The Government and Newport Fersan Jamaica Limited (NFJ) have partnered to provide over 28,000 bags of newly formulated fertilizer to coffee farmers islandwide.
Dubbed ‘coffee-lizer’, the product is designed for application to coffee trees for the prevention and correction of soil nutrient deficiency when used as part of a balanced fertility programme.
It is being distributed under the Fertilizer Assistance Supplies and Training (FAST) Programme which was established by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries last year.
Several bags of the coffee-lizer were symbolically handed over to the Agriculture Ministry, during a ceremony at Newport-Fersan’s Wherry Wharf Complex location in Kingston on Friday (July 13).
Welcoming the initiative, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, said this fertilizer distribution programme is in keeping with the Government’s thrust to rebuild the coffee industry.
He noted that the specially formulated fertilizer will help to significantly improve productivity of the sector.
Mr. Shaw praised Newport-Fersan “for the ingenuity in coming up with a fertilizer that is custom-designed for coffee”.
Managing Director, NFJ, Dennis Valdez, said his company is presenting a product that is unique to Jamaica, “just as the flavour profile of our coffee is unique to the world”.
“We have seen where coffee-lizer, if used as prescribed will give you the yields whilst not breaking the bank,” he said.
Under the FAST programme, NFJ was tasked with developing and distributing approximately 321 metric tonnes of coffee-lizer to nine coffee entities who will, in turn, distribute to the coffee farmers. Distribution of the coffee-lizer began last month.
The coffee-lizer was carefully developed and tested for two years, before being brought on the market.
NFJ, which is the nation’s leading blenders and suppliers of fertilizers, developed the product based on the topography of the land, phenological stages (flowering) of the coffee trees and the nutrients needed for the optimal growth and production of a coffee tree.
The handing over ceremony was organized in collaboration with the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA).