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  • The Government has boosted allocations for activities in agriculture and to improve the provision of water to rural communities during 2019/20.
  • This was disclosed by Finance and Public Service Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, as he opened the 2019/20 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Thursday (March 7).
  • In the area of agriculture, Dr. Clarke said $1.1 billion has been allocated to support development, expansion and rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure.

The Government has boosted allocations for activities in agriculture and to improve the provision of water to rural communities during 2019/20.

This was disclosed by Finance and Public Service Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, as he opened the 2019/20 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Thursday (March 7).

In the area of agriculture, Dr. Clarke said $1.1 billion has been allocated to support development, expansion and rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure.

These, he informed, are geared towards making more irrigable lands available for agricultural purposes and reducing farmers’ reliance on rainwater.

The Minister said another $752 million is earmarked to continue rehabilitation and development of major rural farm roads; while $326 million will be spent to continue development of the Spring Gardens Agro Park.

The latter engagement will entail improvement of on-farm roads; rehabilitation of the existing packing house; and installation of pumping equipment, as well as river training structures to reduce flooding and soil erosion.

Meanwhile, Dr. Clarke advised that $795 million will be allocated to facilitate works by Rural Water Supply Limited, to upgrade systems in several parishes.

This engagement will involve the rehabilitation of catchment tanks; and installation of guttering, storage and solar pumps in schools and public institutions.

“This allocation represents an approximate eightfold increase from the $100 million allocated in 2018/19, reflecting the priority this Government places on rural water,” Dr. Clarke said.