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100% increase in local cocoa production

Saturday, October 19, 2013

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The Cocoa Industry Board (CIB) is reporting an increase of more than 100 per cent in the production of cocoa for the 2011/2012 crop year.

Some 476.5 metric tonnes of cocoa, valued at $150.6 million, were produced during that crop year, as against the 2010/2011 crop year, which recorded 216.5 metric tonnes.

Co-ordinator for Extension Services at the CIB, Dunstan Gaynor, says the Board is committed to accelerating the growth of the cocoa industry, and in this regard, will undertake various initiatives to increase production.

Currently, an estimated 7,000 farmers are engaged in the production of some 8,800 acres of cocoa across the island, with Clarendon recording the highest acreage.

The cocoa sector was given a boost in 2012, with the injection of €375,000 through the Rural Re-engineering Cocoa Rural Economy through Agro-processing, Eco-Tourism and Entrepreneurship (RECREATE) project.

Funding for the project was provided by the European Union (EU) early in the last decade when the World Trade Organisation (WTO) removed the preferential treatment for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) bananas.

Ranked among the best exclusive producers of fine or flavoured cocoa by the International Cocoa Organisation (ICO), Jamaica presently exports cocoa to Japan, Switzerland, Holland, France and the US.

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