“Let’s keep our fingers crossed” – Agriculture Minister on coffee plant

Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Matthew Walter

Government says it is expected to start development of a coffee factory in Dominica this year after signing a memorandum of understanding with the government of Venezuela for the project in 2010.

“We expect to see the full implementation of this program during the course of this year so let us keep our fingers crossed,” Minister for Agriculture Matthew Walter said on DBS radio.

The project, funded by the Commonwealth of Dominica and Venezuela, will also cover the rehabilitation and expansion of coffee acreage in Dominica, Walter said.

Dominica has made available 1.5 acres of land at One Mile in Portsmouth for the erection of the coffee plant, and is to provide land to facilitate training of coffee producers. Venezuela will provide assistance for establishment and rehabilitation of coffee fields here as well as the installation of the coffee processing plant.

“The major part of the program will be funded by the Venezuelan government,” Walter noted.

Government has said the island is capable of producing high quality coffee and has called on Dominicans to plant more of the crop.

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41 Comments

  1. POSSIE PEOPLE
    January 7, 2011

    T0 THE GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE OF DOMINICA A COFFE FACTORY IS A MISTAKE AT THIS TIME WITH THE WORLD ECONOMY. WE NEED SOMETHING THAT IN 5-10 YRS WE CAN PAY IT OFF AND STAND ON OUR OWN OR ATLEAST HELP US TO START TO STAND ON OUR OWN AND BEG LESS FROM TIME TO TIME.
    THEY OFFERED A COFFEE FACTORY WHY DIDN’T WE SAY THNANKS BUT WE THINK WE WILL DO BETTER WITH A CANNING FACTORY BECAUSE WE HAVE SO MANY MANGOS AND OTHER FRUITS WASTING EVERY YEAR. MORE PEOPLE GROW FRUITS THAN COFFE SO IT WILL START UP FASTER THAN A COFFEE FACTORY. WE ARE VERY GOOD AT BEGGING SO WHY NOT BEG FO SOMETHING WORTH WILD.NOT BECAUSE A COUNTRY OFFER SOMETHING WE CAN’T GIVE OUR OPINION AND SAY THAT WOULD DO BETTER AND THEN IF THEY REFUSE WE TAKE WHAT THEY GIVE.
    WE CAN COUNT HOW MANY PEOPLE GROW COFFEE STILL IN DOMINICA ON OUR TWO HANDS MAYBE EVEN ONE HAND. ON THE OTHER HAND WE HAVE PEOPLE WITH FRUIT TREES IN THEIR YARDS, PEOPLE WHO HAVE GARDENS WITH FRUITS AND FRUITS ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD AND IN BUSH THAT JUST WASTE EVERY SEASON. THAT WAY WE DON’T NLY CREATE EMPL0YMENT FOR FOR ONE SET BUT FOR ALL AND WE WILL BE UP UP AND AWAY IN NO TIME. THINK ABOUT IT FOR LOVE OF COUNTRY AND LOVE OF POCKET AND NOT LOVE OF POCKET ONLY.
    THANK YOU

  2. benhur
    January 6, 2011

    alwell and good for the coffee plant but we may not be able to sustain such plant until 2016 because of the growing habits of coffee so wat should the unfotunate farmer do during this time ………..diversify and become coffee planters…………… then wat if the governmet change will they be willing to continue the dream of the labpur party …………………..why not a citrus plant considering the amount of citrus thett already exist for the farmers
    we must get some garantee at least

  3. Pepen factory
    January 6, 2011

    That sound like the Penpen Factory a Labor party candidate once promised .

  4. COMMON SENSE
    January 6, 2011

    I will begin with one Parry Bellot, who at one point in time managed the operations of Bello Products. They have been buying and selling the finished coffee product for years. I once heard a cry from this very man, that production in Dominica was low and so he could not get enough coffee to buy for local production. Now I am hearing of a factory to compete for the meagre resources. I have a few questions. How long does a coffee plant take before it reaches a stage of maturity and can bear enough fruit to sustain a factory? Which farmers will now be losing their land so the venezuelans can plant coffee? Which farms are they going to revive? How much are they going to pay farmers for a pound of coffee? How many Dominicans will get employment in the construction phase and then at the factory? What is Dominica going to benefit from this venture? Is it 50/50 or 80/20? Does the minister really believe in the success of this venture? Why is he asking the nation to ‘keep our fingers crossed’ on a project of such magnitude in which Dominica stands to lose so much?

    I have no problem with development. I am also a very realistic person. Where is the market for Dominican coffee? Are we going to compete with countries like Jamaica? Aren’t there other short term crops from which we could benefit? What is the short term goal? What is the short term plan for farmers? Is there a project on island which does not include China or Venezuela? Can we serve two masters at one time?

