$219 Million Allocated to National Irrigation Development Project

A sum of $219 million has been allocated to the National Irrigation Development Project in the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, as set out in the 2007/08 Estimates of Expenditure now before the House of Representatives.
Funded by the government of Jamaica and the Inter American Development Bank (IDB), the project aims to increase agricultural production and farmers’ incomes through improved irrigation management.
Among the anticipated physical targets for this fiscal year are: to complete the legal registration of Water User Groups (WUG) and Water User Associations (WUA) and continue the training of WUA members; engage an Agricultural Development Officer to train farmers in irrigation management, farm management and marketing techniques; and commence drilling of wells in Colbeck, St. Catherine; New Forest, Manchester; Duff House, St. Elizabeth and Yallahs in St. Thomas.
The project is also expected to significantly advance the upgrading of the National Irrigation Commission’s (NIC) accounting, billing and management information systems.
Achievements up to February 2007 include the establishment of a steering committee; completion of land audit by the National Land Agency; procurement of hardware and software for the upgrading of the NIC’s accounting system; and three WUGs were formed and training of members is now in progress.
Of the $219 million allocated to the project, $39 million will be paid over to the Consolidated Fund as prior year expenditure.

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