TOSHAO of Santa Rosa, Stavros Stanley, says the council’s plans to resuscitate its ground coffee project in the Moruca Sub-Region One is well underway.
The Santa Rosa ground coffee project was reintroduced to the region in 2018; the $10 million investment was aimed to not only boost the region’s economy, but also the country’s.
Fifteen farmers were identified to benefit from the project and each was given 800 Robusa coffee beans for cultivation. It was also being supervised by Jamaican Agricultural scientist, Dr Leroy Santiago.
Stanley said this decision was taken as he believes the country’s agricultural sector will become the backbone of its economy, hence more emphasis is being placed on the region’s agricultural prospects.
“We have over 4,000 coffee plants still living there and so I went out there about a week ago and I brought fertilisers, chemicals and so on so that we can supplement those plants and have them revive,” he said.
To complement this effort, the village has also begun a cash crop farm to ensure that farmers are financially sustained, while awaiting coffee production. A portion of the funds earmarked for the coffee project was used, according to the Toshao.
He explained that the village “cannot plant eschallots here and get it to the market before it spoils, but we can do things that have long shelf life like ginger, turmeric, red beans, peanuts and so on.
“That is why we are focusing on that, because it is our hope that we would be able to have a food-processing plant here where we can process all or most of our products to bring value-added to it.”
To ensure the success of this project, the farmers were equipped with the technical knowledge of planting techniques and pest-control methods to boost their yields. (DPI)