More coffee, please - Samuda tells farmers to grow more beans
Agriculture minister Karl Samuda wants farmers in Clarendon, St. Catherine, Manchester and St James to expand production of lowland and High Mountain coffee.
Samuda said the strategy behind growing those grades of coffee, which are ranked below the Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee, is part of an effort to reduce green coffee bean imports.
Jamaica imported just under 430 tons of green coffee beans valuing US$1.74m in 2016.
Samuda said the time has come for more lowland and High Mountain coffee to be produced locally.
“We can blend the Blue Mountain coffee with our locally grown coffee. We must develop
lowland and High Mountain coffee across the length and breadth of Jamaica where it can be produced,” said Samuda.
The minister, who was speaking Wednesday at the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, said plans to tax imported green beans are well advanced.
“We are going to put a cess on the imported beans because there is already a cess on locally grown green beans, so we are levelling the playing field,” Samuda said.