Above: Dominica (CJ Photo)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Dominica’s plan to ramp up coffee production with a new processing plant is moving forward, according to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.
Around 25 acres of coffee have already been established in the country, with more than 10,000 coffee seedlings prepared for distribution, he said this week.
The plant, which is being supported by the Venezuelan Coffee Corporation, will eventually be capable of processing 2,000 tons of coffee beans each year.
Dominica also plans to embark on a Coffee Development Programme to establish new coffee acreage, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. The government said a number of farmers have already “expressed commitments” to increase their participation in the project.
According to the government’s most recent budget report, over 500 acres of coffee will be either rehabilitated or established over the next three years, with 166 acres planted or rehabilitated in each of the next two years and 168 acres in the third year.
Nature Island Coffee, a locally-registered company, will manage operations at the plant. It has established a joint venture with the VCC called Venedom through which the VCC owns 51 percent and NIC 49 percent.
Dominica’s government has said that the plan is to market and sell coffee to Venezuela, other members of the ALBA alliance, CARICOM and the French market.