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Efforts by the Government to increase agricultural production and farmers’ earnings through improved irrigation management, is being boosted through a $193 million allocation to the National Irrigation Development Project.
As stated in the 2010/11 Estimates of Expenditure, which is now before the House of Representatives, the money will go towards the installation of pipes, fittings and appurtenances at New Forest/Duff House in Manchester; continue the strengthening of Water Users Associations and the training of farmers; and commence a feasibility study for the establishment of an irrigation system in Essex Valley, St. Elizabeth.
Work will also be undertaken in Colbeck, St. Catherine to bring irrigation water to farmers.
The project, which is being implemented by the National Irrigation Commission gets underway in 2005 and is scheduled for completion in November 2011. It is being funded jointly by the Government of Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
As at February 2010, pipes, fittings and appurtenance were installed at Colbeck and a pump house built; and four wells in New Forest and two in Yallahs, St. Thomas were drilled and tested.
In addition, there is ongoing cadastral mapping of Yallahs and New Forest/Duff House, and upgrading of Customer Relationship Management Systems.