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  • The Government has allocated approximately $628 million to the Essex Valley Irrigation Infrastructure Development Programme, which aims to boost the yield of crops in the arable St. Elizabeth region by at least 90 per cent.
  • The money has been set aside in the 2019/20 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
  • Being implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, the programme has the objective of assisting in the achievement of food security and the modernisation of the agricultural sector.

The Government has allocated approximately $628 million to the Essex Valley Irrigation Infrastructure Development Programme, which aims to boost the yield of crops in the arable St. Elizabeth region by at least 90 per cent.

The money has been set aside in the 2019/20 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.

Being implemented by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, the programme has the objective of assisting in the achievement of food security and the modernisation of the agricultural sector.

This will be achieved through the construction of wells and the development of associated agricultural infrastructure in the Essex Valley area.

Works under the project for the upcoming fiscal year include completion of cadastral survey, Global GAP Assessment, Global GAP building designs as well as irrigation system design, and the continuation of a well-drilling contract.

Funded by the Government of Jamaica and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the project, originally slated to run from April 2017 to March 2020, has been extended to March 2022.

Achievements, to date, include the purchase of four vehicles, establishment of a project steering committee and technical subcommittee, and completion of a baseline survey.