JIS News

The Ministry of Agriculture and Lands has approved a 100 per cent increase in the box price for cocoa, moving from $500.06 per box to $1000.06 per box.
Naburn Nelson, Secretary/Manager of the Cocoa Industry Board, which purchases the product on the Ministry’s behalf, told JIS News that the increase would become effective at the start of the new crop year on October 1.
The increase is welcome news for the cocoa farmers, who are still recovering from the impact of hurricanes last year.
“We are just recovering from the effects of those hurricanes that hit us and as part of the boost to the farmers, we have seen it fit to move the price in this way to motivate them even more to go and clean up the existing trees that they have,” said Mr. Nelson, adding that an assistance plan has been put in place to help in the recovery effort.
He told JIS News that the Ministry would also be making a final minimum payment of $140 per box to the farmers, but “if the crop exceeds our expectations, we will increase that above the $140.”
He further stated that the Board was excited about the increase given to the cocoa farmers, noting that production should be between 700 to 1200 tonnes for the season.
In the meantime, Mr. Nelson said there were moves to employ cocoa agents, who “will provide household service to the farmers, as they will be actually living in the communities that the farmers are based in.” According to Mr. Nelson, the hiring of cocoa agents was part of the overall effort to improve service to the farmers.

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