Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda (2nd right), looks on as Managing Director, Newport Fersan, Dennis Valdez (1st right) hands over a bag of fertilizer to (from left) coffee farmers Stafford Brooks, Odia Bruce and Will Frazer, at the Ministry’s New Kingston offices, on Tuesday, October 3, 2017. Occasion was a media briefing to update farmers and the country on developments in the coffee industry.
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, has pledged continued support to coffee farmers in Jamaica, in an effort to see the sector grow.
The Minister disclosed that, the Government, through the Ministry, will be allocating J$80 million from the Productivity Incentive Programme for coffee farmers towards the purchase of inputs such as fertilizers and fungicides, in order to increase their level of productivity.
The Minister was speaking at a press briefing where he provided an update on the developments in the coffee industry, addressed concerns of the coffee farmers, and advised on the way forward, at his New Kingston offices on October 03.
According to Minister Samuda, given the increased production and lower prices being offered for coffee this year to farmers, they will be hard-pressed to produce the required quantities of inputs necessary to secure next year’s production.
“Under these circumstances, we have to provide the necessary support to ease the current challenges being faced by our coffee farmers. Every farmer must be supported at all levels. This is our first attempt to support them. Anything to move the coffee industry forward, we are prepared to do so”, the Minister stated.
“What we want is a coffee industry. What we want to do is to increase the production of high mountain and lowland coffee. The objective will be to ensure that the coffee produced in Jamaica, blended or pure, is born of Jamaican soil, grown right here in Jamaica. This business of being dependent on imported cheap coffee beans, which are then blended with our rich Blue Mountain has to come to an end, and we must work towards that objective”, he said.
The Minister also added that the goal is the eventual stop to importation of green beans into the island.
He informed hat under the soon-to-be enacted JACRA Regulations, a cess will be placed on imported roasted coffee beans, which will be implemented as soon as the regulations are completed. .
Also in attendance were Members of Parliament from the coffee areas – Juliet Holness, East Rural St. Andrew, Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, West Rural St. Andrew, and Daryl Vaz, West Portland, and other players in the coffee industry.
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