Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw (right), greets cocoa farmer Calvin May following a media briefing at the Ministry’s Hope Gardens offices on October 9. The press briefing was called to update the nation on the potential threat of the Tropical Race 4 (TR4) disease which affects bananas and the Frosty Pod Rot Disease of Cocoa. Jamaica is on high alert to prevent the entry of the TR4 disease into the local banana and plantain industry and is strengthening initiatives to manage the Frosty Pod Rot of Cocoa. At centre is Hugh Briscoe.
Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. 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,” Mr. Shaw said.
Frosty Pod Rot is a fungal disease that affects the cocoa. It can cause serious damage to the cocoa industry reducing crop yield up to 80 per cent per year.
The management project was granted budgetary support by the Government in January 2018 to the tune of $200million and has been implemented in the parish of St. Mary and is set to continue in the parish of Clarendon.
The five components of the project are cultural control, chemical control, public awareness, research and development, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation.
Meanwhile, Mr. 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.
Jamaica’s cocoa is a premium quality product and is one of eight countries recognised as a producer of fine or flavoured cocoa.
Significant efforts are being made to address the issues affecting the production process of cocoa.
Welcome to the official website of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) has been charged with the responsibility of driving the integration of the production of primary agricultural produce along all the stages of the supply chain through to value added and facilitating full commercialization of outputs of the agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors.
We have, therefore, placed much energy and enthusiasm into the development of this website to provide timely information on the Ministry, our agencies and programmes.
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