Original source: the Jamaica Observer

COFFEE farmers in Portland are reeling from the effects of the fall in price for the mild-flavoured commodity which many say is their livelihood.

The farmers, who spoke to the Jamaica Observer North & East during a visit to several communities in the parish, last Wednesday, said that a box of coffee which, up to last year, was going for $12,000 is now going for as low as $4,000.

The group said as a result their lives have made a turn for the worse. Many of their children had to stop from school for days, and utilities and other responsibilities have been made to suffer.

“Right now we waan fi get some more price pon di coffee. It drop from $12,000 gone to $6,000 so this mean seh di farmers get a big loss because we can’t buy fertilisers and stuff like that. We don’t even know why it drop; dem just drop it on we the farmers. We get a real beating. Right now the coffee a go get late pon wi this year ’cause we can’t get the fertiliser fi boost it cause we naah mek nuh money.

“It really a affect me because when mi fi clean up the farm and buy fertiliser and stuff like that mi can’t do it. Certain things you know you used to buy and bring home or put in the house but now mi haffi cut down. Kids fi go a school, but things slow, and I have two children,” 35-year-old Ockief Coombs said. He mentioned that he has been in the coffee business since his days in high school and it has never been this bad.

“Right now mi a tell you the truth enuh; mi nuh know wah a go happen. If the farm run down and wi can’t buy the fertiliser and stuff wi haffi go stop. It’s a big loss; this we having in the Blue Mountain right now. It’s a big one,” the gentleman said… – Read the rest at the Jamaica Observer.