KINGSTON, APRIL 8, 2015 - Minister of Agriculture Hon. Derrick Kellier has urged the country’s farmers to take advantage of opportunities for local produce in the international marketplace, given the increase in demand for crops such as banana, coffee and cocoa, which are fetching high prices on the world market.
Agriculture, Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, says the Government’s proposed divestment of its commercial assets in Jamaica cocoa industry, spearheaded by the Cocoa Industry Board (CIB), is now in the “final stages” of implementation.
Farmers at the New Forrest/Duff House Agro Park, on the boarder of Manchester and St. Elizabeth, are progressing well according to Country Representative for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Theresa Tuner-Jones.
With a major focus on advancing irrigated agriculture, the National Irrigation Commission (NIC) is operating 10 irrigation schemes that cover 36,066.20 hectares in the eastern, central and western regions of Jamaica.
Having been Battered by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, Secretary Manager at the Cocoa Industry Board (CIB), Leroy Grey says the island’s cocoa industry is slowly returning to a path of growth with a 10 percent increase during the 2013-2014 crop year when production moved from 400 metric tonnes in 2013 to 440 metric tonnes in 2014.