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Go for growth,Gentles urges coffee farmers

Published:Wednesday | February 3, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Director general of the Coffee Industry Board (CIB), Christopher Gentles, has called on key players in the sector to embark on new ways to put the industry on a path to sustainable growth.

Speaking at a coffee stakeholders' meeting at the Kendal Conference Centre in Manchester recently, Gentles said efficiency in the production of the crop must be improved.

"We have competitors who are offering better prices, so we have to reposition ourselves and ensure that we are not only surviving, but thriving and gaining additional markets," he said.

'Very good prospects'

Gentles explained that while the industry was "going through a trying time", the prospects for Jamaican coffee were very good.

"When you look at the economics of growing coffee, and the steadiness of the yields, you recognise that coffee is one of the most important crops that we are involved in," Gentles told the Jamaica Information Service, the government news agency.

He urged coffee growers to use pesticides only when they were not able to apply other control mea-sures efficiently.

The CIB director general advised cultivators to select appropriate pesticides, based on type and level of infestation, and to use pesticides recommended for coffee cultivation.