Farmers will receive more assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries this year, through an allocation of $127.4 million, which has been earmarked to improve irrigation management.
This will increase production and the earning power of farmers across the island.
As set out in details of the allocation, which is contained in the government’s budget for the 2013/14 fiscal period, the funds will go towards the commissioning of an irrigation scheme in Yallahs, St. Thomas; and completion of the technical assistance and training to farmers.
Under the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) funded National Irrigation Development project, up to February 2013, a number of objectives were met.
These include: the construction of Water User Association offices in Colbeck, Yallahs, and New Forest/Duff House; drilling and testing of four wells in New Forest; drilling and testing of two wells in Yallahs; construction of a pump house and commissioning of a pump at Colbeck; completion of cadastral mapping of Yallahs and New Forest/Duff House; implementation of lead farmer training; 70 per cent completion of contract with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) to provide farmer training and other extension services.
The government is providing $80.9 million of the total funding.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter