Fri | Aug 18, 2017

Cocoa farmers to get price increase

Published:Sunday | July 31, 2016 | 7:21 PMShanique Samuels

The Cocoa Industry Board (CIB) is to increase the price paid for a box of wet cocoa by J$1,000 over two years in a bid to encourage farmers to boost production.

The per box rate paid to farmers will move up to J$2,600 or 30 per cent as of October 1 this year. The price will move up further to J$3,000 per box for the 2017/18 crop.

Leroy Grey, secretary manager of the CIB, says this increase over two years was considered necessary for the approximately 5,000 farmers in rural Jamaica who supply the CIB with wet cocoa beans.

"Cocoa beans production has fluctuated over the last three years moving from 400 metric tonnes in 2013 to 446 metric tonnes in 2014 before falling drastically to 226 metric tonnes in 2015," Grey explained.

Agriculture Minister Karl Samuda, who was attending the three-day Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show yesterday, took note of the challenges facing cocoa farmers and insisted that they should be paid on time so they could increase and improve production.

The CIB projects that world demand for cocoa beans will outstrip supply over the next two years.