A coffee training institute aimed at certifying regulatory cup testers will be established by the Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority (JACRA) by September 2019.
This was among several initiatives announced by the Hon Daryl Vaz, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation at the launch of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee day on January 4 in Kingston.
Speaking on behalf of the Hon Audley Shaw, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Minister Vaz said the regulatory cup testers would lead the way as certified trainers for the coffee industry stakeholders, including coffee shop personnel and coffee makers in hotels and restaurants.
“To date, six staff members have been trained as trainers with further training set for the first quarter of next financial year to have them fully certified. We expect to have the institute, which will be housed at JACRA, fully operational by September,” said Minister Vaz.
Other initiatives being introduced to boost the coffee industry include a productivity incentive programme developed by the Government involving a grant of $80M towards fertilizer purchase for farmers; treatment of the coffee leaf rust disease; training and acquisition of small tools as well as $7.2 million set-aside for contingency.
A Grassroot and Human Security Project is also being established, funded by the Japanese Embassy to the tune of US$90,400. This project will support the production of 50,000 coffee seedlings and the supply of inputs to coffee farmers in the Irish Town, Middleton and Woodford areas.
Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Day, January 9, will be celebrated annually in Jamaica and Japan, the largest importer of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee. Up to June 2017/2018, Jamaica exported some 219,890 kilogrammes of Blue and High Mountain coffee, representing 67% of coffee exports.
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