From: The Fiji Times - 8/07/2008
The Fiji embassy in Beijing has reported that a Fijian delegation comprising the acting permanent secretary for agriculture, Dr Richard Beyer, as well Mr Viliame Yabakivou, Mr Aliki Turagakula and Mr Viliame Vosarogo from the Ministry of Energy are on their way to China to research how ethanol is made from cassava.
The delegation will see first-hand and learn how Chinese farmers in Guangxi Province mechanize the planting and harvesting of cassava.
According to Red Orbit, the delegation will also observe how the farmers are able to produce the kind of size and varieties of cassava they do for their ethanol production facilities.
The task force delegation will learn how cassava is converted into ethanol and starch, as well as and how many useful by-products result from the process.
The Fiji team will see and learn how edible cassava starch may be used for making paper.
This will add value to our sugar industry.
The team will visit a mill that converts sugar cane "bagass" into an expensive variety of paper that is sold on the world markets.
High-quality paper is in global short supply at present. Bagass, which is presently used in Fiji sugar mills for producing energy, has been regarded as a waste raw material.
The delegation will specifically visit sugar cane farms to see the variety of sugar cane that is planted in Guangxi Province and how their mills are capable of producing more than 8m tonnes of sugar each year for the domestic China market.
This output accounts for 60 per cent of China's domestic needs.
According to the ambassador Sir James Ah Koy, several companies have shown interest in the two projects and feasibilities on the soundness of their respective investments are now being considered.