Over 50,000 blue mountain coffee seedlings (tipica) are to be distributed to farmers in East Rural St. Andrew, under a joint project with the Embassy of Japan called the Enhancement of Production of Blue Mountain Coffee.
This was disclosed by Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew and wife of the Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Juliet Holness, during her contribution to the 2017/18 Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives on November 7.
“We want to ensure that we have the best coffee and we maintain it and the tipica variety is the best there is, so we want to expand that. Our goal is to increase productivity,” Mrs. Holness said.
In addition, the Member of Parliament said for the first time, the constituency will launch its inaugural coffee industry symposium, which is aimed at engaging all stakeholders, including adjoining coffee-producing constituencies.
“We are coming together to ensure that we preserve and protect the Jamaican coffee industry. We will explore methods of increasing the productivity of farmers, as well as exposing them to business opportunities and concepts, while we remind them that coffee prices are not set by the Government, but are influenced totally by supply and demand,” Mrs. Holness explained.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Holness thanked the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries for its programme, where registered coffee farmers are to benefit from an $80 million initiative that is expected to improve and increase their yields over time.
The project will focus on training; the purchase of inputs, such as fertilisers and fungicides, and tools.