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The Government has allocated $148 million to the National Irrigation Development Project to increase crop production and diversity, thereby increasing farm incomes and rural employment in the long term.
This is outlined in the 2007/08 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives. Implemented in May 2002, the project is jointly funded by the Government and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and has three pilot projects, located at Pedro Plains and Hounslow in St. Elizabeth, and Seven Rivers in St. James.
Among the physical targets for 2007/08 are: the completion of the registration of three Water User Associations, continued irrigation training and management programmes for Association members; testing and commissioning the Little Park/Beacon irrigation system; commissioning of the Seven Rivers irrigation system; and completing the rehabilitation and expansion of the Hounslow irrigation system.
Among the achievements of the four year project are: the establishment of a project steering committee; a social organizer and engineering consultant has been engaged; and three Water User groups have been formed.
In addition, the installation of pipes and fitting of appurtenance for the Little Park/Beacon irrigation system was completed; the installation of new pipelines and partial replacement of old asbestos pipes were completed; two wells were rehabilitated; and a new switchgear and pumps were also installed at these wells.