The Government has re-advertised for expressions of interest for the divestment of its cocoa industry assets, in a bid to get investors to come in and drive development of the industry.
This was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green, during his contribution to the 2021/22 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 12.
He also informed that the Government has injected some $426 million to bring the Frosty Pod Rot disease under control.
“In collaboration with the Plant Quarantine and Produce Inspection Branch, farmers and other stakeholders, the Frosty Pod Rot disease in the parish of St. Mary has now been declared under full control,” Mr. Green said.
To further support the resuscitation and expansion in production, the Ministry has established a nursery at the Orange River Research Station that can produce more than 60,000 clean planting seedlings of highly tolerant Frosty Pod Rot disease varieties and, so far, more than 5,000 plants have been produced for the replanting programme.
“The Jamaica Agricultural Commodities and Regulatory Authority (JACRA), the regulatory authority for cocoa, has been tasked with the responsibility to further expand the capacity for replacement of planting material by using the Haughton Court facility in Hanover as a nursery to increase production of disease-tolerant varieties,” Mr. Green noted.