JIS News

Cocoa farmers and manufacturers in St. Mary will be uniting their efforts to resuscitate cocoa production in the parish.
Manager of the Richmond Cocoa Fermentary, Lance Jones, said that the farmers were energised by a technical forum held earlier this month, and are fully committed to resuscitating the cocoa industry in order to take full advantage of the lucrative markets, which exist for the product both locally and abroad.
The three-day forum, organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Cocoa Industry Board, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was aimed at promoting greater production and productivity in the Jamaican cocoa industry.
The event, which comprised a discussion session in Kingston and a field day at the Orange River Agricultural Research Station in Highgate, facilitated information exchange and technical offerings. The objective was to increase knowledge about cocoa production and encourage the farmers to play their part in the drive to resuscitate the industry.
Mr. Jones said that the knowledge gained from the forum will play a critical role in the efforts to boost productivity.
He said that cocoa production in St. Mary has been on the decline in recent years, but there was still potential for the sector to regain the success of the past.
He noted there are many traditional farmers in the parish, who are interested in returning to the glory days, while many young farmers see cocoa farming as a profitable venture and are willing to become involved in the industry.
The Cocoa Industry Board, he said, is fully supportive of the farmers’ efforts and has pledged to work closely with them.

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