The capacity of the coffee industry should improve this fiscal year with a $16 million allocation to the Competitive Coffee Enterprises Programme in the 2012/13 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The project, which began in September 2010, aims to provide capacity building of coffee cooperataives 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.
It is expected that over the next year, the project will conduct more farmer training; promote local coffee shows; procure seedlings and fertilizer; conduct benchmarking field tours; and provide post harvest support.
Up to February 2012, farmers’ training has been conducted; 40,000 seedlings have been purchased; 1,356 bags of fertilizer have been procured; and three coffee festivals have been held.
The project is slated to end in August this year. It is being implemented by the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry through funding from the Coffee Industry Board and the Common Fund for Commodities.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter