KINGSTON — The Competitive Coffee Enterprises Programme is to be further enhanced with an allocation of $49 million in the 2011/12 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
Implemented in September 2010, the objectives of the project are to provide capacity building of coffee co-operatives in the central and northern regions of Jamaica; improve the competitiveness of small coffee producers in the selected areas; and promote consumption of good quality coffee.
This will be done by improving the productivity of small producers of coffee from 50 to 100 boxes per hectare; reducing the cost of the Coffee Arabica seedlings, which are critical to the continued quality performance of Jamaica Coffee; and providing adequate investment, appropriate tools and technologies.
As at February, some of the achievements include: establishment of local project office; planting, fertilisation and pruning of coffee seedlings; undertaking soil amendments and disease and pest control; provision of agronomic extension services and post harvest support; carrying out promotion and public awareness campaigns; and undertaking enterprises development.
Among the anticipated targets for this fiscal year are: planting, fertilisation and pruning of coffee seedlings; soil amendment works and disease control; provision of agronomic extension services and post harvest support; promotion and public awareness campaign; and enterprises development for three coffee producers’ organisations.
The Competitive Coffee Enterprises Project is an undertaking of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries through funding from the Common Fund for Commodities, and is scheduled to end in September 2013.
By CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter