Coffee farmers will be prioritised under the new FACE of Food initiative, says Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Hon. Floyd Green.

FACE is the acronym for Food Security, Agribusiness Development, Climate Smart Technologies and Export Expansion.

The Minister disclosed that in the next financial year, the Ministry will launch the Crop Restoration and Establishment Programme (CREP), focused on rebuilding Jamaica’s coffee industry.

Addressing Tuesday’s (January 9) launch of the Blue Mountain Coffee Festival, held at Devon House in Kingston, Mr. Green said CREP is a forward-thinking initiative aimed at rejuvenating and uplifting the coffee sector.

“It is tailored to suit 5,000 coffee farmers and 102,000 farm families. We’re going to be focusing on sustainable growth by ensuring that we embark on our biggest ever replanting programme that Jamaica has seen for Blue Mountain Coffee,” Mr. Green said.

In 2023, Jamaica produced 288,196 boxes of coffee, representing a 16.4 per cent increase when compared to the previous year.

The Minister underscored that like other agricultural crops, coffee farmers are affected by harsher climatic conditions, ageing farming populations and increased costs for agricultural inputs.

Over the next three to five years, he said, the objective is to increase output to 450,000 boxes of coffee and boost farmer productivity.

Meanwhile, Mr. Green pointed out that it will take a comprehensive programme to address the road network in the Blue Mountain Coffee range.

“This has to be outside of the regular farm road allocation, and I think we all have to come together and craft a specific programme, because we know the terrain of the area – it’s the terrain of the area that makes our coffee so good,” he said.

He further shared that this year, the Ministry will be seeking to ensure that coffee farmers get a fair price for their beans.

“For the sustainability of the coffee festival, our coffee farmers have to be motivated by ensuring that they are getting just returns on their investment. The future is bright for Blue Mountain Coffee and, clearly, the coffee festival provides even more emphasis on the best coffee in the world, but more than that, the coffee festival provides the greatest emphasis on the best coffee farmers in the world,” Mr. Green said.

Photo: Mark Bell
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, Hon. Floyd Green (left), enjoys a good laugh with Executive Director of Devon House, Georgeia Robinson, during Tuesday’s (January 9) launch of the Blue Mountain Coffee Festival, held at Devon House in Kingston.