JACRA to establish coffee training institute in September

Friday, January 11, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — A coffee training institute aimed at certifying regulatory cup testers will be established by the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) by September.

This was among several initiatives announced by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, at the recent launch of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day in Kingston.

Speaking on behalf of Audley Shaw, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Vaz said the regulatory cup testers would lead the way as certified trainers for the coffee industry stakeholders, including coffee shop personnel and coffee makers in hotels and restaurants.

“To date, six staff members have been trained as trainers with further training set for the first quarter of next financial year to have them fully certified. We expect to have the institute, which will be housed at JACRA, fully operational by September,” Vaz said last Friday.

According to a statement from the agriculture ministry, other initiatives being introduced to boost the coffee industry include a productivity incentive programme developed by the Government involving a $80-million grant towards fertilizer purchase for farmers; treatment of the coffee leaf rust disease; training and acquisition of small tools as well as $7.2 million set-aside for contingency.

The ministry said a Grassroot and Human Security Project is also being established, funded by the Japanese Embassy to the tune of US$90,400. This project will support the production of 50,000 coffee seedlings and the supply of inputs to coffee farmers in the Irish Town, Middleton and Woodford areas.

Meanwhile, Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day will be celebrated annually on January 9 in Jamaica and Japan, the largest importer of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee.

Up to June 2017/2018, Jamaica exported some 219,890 kilogrammes of Blue and High Mountain coffee, representing 67 per cent of coffee exports, the ministry said.

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