Jamaican News

Coffee Farmers Urged To Adopt Best Practices

A call has been made for players in the coffee industry to utilise best practices for its sustainability.

Making the call, Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew, and wife of the Prime Minister, the Most. Hon. Juliet Holness, says the industry is a mainstay of her constituency, and a major export commodity for Jamaica, hence the need for combined efforts from stakeholders to protect it.

“It is imperative that we employ the best practices that will create sustainability and will grow this particular sector,” Mrs. Holness emphasised.

She was delivering the keynote address at a ceremony for participating communities in the Quality Cup Contest, organised by Ueshima Coffee Company (UCC), yesterday (June 1), at Craighton Hall Estate, in Irish Town, St. Andrew.

Emphasising that best practices in the farming sector can help to mitigate the recurring challenges that plague agriculture, she said coffee farmers in the area have applied them, and must be commended.

“Amidst all the challenges, they have kept the industry vibrant,” Mrs. Holness added.

She also urged stakeholders in the coffee industry to protect the “product’s reputation” and to do more to fight praedial larceny.

“We can’t buy coffee from people who we know are not coffee farmers. All of us have to work together to protect each other,” the Member of Parliament told the farmers.

Meanwhile, President of the Jamaica Coffee Growers Association, Donald Salmon, told JIS News that the competition, now in its third year, is helping to lift and maintain quality in the industry.

According to Mr. Salmon, production is improving and young persons are being attracted to the sector, as coffee “seems to be giving more returns than going to the city to work”.

For her part, Manager for International Trade and Administration at UCC, Sophia Watts, said the event was initiated to encourage good agricultural practices.

“We want to stay recognised as the ‘King’ of coffee,” she said, citing their Blue Mountain brand.

The community of Settlement placed first in the competition, New Grange/Woodford came second, while Middleton district placed third.

Article by: Garfield L. Angus
Photo from: www.jis.gov.jm

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