Most of the farmers who lost their crops to the hurricane have yet to be compensated because their insurer, Dyoll Insurance Co., declared bankruptcy. The government is negotiating with a reinsurance company to cover the local underwriter's losses, said Dave Gordon, data coordinator for the coffee board.
As industry officials continue to steer the post-Ivan recovery, they have helped with seedling nurseries and financing the purchase of inputs. But they caution against expanding the acreage devoted to coffee until they get better productivity on the 12,000 acres already under cultivation, Gordon said.
"We're going on a very, very hard drive to ensure our farms are fully utilized and yield maximized," Wallenford's Bishop said.
Noting that fewer than 1% of last year's beans made the top grade, she said Jamaican farmers who lease company land now must adhere to stringent new planting, spraying, fertilizing and harvesting standards to retain the right to grow the company's signature coffee.