    If the minister had any faith in that project he would not ask us to keep our fingers crossed. Land has already been allocated for the project. We have no idea where else land has been allocated. By the time we find the truth, half of Dominica will be owned by China and Venezuela. By the way, coffee has many uses, one of which is to mask the smell of illegal drugs!!!

  5. gully boy
    January 6, 2011

    when we get this coffee factory what we have to get back dat i would like to know as a dominican

  6. Lawye
    January 5, 2011

    So how about the Geothermal plant? ?? hmmm priorities :(

  7. possi
    January 5, 2011

    You ever wonder what will happen to the indian river with the waste from that coffee plant.Cause there is a ravine at the back of the plant.just thinking…..by yhe way mr minister you know that plant will not work you just doing what you are told to do

  8. follower
    January 5, 2011

    Mr. Walter where will you sell the coffee? You sure Dominican’s and Venezuellan’s drink enough coffee to sustain the business? You USA will not be part of anything Chavez is part of. Nice joke from a bunch of jokers that do a good job in keeping us entertained on a daily basis.

    • bravo
      January 6, 2011

      What are you talking about? There is more to the world than the USA. In fact, what has the USA ever done for Dominica??

      • CURIOUS
        January 6, 2011

        Let the Americans pull out thier medical school (ROSS UNIVERITY) and ask thier cruise ships to stop calling to Dominica and we will then realise what the AMRICANS have done for Dominica. :?:

        • CURIOUS
          January 6, 2011

          UNIVERSITY.lol.

  9. stoney
    January 5, 2011

    You said one damm good things by keeping fingers crosssed as from the lay man’s view you dont have a damm overview of what you into re coffee plant…

    see how Dominica Labour Party Minister sucks to the damm bone, how poor your wording of a so called investment sounds……….Dominica Labour Party has crippled the Country due lack of vision

    Labour is fully rotten and is a complete waste!……..just a typical vommit machine!

  10. Farmer's Son
    January 5, 2011

    Frankly, I wish that the Minister’s statement was more reassuring.

    The initial announcement about this project was delivered with much fanfare and we are still waiting for details and concrete plans about this program. Development of the coffee sector in Dominica will require much more than Press Releases and vague announcements.

    Farmers have expressed interest in the program but no one is going to get excited about this without additional information from government. It is simply not good enough to raise the expectations of farm operators without any action to show that we are serious about this initiative.

  11. Democratic lover
    January 5, 2011

    A positive move and a way to go. Dominicans these are projects we need to support if we are to become truly independent.

  12. good Government
    January 5, 2011

    is the coffe plant goin to be in venezuela or in dominica who is to get the job,s is it dominica,s or venezuela plz my plp plz wat mor do we want 2011

  13. good Government
    January 5, 2011

    the Government is doin so dat the plp can get job to do good job pm we love u

  14. A Government That's Working
    January 5, 2011

    With every possitive thing that shows up in this country there are negative persons trying to bring it down, but i am not afraid because the Lord will see us through in the same way as with the stadium,airport, yes we care and so many others.May the Lord bless Hon. Matthew Walter , Hon. Prime Minister and the people of this blessed land Dominica.

  15. chairman mao zhe dong
    January 5, 2011

    anything to do with agriculture is good for our country. i am in favour of the coffe and any other agro processing plant. we have so much potential in the sector of agriculture it’s just a pity that we do not have processing. as long as we get a market for our produce we will be ok. with proper management this should sail smoothly. europeans and north americans are heavey consumers of coffee and if we can have a product that can compete it should be fine.we need other processing plants and i think the chinese with their wealth of technology and know how should follow venezuela’s lead rather than just building roads and flooding our country with cheap inferior goods. mr walter i really hope you can see this project through.

  16. urban maroon
    January 5, 2011

    Dasheen,tania,bananas,vegetables all take less than a year to reach maturity and is relatively
    easy to harvest.We can hardly meet the demand for these produce.Tell me how you going to
    produce enough coffee to meet the demand for a coffe factory?. Another one of Chavez
    dumb schemes.Why can’t he give us a proceesing plant that can utilize all the wasted fruits we
    have in Dominica

  17. A Voice from the Wilderness
    January 5, 2011

    ThatS another white elephant. No market research, no farmer training,, no coperative strategies or access to funds by farmers- am really not sure how this project make sense. Everyone who drinks coffee has already favor a particular brand of coffee- how will dominica coffee penetrate an established, saturated market?, unless offcourse we plan to market as SKERRO-COFFEE. Sadly sales will only be local.

