$66 Million Allocated to Irrigation Project


The National Irrigation Development Project has been allocated $66 million in the 2008/09 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
Funded by the Government and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the project’s immediate objective is to increase crop production and diversity, thereby increasing farm incomes and rural development in the long run. The overall National Irrigation Development Plan has three pilot projects being undertaken at Pedro Plains and Hounslow, St. Elizabeth, and Seven Rivers,
St. James.
The project, which was initially undertaken between May 2002 and
January 2007 and was extended to December 2007, will continue through to December 2008.
Up to February 2007, significant achievements had been attained, including the rehabilitation of four wells, and installation of new switchgear and pumps at these locations; installation of new pipelines and partial replacement of old asbestos pipes; installation and testing of pipes, fittings, and appurtenances for the Seven Rivers and Little Park/Beacon Irrigation Systems, and installation and testing of pumps and switchgear equipment for the Little Park/Beacon Irrigation System.
Additionally, the services of a Social Organizer and Engineering Consultant were engaged; a Project Steering Committee was established, and three Water User Associations (WUA) were registered with the Department of Co-operatives.
For the 2008/09 fiscal year, activities anticipated will include: procurement of on-farm equipment for farmers in Sevens River and Beacon/Little River; continuation of irrigation training, incorporating the resources of the Agricultural Support Services Programme (ASSP), and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA); continuation of land tenure regularization activities in Pedro Plains and Seven Rivers, as well as engagement of agronomists and marketing consultants to work with farmers, and a Water Users Association Consultant to work with WUA members.

JIS Social