St Mary MP calls for hold on Cocoa Board divestment

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013 | 9:46 AM

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Member of Parliament for South East St Mary Dr Winston Green says the proposed divestment of the Cocoa Industry Board should be put on hold until the farmers in the industry are given a say in the process.  

Addressing a farmers meeting in Highgate St Mary Green said he would be writing the relevant minister to ask that the process of divesting the assets of the Cocoa Industry Board be put on hold at this time.

 Green said he would be acting as the trade union of the farmers to ensure that the benefits to be derived from divestment will flow to the farmers and their families. The MP said it was his purpose and duty to defend the farmers and he would do everything in his power to do so. 

 The meeting held at the Bethel United Church in Highgate was called by the Jamaica Cocoa Farmers Association for an update on the state of the industry as well as the plans for early divestment. 

Farmers at the meeting said they were in the dark about the plans for divestment and expressed concern about what will happen to them if the industry fell into the wrong hands.

 The farmers wanted to know how the announced divestment could be taking place when the assets of the Cocoa Industry Board were acquired over the years with funds set aside out of payments for their cocoa.  It was their view that the cocoa farmers of Jamaica are in fact the true owners of the assets of the Cocoa Industry Board and after decades of struggle and dedication they along with the association should be given first choice to acquire the assets of the industry in the divestment process.

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