El precio del cacao pagado a los productores jamaicanos registra un aumento del 23%
Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Robert Montague has announced a 23% price increase in the price of cocoa to farmers. The farmers will now be paid J$ 2,000 as total payment per box of wet cocoa for the October/2011 to September 2012 crop from J$1, 620.00 last year.
The increase was approved at a recent Board of Director’s meeting where the Board projected 900 metric tonne (MT) for the 2011/2012 crop
The cess paid to group collectors and secretaries per wet box is also to be increased from J$40.00 per wet box each to J$50.00 for the 2011/2012 crop year.
Minister Montague, says the government has an aggressive plan to increase cocoa production locally and the increased price to the farmers is an important element of that plan. “Cocoa production has been declining for many years and there is a huge overseas market for Jamaican cocoa which we are not meeting. An increase in local production would not only mean enhanced rural development but also generate jobs in many poor, deep rural communities”.
“Historically, cocoa farmers have always responded positively to price increases by producing more and I am confident the cocoa farmers will rise to the call to produce more” the Agriculture Minister said.
Meanwhile, Secretary Manager of the CIB, Steve Watson, says for the past two crop years adverse weather conditions have negatively affected production, but notes this year is different. “We believe this year’s weather conditions have been favourable and barring no weather disasters we can achieve the increase in production from 213MT to 900 MT we have projected. We will also benefit from the significant investment in the sector by our multilateral donor partners, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the European Union (EU) who have rehabilitated approximately 2000 acres of neglected cocoa fields. This has set the stage for improved production over last year” Mr. Watson said.