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Story Highlights

  • A Bill to establish the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) was passed in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, September 20.
  • Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, who piloted the legislation, explained that the JACRA will be responsible for the development, regulation, promotion, and standardisation of the agricultural commodities industry.
  • He said the JACRA will assume responsibility for the boards, including the setting of quality standards for coffee, coffee blends, cocoa, coconut, and spices such as nutmeg, turmeric, pimento and ginger.

A Bill to establish the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) was passed in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, September 20.

The Authority will merge and replace the existing Coffee Industry Board, Cocoa Industry Board, the regulatory functions of the Coconut Industry Board and the Export Division of the Ministry.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Karl Samuda, who piloted the legislation, explained that the JACRA will be responsible for the development, regulation, promotion, and standardisation of the agricultural commodities industry.

This, he said, will ensure the efficient and competitive development of the sector.

Minister Samuda noted that the establishment of the JACRA was recommended following a 2009 study commissioned by the Ministry to determine the efficiency and continued relevance of the commodities boards in light of government policies and the shifting mode in international trade arrangements.

He said the JACRA will assume responsibility for the boards, including the setting of quality standards for coffee, coffee blends, cocoa, coconut, and spices such as nutmeg, turmeric, pimento and ginger.

The Authority will also provide technical support to stakeholders, grant licences, and generally regulate trade in the agricultural commodities industry.

JACRA will also be responsible for making regulations with the approval of the responsible Minister.

The legislation also provides for the creation of a Director General, who will be tasked with the daily administration of the authority and report to the Board of Directors.

The Board will be responsible for the policy, strategic direction and governance of the authority, among other things.

For his part, Opposition Spokesperson on Agriculture, Dr. Dayton Campbell, stated his support for the Bill, which was passed with two amendments.

It will be sent to the Senate for its approval.