Home Coffee industry Moy Hall farm roads need urgent attention – farmer | News

Moy Hall farm roads need urgent attention – farmer | News

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The shady, rugged, slender path to the coffee farms of Moy Hall, St Thomas, posed plenty of trouble even for the large wheels of the automatic Ford Ranger in which a Gleaner the news crew was traveling as they headed out to the fields.

Referring to the vehicle being forced to stop almost halfway through the journey, local farmers noted that the incident was a testament to the disgraceful road conditions on which one of the country’s most prized crops , Blue Mountain Coffee, is transported.

“The agricultural road needs more attention. There is a lot of production in this area. This cafe goes all over the world and provides a lot of incentive for the country,” said Carey Powell.

The farmer, who operates on the Moy Hall estate, just outside Cedar Valley, said the gleaner that the poor state of the road in the agricultural zone translates into exorbitant transport costs when delivering his products to the market or to the various vendors.

“I don’t have a vehicle at the moment, and since the road is bad, I have to pay a lot of money to transport my goods. I’m picking coffee right now and it’s costing me up to $20,000 a week to pay a trucker to take my produce and workers down the hill, so that’s a serious concern,” he said. declared.

When contacted, MP for Western St Thomas James Robertson admitted the farm roads were in a deplorable state and were “in dire need of massive spending”.

“Much is being done for the main roads in the parish and across Jamaica, but the Ministry of Agriculture, the National Works Agency and the Parish Council also need to look at agricultural roads…they need investment now “, Robertson said. , adding its support to farmers in the region.

Farmers shared that a reasonable investment in their roads and crops would be economically viable as they contribute greatly to the coffee industry, even amid the overall decline in productivity in recent years.

Paul Williams, who supplies up to 500 cans of Blue Mountain coffee per season from his Moy Hall ranch, noted that like farm roads, he and his colleagues have been overlooked by relevant agencies over the years.

According to him, “The number of people who work on this hill. Many people work here, but no one sees us. It’s as if we were alone, there was no one to help us.

Although he considers himself lucky to own a van, which greatly offsets the cost of transporting produce, Williams also lamented the continued abandonment of the road to the coffee trees.

“Sometimes you see people coming down the hill with a bag or two over their heads and you can’t even help the situation, it’s not easy. Imagine you’re carrying a can of coffee that weighs about 65-70 pounds on your head, and sometimes it’s not just one can… . It’s tough,” he said.

Also admitting that the price of the product is another deterrent to coffee growers, Williams noted that the recently increased cost is still insufficient.

“Currently they give us around $8,500 per can of coffee and we have to pay people with that, plus buy fertilizer, which can cost up to $14,000. My farm can hold up to 13 bags and if you calculate the price you have to pay for the wear and tear of people and vehicles; when you do the math, you see it’s just a bit day-to-day,” he said, adding that apart from production costs, tending the fields until harvest also costs dear.

He continued, “It’s very expensive and difficult to produce and sell with these challenges, and at the end of the day, it’s not as rewarding as it should be.”