Business

Blue Mountain coffee farmers gifted with seedlings by Japan

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

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Several farmers in the Blue Mountain area were gifted last week with coffee seedlings at the handing-over ceremony of the Grassroot Human Security Project, which is expected to see coffee seedlings being distributed to farmers in Woodford, Red Light, Middleton, Sugar Loaf, Settlement, Penfield and Irish Town.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, this collaborative effort between the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) and the Japanese Government through the Japanese Embassy in Jamaica for the establishment of a coffee nursery for the production and distribution of 50,000 Arabica Typica coffee seedlings, sends the right message, at a time when our farmers and stakeholders in coffee need to be reassured that coffee still takes priority for us.

Karl Hyatt, chief planning analyst at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) who was representing the minister of MICAF, Audley Shaw, said that the collaboration also attests to the long-standing trade relationship, particularly in coffee, between Jamaica and Japan and the continued support of the Japanese Government and people for the Jamaican coffee industry, not only in the purchasing of our coffee but also through projects that will address the social needs of our coffee farmers.

“I want to thank the Embassy of Japan for its funding support of US$90,000, for this project which seeks to increase the production of the Typica variety, a variety of coffee that the world has come to recognise as unmistakably Jamaican, increase productivity and by extension, coffee production in and around the Irish Town coffee-producing areas and improve the living standards of the coffee farmers and their families who have dedicated their lives to producing this remarkable coffee,” he said.

He continued: “The aim, of this project, is to help our farmers to have an established acre containing at least 800 plants, up from the current average of fewer than 700 plants per acre.

“There is no doubt, therefore, that this Grassroot Human Security Project will create a positive and lasting impact on the Jamaican coffee industry.

“I want to also thank the Ueshima Coffee Company Ltd (UCC) for its support toward this project,” Hyatt said, while adding that, “Jamaica's coffee industry has seen quite a few jitters lately, but as with any other industry that has productive and caring stakeholders, it has surmounted, and is surmounting the obstacles.”

He then encouraged the 200 farmers who will get these seedlings, to make the best use of this assistance as well as the training they have received in the coffee production processes through good agricultural practices' to bring their farms back to full planting density.

The Grassroot Human Security Project is a collaborative effort between the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) and the Japanese Government through the Japanese Embassy in Jamaica for the establishment of a coffee nursery for the production and distribution of 50,000 coffee Arabica Typica seedlings.

The project is monitored by the JACRA and the UCC.

At the end of the project the following are the expected outcomes:

• A coffee nursery

• 50,000 coffee seedlings produced and distributed

• 200 farmers benefitting from those seedlings

• 200 farmers trained in coffee production processes through good agricultural practices'

• 200 bags of fertilisers purchased and distributed

• 15 Fertiliser Injector Pumps purchased and distributed

• 400 small tools purchased and distributed

• 200 coffee farms back to full planting density (800 plants per acre)


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