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Two hundred farmers set to receive 50,000 coffee seedlings

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October 2019

Acting Director General of the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA), Gusland McCook (centre), receives a coffee seedling from Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Hiromasa Yamazaki (right), at a handover ceremony of the seedlings to farmers, at Ueshima Coffee Company Limited in Rose Hill, Woodford, St. Andrew on October 4. At right, is Councillor of the Gordon Town Division in East Rural St. Andrew, Neville Whittaker.

Above Body

 07 Oct 2019    communications   

A total of 200 coffee farmers from communities in the Blue Mountain areas of St. Andrew are set to benefit from the distribution of 50,000 coffee seedlings with the establishment of the Blue Mountain coffee nursery.
This is being made possible under the Japanese Government’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project and will impact farmers from Woodford, Red Light, Middleton, Sugar Loaf, Settlement, Penfield and Irish Town.
The project, which is being implemented by the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA), is funded by the Embassy of Japan in Jamaica to the tune of approximately $11million (US$90,401).
Support is also being provided by the Ueshima Coffee Company (UCC) Limited.
Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Hon. Audley Shaw, said the aim of the project is to help farmers to have an established acre containing at least 800 plants, which represents an increase from the current average of fewer than 700 plants per acre.
It also aims to improve the living standards of the coffee farmers and their families, who have dedicated their lives to producing this remarkable coffee.
“There is no doubt therefore that this Grassroots Human Security Project will create a positive and lasting impact on the Jamaican coffee industry,” Mr. Shaw said.
His remarks were being delivered on his behalf by Chief Planning Analyst in the Ministry, Karl Hyatt, at a handover ceremony of the first 30,000 seedlings under the first phase of the project, at UCC in Rose Hill, St. Andrew on October 4.
A second phase will see the distribution of 20,000 additional seedlings.
Farming inputs such as fertilizers, sprays and equipment are also be provided under the project.
Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw expressed gratitude to the Japanese Embassy for the funds and to Ueshima for the support and urged the farmers to make the best use of the assistance as well as the training received in the coffee production process.
This will allow them to bring their farms back to full planting density.
Acting Director General of JACRA, Gusland McCook, said the collaboration with the Japanese is a testament to their support of the Jamaican agriculture sector and the coffee industry in general.
“This collaboration with the Japanese goes back to the 1940s when they fell in love with the Blue Mountain coffee and it is has been a collaboration that has continued over those many years with varying levels of support. The support has not only been on the development of the coffee industry but to the farmers in particular,” he said.
Japanese Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency, Hiromasa Yamazaki emphasised that the ultimate aim of the project is to increase coffee exports so that the Jamaican coffee brand can receive the elevated levels of respect it deserve in the world market.

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