Gov't eyeing US$100-million coffee grant from China, says Shaw


Gov't eyeing US$100-million coffee grant from China, says Shaw

Senior staff reporter

Monday, December 09, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!

MINISTER of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Audley Shaw says that the Government is eyeing a possible US$100 - million grant from the People's Republic of China to help rebuild the infrastructure of the local coffee industry.

'We are looking at a grant of US$100 million to build out the infrastructure of the Blue Mountain coffee region, and we are working on that now,” Shaw told Saturday night's inaugural awards banquet for contributors to the growth and development of the industry, which was hosted by the Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association (JCEA) at Jamaica Pegasus, New Kingston.

Five veterans of Jamaica's coffee industry – John Oliver “Jackie” Minott; St Clair Shirley; Dr Charles Lyn; Richard Anthony Sharp; and current chairman of the JCEA and former Jamaica Agricultural Society chairman, Norman Grant – were honoured at the function.

Shaw made the announcement while giving the keynote address at the function, following an appeal for increased government support for the industry from the JCEA.

Grant, who had earlier given an update on the issues affecting the industry, urged the minister to support a $100-$150-million annual injection from the Jamaican budget to assist in the revival of the battered industry over the next five years.

“We cannot continue to preside over the decline of such a critical industry in Jamaica,” Shaw said, noting the huge decline in the export figures for Jamaican coffee between 2017/18 and 2019/20.

“It is unacceptable. We have some work to do,” he said, noting that coffee exports fell from 536,840 kilogrammes, valued at US$15.1 million, in 2017/18 to 235,505 kilograms so far in 2018/19, at a value of US$6.7 million.

The minister, however, rejected the proposal to stop signing new licences for the importation of coffee.

“I am not here to preside over the continuing reduction and destruction of the Jamaican coffee industry,” the minister told guests at the function.

“We have got to turn it around, and in every crisis that we have there is an opportunity, and in this crisis we do have an opportunity. In fact, there are an abundance of opportunities among them – the Chinese opportunities,” he stated.

“So what I am saying to you is, let's work together. I am not going to stop signing import permits, but I want us to work together to work out a formula, as genuine exporters, because we want to have significant improve in the production and export of Jamaican coffee,” he stated.

“We cannot continue to watch our local industry decline, while globally, the coffee industry is growing… As minister, I am committed to turning it around, and I applaud and celebrate with those who have been in the industry for so many years and have worked so hard,” Shaw concluded.

Messages were heard from chairman of the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority Dennis Boothe, and the president of Jampro Diane Edwards.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon