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Abstract

Jamaica's 3,000 dairy fanners produced 27 million litres ofmilk in 1997 out ofa total annual national consumption of about 150 million litres equivalent ofmilk and dairy products. The industry is faced with the problems of:- dumping 125,000 litres of milk so far in 1998; decline in production from 38 million litres in 1992 to 27 million litres in 1997; competition from cheap dumped imports at low duties; the highest farmgate and consumer prices in the world, a majority of small or inefficient dairy plants; high margin inefficient retailers, and dairy farmers getting only 33% of the consumer dollar. Additionally, poor veterinary and breeding services, high interest rates, high cost of inputs and market uncertainty are causes for concern. Milk producers in Jamaica are debating the formation ofa miJk producer federation in order to operate large processing facilities and sell milk: directly to consumers at $40 - $50 per litre as compared to the current price of$60 - $68. The federation would increase production and productivity by providing cheaper inputs, improved veterinary and breeding services, provide guaranteed market for farmers' milk and save the Jamaica Hope Breed,

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