    VOICE FROM THE WILDERNESS,

  18. mouth of the south
    January 5, 2011

    that’s good news but why should we keep our fingers crossed,,,,is it bcuz of the memorandum of understanding???? papa even the ministers afraid of chavez,,,,n e way when will skerro address the nation,,,,all i seeing are ministers,,,skerro have yet to come out n give any statement,,,holds no press conferences to give an update to the nation,,,,i believe he’s ashamed,,,,ashamed to face us,,,well if i was him i’d be ashamed to,,,,but i’m not him n never would engage in what he did

  19. WENDY JAMES
    January 5, 2011

    ALL FINGERS CROSSED!!,A FIG WILL TAKE A SHORTER TIME TO PRODUCE THAN A COFFEE TREE BUT WE MUST PLANT COFFEE AND WAIT. MR MINISTER WHERE YOU STUDY AGRICULTURE? UNDER A FIG TREE OR IN CLASSROOM? WE WAITING FOR COFFEE TO GROW

  20. Desperate
    January 5, 2011

    ME self all my pwell crossed, want i want it so.

    • Dominican princess
      January 5, 2011

      even your pwell crossed? hmm allu not easy. dont be that desperate my dear you only making ur self be disgraced. u wud do anything for coffee man. much less for money. i wonder

  21. Manufacturer
    January 5, 2011

    It could be expected that the “Robusta” type will be favored as it is more productive and adapts better to less elevated terrains. Have the Chineese in Layou studied the most adequate type of coffee as part of their activity on island?

    One must bear in mind that a newly planted coffee tree takes a minimum of 3 to 4 years to bear fruits.
    The should not be any industrial production of coffee before 2015.

    Has this been developped as a replacement of the dead banana industry?

    Harvesting can employ a lot of persons but it is a difficult job. Are we ready for it or will we have to bring in more of our Hatian brothers?

    In terms of marketing, the question will be once again what we are going to put forward to conquer export markets and compete with existing producers from Central America and Brazil.
    Regionally, Jamaica Blue Mountains coffee has been doing very well but has been on the market for decades. Haiti, Dominican Republic and Porto-Rico also have existing reputable productions and additional great potential. Our Guadeloupe neighbours produce a very good coffee on the slopes of the Soufriere volcano.

    Having a sensable idea is great, facing the reallity of the market and the competition could be a different story. Dominica is only part of a much wider region where wages are sometimes lower than ours and where manufacturers receive greater incentives to bring in investments. It would be interesting to find out about the business plan for this coffee plant project.

    • Surprise
      January 5, 2011

      The way we operate I would not be surprised that there is no buisness plan. Where does Bello Coffee fit in the scheme?

  22. Paix Bouche
    January 5, 2011

    Good job dear minister for slapping Skerrit in his face.

    • Well Well
      January 5, 2011

      What a thing … bring me the biggest and brownest coffee bean .. I want it now ..

  23. again
    January 5, 2011

    M O U again i hope everyone is demanding to see that M O U befor anything take place plzzzzzzzzzzzz Dominican demand it as we all know we have an illegal sitting P M in office so we cannot accept nothing that MAN sign now

    • Reon
      January 5, 2011

      What are you talking about???? You guys amaze me!!! Blame labourites for the same thing you guys are doing!!!

      Even if you donnot support the government why not just say good job and you pray that this coffee plant really happens? Who will be the Beneficiaries???

      People lets me more realistic… When the government wrong say they wrong when they right say they right…Geeeeezzzzzzzzzz!!!

      • NATURE BOY
        January 5, 2011

        why r u stressing over these people is only God can help these cases………the way i see it a donkey will always remain a donkey so i rest my case.

  24. Cat in Bag
    January 5, 2011

    Keep our fingers cross. We going into production of coffee when there is no established market, no advance research, no training, no allocated land . Yeh heee. Keep our fingers cross. Venezuela gave up coffee and getting rid of the outdated equipment so we picking that up too. I don’t buy cat in bag. Redundant ministers

    • forkit
      January 5, 2011

      I SUSPECT IS NOT COFFEE HE WANTED TO SAY, MAYBE COCO, CAUSE WITH THE RIGHT COMBINATION OF SUBSTANCES WE COULD EXPORT HIGH GRADE COCAI… YOU NOW THE REST.
      100% PUREZA

      • YES I
        January 5, 2011

        :-D

      • Alas
        January 5, 2011

        u mean coca….cocaine comes fom the coca plant

        • Desperate
          January 6, 2011

          If you ship Cocaine in Coffee the Scent of the Coffee will throw off sniffing DOGS, Just saying………..Coffee has alot of uses

  25. KOKAY THERE
    January 5, 2011

    Mine is crossed!!

  26. Oh OH
    January 5, 2011

    Coffee production – zort Fu

  27. worried dominican
    January 5, 2011

    Very good production for dominica sine we have one of the best cofffee in the world.

    • c bruce
      January 5, 2011

      Yeah. Fr. Coffy

  28. Dubique/Calibishie
    January 5, 2011

    Hey Mr.Parlrep,let me take this opportunity to wish you a happy New Year.I wish you and the entire government all that is well.Let’s do positive things for our country and i am hoping (we) who depend on farming will look at at it differently,because behind the clouds that try to darken the government….i see a silver lining.After all..new year..new ideas…same friendship and let us mend or make up for wasted time.Don’t worry..we still love you.

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