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Coffee in Dominica


IN NATURE (vol. xiii. p. 38, and under the head of “Coffee in Dominica”), it is stated that the “falling off in the cultivation of the coffee plant, in a soil and climate which experience showed was eminently suited to it in every respect, was due to the extensive destruction of the plants by what was there known as the coffee blight.” The foregoing statement requires this qualification, that after the appearance of the coffee blight, and when the coffee crop was gradually decreasing in quantity, the old coffee planters made no attempts to check the ravages of the destroying insect, but, in many instances, cut down the valuable trees, planted the sugar-cane, and converted their coffee-works into sugar-works. I could mention the names of several estates where what I have described was done. I think it right also to add that in some portions of Dominica, where the coffee-trees were simply abandoned, they now stand, and, considering their age and the neglect to which they have been exposed, they bear fairly well. During the last two years, and since the disastrous fall in the price of cane sugar, I have been endeavouring to reintroduce here the coffee cultivation, and, on the Tabery estate, 12,000 young trees of my own planting are doing well. You will confer a great and lasting benefit upon this beautiful but neglected and almost unknown island by calling attention to its capabilities as a coffee-producing country.

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WATT, E. Coffee in Dominica. Nature 13, 187 (1876).

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