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The Cocoa Industry Board, will be increasing the price it pays to cocoa farmers in October.
Making this disclosure at a Cocoa Agents meeting at the Richmond Cocoa Fermentary in St. Mary on September 23, Secretary/Manager of the Cocoa Industry Board, Naburn Nelson, said the increase would become effective on October 1, moving the price per box from the current $1,340 to $1,460.
Organisations represented at the meeting included the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), the St. Catherine Cocoa/Coffee Growers Co-operative Society, and the JAS Coffee/Cocoa Federation Society.
Giving a breakdown of how the increase would be paid, Mr. Nelson said farmers would receive $1,300 as first payment and $160 as a final payment.
The Secretary/Manager said he is pleased that the Cocoa Industry Board has been able to provide the price increase at this time, and exhorted cocoa farmers to continue with their efforts to improve and increase production.
Turning to the Farmer Registration Programme, Mr. Nelson encouraged cocoa farmers to become involved in the process and register as early as possible, as in so doing, they would be eligible for all the benefits which are available to members of the farming community.
He also assured cocoa farmers that the Cocoa Industry Board, would continue to provide support services in its effort to recover from the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Gustav in August.
Mr. Nelson pointed out that those services include working with RADA, to provide technical assistance to farmers; and the computerisation of the list of farmers for final bonus payments for 2007/08, to ensure that farmers receive their payments on time.