Tue | May 23, 2017

Six years before local coffee production boom, says JAS

Published:Tuesday | September 30, 2014 | 9:39 PM

The Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) says it will take at least another six years for local coffee production to increase to an acceptable level.



JAS president, Senator Norman Grant, says a meeting with international coffee stakeholders in Japan recently confirmed that global demand for coffee is rising.



However, he argues that Jamaica cannot benefit because of the country’s declining production.



Local coffee production has fallen from a high of more than 500,000 boxes in 2004 to under 200,000 boxes for the last crop year,



Speaking on Real Business with Ralston Hyman on Power 106 FM this morning, Senator Grant said Jamaica’s exports have fallen by US14 million over the last four years.



This as it moved from US$34 million in 2009 to about US$20 million last year.



However, Grant says the local coffee industry has the potential for exports to rake in US$100 million.



He is reiterating his call for the Government to impose a tax on imported coffee.



He argues that the tax would be placed in a special fund to be used to expand the local coffee industry.



Meanwhile, he says efforts to boost production starting with the current crop will be affected by the drought.



The coffee industry has reportedly lost US$10 million over the last two crop years because of the effects from the coffee leaf rust and coffee berry borer diseases.



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