JIS News

Some 100 farmers from South St. Elizabeth and Manchester are to receive 1000-gallon polyethylene tanks, as Government seeks to increase farmers’ access to irrigation water to boost agricultural production.
The provision is being made under the Black Tank Project, which was launched yesterday (April 16) by the National Irrigation Commission (NIC), at the St. Steven’s Anglican Church in Pedro Plains, St. Elizabeth.
Beneficiaries signed contracts with the NIC at the launch, and will start receiving the tanks on April 27.
Acting Systems Manager for the Central Region of the NIC, Everton Medley, said that the project, which is being implemented as a pilot in the region, will address the water needs of farmers, and help them to boost production.
“There is a need to improve the production and productivity of farmers, who operate within the breadbasket parishes of Jamaica, which comprises all sections of Southern St. Elizabeth, and extending to South-Central Manchester. The farmers in this region have demonstrated their commitment to producing despite the severe water shortage,” he stated.
Mr. Medley added that along with the tanks, the NIC and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) will provide technical support to the recipients to ensure that the project is successfully implemented, so that it can extend to other areas of the country.
“It is our hope that by making these tanks available, you will exploit the full potential of the arable lands without fear of not having enough water to apply to the crops. In addition, watermelon, mixed vegetables and other crops such as cassava, pineapple and tree crops, will be produced,” he outlined.
The tanks are designed for a quarter acre mixed vegetable operation, and can be applied to crops such as peppers, tomato, cucumber, carrot, scallion, thyme and onions. The NIC will provide ongoing training and demonstration with the farmers to encourage good agricultural practices.

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