Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority

Cocoa Division

Officer in Charge of this Division: Senior Director of Cocoa – Leroy Grey (lgrey@jacra.org)

The functions of JACRA embrace the setting of Quality Standards, provision of Quality Assurance and Certification Services and generally focus on governing the trading in the Cocoa industry in Jamaica.

Cocoa

The Regulatory Authority for Cocoa was established in 1957 with its core function being the marketing of Jamaica’s fine and flavoured cocoa internationally, this involved:

  • Promoting the growing of cocoa
  • Providing technical support to farmers
  • Purchasing and processing wet cocoa beans
  • Selling dried fermented beans

Processing took place at our two (2) strategically located fermenteries located at Morgan’s Valley in Clarendon and Richmond in St. Mary. The Cocoa Regulatory Authority provided Warehousing and sorting/packaging facilities for cocoa beans for export.

The highest production periods for cocoa took place in the late 1980’s to the mid 1990’s. This period, which lasted about ten (10) years, averaged approximately 2,000 Metric Tonne annually. This period also coincided with an estimated 12,000 farmers along with strong outside support particularly from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Background

Frosty Pod Rot (FPR) was positively identified in Clarendon in September 2016. This disease posed a great threat to the cocoa industry and having the potential to wipe out the crop if not managed effectively.

A technical team was organized to address the situation. This team included the Cocoa Industry Board, Bodles Research, Plant Quarantine and RADA.

The Cocoa Regulatory Authority had the responsibility to carry out the implementation of the FPR management plan during the period, which ended in October 2017. The project is currently assigned to the Plant Quarantine.

Frosty Pod Rot (FPR)

The major challenges and issues which negatively affect the Cocoa Industry are as follows:

  • The absent of farmers group structure within farming communities;
  • Three (3) consecutive years of drought conditions affected the cocoa growing parishes;
  • Frosty Pod Rot (FPR) disease positively identified in Jamaica in September 2016. This disease has the potential to damage 80% of the crop if not managed.

Industry Issues