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  • The Government’s proposed divestment of its commercial assets in Jamaica cocoa industry, spearheaded by the Cocoa Industry Board (CIB), is now in the “final stages” of implementation.
  • There is “strong” local and overseas interest in the sector, “to establish new acreages as well as rehabilitate existing acreages.”
  • Mr. Kellier advised that in addition to divestment, the Government will deregulate the marketing of cocoa by repealing the Cocoa Industry Board Act.

Agriculture, Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, says the Government’s proposed divestment of its commercial assets in Jamaica cocoa industry, spearheaded by the Cocoa Industry Board (CIB), is now in the “final stages” of implementation.

He notes that there is “strong” local and overseas interest in the sector, “to establish new acreages as well as rehabilitate existing acreages.”

Addressing the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA) Breakfast Forum, in Kingston, on March 31, on the theme: ‘Building Export Markets in the Agro-Industry’, Mr. Kellier advised that in addition to divestment, the Government will deregulate the marketing of cocoa by repealing the Cocoa Industry Board Act.

The Minister also added that the new Jamaica Agricultural Commodity Regulation Agency (JACRA) will be introduced, “which will establish a licensing regime for exporters of cocoa in a deregulated industry.”

It is anticipated that the industry’s divestment, which Mr. Kellier announced last year, will better position Jamaica to fulfil a significant percentage of global cocoa demand, which he described as “immeasurable.”

“Jamaican cocoa is highly sought after. It is acclaimed as one of the eight fine flavoured cocoas, and is desired by connoisseurs worldwide,” the Minister said.