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JIS News

Coffee farmers in the Rowlandsfield area of Eastern St. Thomas could soon realize a reduction in production costs, through the use of the diluted injection fertiliser pump.
At a one-day training workshop organised by the Coffee Industry Board (CIB) recently at the Rowlandsfield Community Centre, the farmers were introduced to the system, which according to CIB Parish Advisory Officer, Damion Wedderburn, could slash the amount of fertiliser used by as much as 75 per cent.
The system is a backpack type sprayer with a modified pressurized pump, which allows the farmer to introduce the fertiliser directly into the root zone of the coffee plant.
“Normally, an acre of coffee would use up to eight bags of fertiliser to every plant within that acre, but with this technology, it would use only one to two bags, so the farmer would realise huge savings not only in fertiliser, but in man hours,” Mr. Wedderburn explained to JIS News.
The training day was organised by the CIB as part of efforts to assist coffee farmers to increase production levels through proper field practices and the use of better farm and environmental management strategies. A number of small and large coffee farmers and field workers participated in the exercise.
“We’ve trained these farmers and their field workers in the proper farming techniques to be used to grow coffee and get the best production,” said Mr. Wedderburn. “It’s up to them now to go back in the field and implement what they were exposed to and pass on the information to those farmers in the area, who didn’t make it to the training day,” he added.
In addition to being introduced to the diluted fertiliser pump, the farmers were advised about the correct method for applying fertiliser including how to carry out soil tests; how to dig holes for planting; maintaining proper distance between plants; and providing adequate shade for the plants.
Mr. Wedderburn informed that the farmers would be monitored to ensure that the methods and strategies introduced were implemented correctly to ensure increased farm yield.