Milan – According to the International Coffee Organisation, Hurricane Dean may have damaged Jamaica’s coffee harvest, half of which is of the Blue Mountain variety.
The hurricane may have damaged coffee-processing infrastructure. Mudslides may block roads, delaying the start of the harvest, according to German research- company F.O. Licht
“Coffee farms are fairly resilient to hurricanes,” Pablo Dubois, head of operations at the ICO, said in a interview. “What is most under threat are the processing plants. There may well have been damage there.”
Norman Grant, president of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS), said a preliminary assessment shows that the agricultural sector has been hit hard.
Reports are that banana fields in St. Mary and Portland have been ravaged, while cane fields in St. Thomas and St. Catherine suffered significant damage.
“From livestock to traditional tree crops to the non-traditional, (including) the coffee crop that had looked absolutely brilliant, but with the type of wind it might have suffered reasonable to substantial losses,” Grant said.
The JAS president said that because many roads remain blocked, the organisation was unable to access rural farmers to provide detailed information of the sector’s loss.