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Chairman of the Management Committee of Cave Valley Coffee Co-operative Limited, Douet Reid, has called on coffee farmers, particularly those involved in the cultivation of non-Blue Mountain coffee, to join forces to revitalise the sector as it can be profitable.
Mr. Reid, who was speaking at the recent launch of the Cave Valley Coffee Co-operative in Cave Valley, St. Ann, said that while the coffee sector was fraught with challenges, the concerted effort of all stakeholders would help to ensure that production was significantly increased and sustained overtime.
“There are many challenges, which face this sector, the greatest of which are the high cost of farm inputs such as labour, chemicals and the high cost of fertiliser. Even with minimal effort, this volume can be doubled and with the implementation of new technology, we .can supply the 85,000 boxes that were produced in the entire non-Blue Mountain area,” he stated, noting that the “returns can be profitable.”
Mr. Reid urged all farmers registered to the Barron Hall Estate to join the Co-operative, the launch of which, he said, was “an attempt to revitalise a key sub-sector in agriculture.”
He reminded the members that farming was the mainstay of the Jamaican economy, and every effort should be made to keep the agricultural industry alive and vibrant.
“The agricultural sector continues to be the base of our economy and a key means of livelihood for most of our farmers. This is a great time to be productive, to be effective and to fulfill their best possibilities, and (you) should get busy, and let this happen,” he urged.
Meanwhile, Paulette Kirkland of the Department of Co-operatives and Friendly Societies, encouraged the farmers to work together to keep the Cave Valley Coffee Co-operative alive, pointing out that failure to do so would only result in the demise of the organisation, which would “do everybody more harm than good.”