. * Open-ended questions- questions for which the responses are allowed freely to note their individualistic response. * Contingency questions- a question that is answered only if the respondent gives a particular response to a previous question.
The unstructured telephone interview method was also employed as one of the main instrument in ascertaining needed information. This consisted of short answer questions and took about 15 – 20 minutes. The questions were formulated and duly constructed around the research questions which guided this study. The interviewee was solely directed at a professional coconut producer as our team of researchers believed that, this professional who is actively engaged with coconut production and who had a passion for this “Tree of Life”, would be a valuable source of gaining information.
Business operators in St. Thomas were chosen as part of our population sample because the parish is known to be one of the largest coconut parish in Jamaica and we saw where using coconut husks more effectively and efficiently could contribute positively to the parish’ development and in due process the country at large as such effort would generate employment for persons within the parish. With this successful implementation, soon the parish could sell to other parish and engage the use of foreign exportation.

Results and Discussions The research reveals that all types of businesses; whether sole trader, partnership or company, paper is commodity that is well used in daily business operations. The main uses of paper include commercial printing or copying, commercial transactions which includes forms, point of sale, invoices and administrative use received the same number of responses. Based on the environmental implications of current paper manufacturing processes, the research identified that respondents would be willing to support if Jamaica had an eco-friendly feasible method of manufacturing paper. It was highlighted that an economically friendly method of producing paper helps to maintain the attractiveness of the environment as the process of manufacturing paper through the use of coconut husks and hibiscus leaves would mean that the trees will not be cut down which will result in less damage to the environment. It was evident based on the response that many of the respondents were alarmed by this notion of utilizing coconut husks and hibiscus leaves to make paper as the responses depict that many were not aware of this unique possibility. Others suggested that they read of cases where hibiscus leaves alone were used to create paper and as such believed this notion could be deemed reality. In conducting an interview with Mr. John Ledgister from Sunnycrest Farms and Mr. Stephen Black of Michael Black Farms, it was revealed that both farmers have been in the industry for over 30 years. Although no form of monetary government assistance was received to aid in their daily business operations of coconuts, the farmers indicated that fertilizers, seedlings and technical assistance were donated by the Jamaica Coconut Industry Board. The product offerings of both farmers vary, as Mr. Ledgister only provides coconuts for local vendors whereas Mr. Black produces for both the local and international market which he satisfies through exportation. Both farmers acknowledge the fact that the husk has multiple uses like making mats, car seats, and it is also used in potting for flowers however; they still discard of the husk which could be used to make paper as they have to outsource they paper they use in their business. Based on the research conducted sourcing paper is not difficult, the challenge that business operators face is the expense that comes with acquiring paper from external sources. Further findings revealed that paper made from coconut husks and hibiscus leaves would have a positive effect on the economy based on the fact that this process will create employment opportunities thus causing a reduction in unemployment. On the other hand, few respondents have the view that it could also have a negative effect on the economy because as the demand increase for paper, manufacturers will cut down more trees to meet the growing demand that will harm the environment.

SWOT Audit | Strengths (S) | Weakness (W) | | 1. Jamaica has a vast amount of coconut trees to begin with; as such this raw material can be easily sourced. 2. Coconut trees are fast growing plants. It takes 4 years for a tree to be mature enough to yield fruits, and one tree can produce 75 – 100 fruits. The plants life expectancy is 60 – 100 years. 3. Hibiscus trees are easily grown and usually take 4 -5 months to mature. 4. Coir fibres contain more lignin, a complex woody chemical and less cellulose than fibres such as flax or cotton, which makes coir stronger. 5. The combination of hibiscus leaves and coconut husk produces paper of high durability. 6. Both dry and green hibiscus leaves and coconuts can be used in the process. 7. Any type of plant fibre can be used to aid in the process of making paper. | 1. Limited financial resources to develop the proposed paper industry. 2. Paper manufacturing requires high energy to sustaining its manufacturing processes including drying paper. 3. The species of hibiscus leaves used in paper manufacturing (kenaf), is not currently being grown on an industrial level. 4. The paper industrial equipments and components are expensive and not easily sourced. | Opportunity (O) | SO | WO | 1. More Businesses are utilising solar panelling to reduce electricity costs. 2. It will provide employment both in the proposed paper manufacturing industry as well as from suppliers of the raw materials (coconut and hibiscus farmer). 3. It will contribute to stabilizing the economy. 4. There is also an opportunity for the country’s export market. 5. It can generate revenue for the country. 6. In the event of a hurricane and mature coconut trees (with fruit) are damaged, this will not affect the processing in its entirety. 7. Any form of leaf | 1. To aid in reducing the country’s unemployment rate, more farmers both large and small, will be able to take part in the venture 2. It is anticipated that this business will be a profitable one, hence it likely to increase the nation revenue collection, thus contributing to the GDP. | 1. To combat high energy cost the entity could venture into solar panelling. 2. To reduce the unemployment rate, farmers could be encouraged to cultivate hibiscus leaves on an industrial level. | Threat (T) | ST | WT | 1. The high cost of electricity in Jamaica 2. Predial larceny is an ongoing issue in Jamaica believed to cost the sector 5 – 6billion (http://jis.gov.jm/technology-coming-help-fight-praedial-larceny/). 3. Natural disasters (eg. Hurricane) that can hinder the supply of coconuts especially where young coconut plants are damaged. 4. Future competition from other Caribbean Islands since this method can be easily imitated. 5. The coconut industry may suffer from diseases such as Lethal Yellowing and Bud Rot. | 1. Considering dry coconuts husks and hibiscus leaves can be used in the process, coconuts blown off trees during a hurricane (or other disasters) may also be used in the production. | 1. Caribbean islands such as Trinidad, that does not have a sever energy problem, should they venture into this business, will be able to sell their paper at a cheaper rate, thus putting us at a pricing disadvantage. |
Recommendations
There are vast benefits to be derived from the use of coconut husks and hibiscus leaves, not just in St. Thomas but Jamaica as a whole. By taking a more in-depth look into this means of paper manufacturing, the government should consider developing the country’s coconut industry. That is, conducting more large scale cultivation of coconuts which will sustain the prospective demand for its husks. This can also lead to more large scale production of coir which is used to many value added products. In fact, Sri Lanka has created an industry out of coir production. Through large scale production, the paper manufacturers will have continuous supply of this important raw material.
In addition to a need for increased coconut production, so too, is the need for kenafs. Presently hibiscus is not widely grown in Jamaica; therefore, the Agriculture Ministry should encourage more farmers to take on this venture to meet the demand of the proposed method of paper manufacturing. There is also multiple benefits to be derived from the use of hibiscus.
With an increase in coconut and hibiscus production as well as using both to make paper, this could lead to attractive ventures for both local and international investors. The government is therefore implored to inform and encourage investors of the opportunities that surround the manufacturing of paper through the use of coconut husk and hibiscus leaves. The Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) and the Coconut Industry Board should educate small farmers as to how they, too, can benefit as suppliers in this proposed paper making industry.
In St. Thomas, members of the St. Thomas Woman’s Agricultural Initiative, a group of thirteen women and two men, have started a banana fibre project in their providing raw materials for the craft industry. They have also ventured into the project of producing paper using banana plant fibre (jis.gov.jm/st-thomas-group-producing-banana-fibre-for-craf-industry-2). This will come as a competition for the coconut paper manufacturer. As such we recommend horizontal integration, thus taking over our competitor, and further expand the business.…...

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