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Activities under the cocoa Frosty Pod Rot management project resumes

Thursday, October 10, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Audley Shaw has ordered the full resumption of the activities under the Frosty Pod Rot management project.

The Minister made the announcement at a press conference at his Ministry's Hope Gardens offices on October 9.

He said the decision to resume the project was made after it was identified that there was an 87 per cent increase in the production yield of cocoa with a further projected increase of 50 per cent for the fall crop in the areas where the management project took place.

“I am assuring the country that Jamaica is on the right track in managing this disease,” Shaw said.

Frosty Pod Rot is a fungal disease that affects the cocoa and the ministry said it can cause serious damage to the cocoa industry reducing crop yield up to 80 per cent per year.

According to the ministry, the management project was granted budgetary support by the Government in January 2018 to the tune of $200 million. So far, the ministry said it has been implemented in the parish of St Mary and is set to continue in Clarendon.

The ministry said the five components of the project are cultural control, chemical control, public awareness, research and development, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation.

Meanwhile, Shaw is urging farmers to allow the Ministry's officers to enter their farms to carry out the necessary intervention measures.

“I am making this appeal in light of some concerning reports I have received that our farmers are resisting the efforts of my team to enter their farms to carry out their duties. We all need to work together to secure the full resuscitation of Jamaica's valuable cocoa industry,” he said.

Noting that Jamaica's cocoa is a premium quality product and is one of eight countries recognised as a producer of fine or flavoured cocoa, the ministry said significant efforts are being made to address the issues affecting the production process of cocoa.


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