Grant banking on increased coffee production to boost prices
President of the Jamaica Coffee Exporters Association, Norman Grant, is expressing confidence that prices will improve as producers push to increase supply.
Grant says he is banking on the current increasing demand for Jamaican coffee, led by the premium Blue Mountain Coffee.
He says the association, in partnership with the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA), have engaged in a process with the government to look into the expansion of planting.
He says they have asked the government to pump $1 billion into the planting of coffee over the next five years.
Grant says this will increase production from its current level of 270,000 boxes to 450,000 boxes.
According to him, this will increase revenues from US$17 million per annum to US$25 million.
“It will also lead to import substitution, increasing the production of coffee in our non-Blue Mountain areas for local consumption. If this programme gets off the ground, over a period of 10 years, we could see the Jamaican coffee industry generating US$100M per annum,” Grant stated.
He commended Agriculture Minister Pearnel Charles Jnr. for encouraging the industry so far and being open to the project.
“It is a project that we must get off the ground, it is a game-changer for the coffee industry, and we will keep on driving it to make sure that happens.”
Grant was speaking recently at the Ueshima Coffee Company Coffee Quality Competition held at Devon House in St Andrew.
According to him, increased production of Jamaican coffee would boost farmers’ incomes by US$1.5 billion.
“We are producing 270,000 boxes now and if we were able to produce 320,000 to 350,000 boxes in this crop, we would have sold it and, therefore, it is impatient of debate that we need to be consistent with increasing production,” he said.
He congratulated the farmers for participating in the UCC Coffee Quality Competition and lauded the Japanese Ueshima Coffee Company for continuing to support the venture that is now celebrating six years.
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