JIS News

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  • The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is slated to this year establish rainwater harvesting systems, at a cost of $64 million, as part of its efforts to reduce the effects of climate change on the agricultural sector.
  • Portfolio Minister, Hon. Roger Clarke, says the allocation will also fund training for the farmers and other sector stakeholders in smart agricultural practices, and proper water and land management, as well as promote more efficient use of water, through drip irrigation systems.
  • “The Government, in response to climate change, has spent over $5 billion to install new irrigation systems in the last 10 years, to ensure sustainable agriculture through the reduction of our dependence on rainfall,” he informed.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries is slated to this year establish rainwater harvesting systems, at a cost of $64 million, as part of its efforts to reduce the effects of climate change on the agricultural sector.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Roger Clarke, says the allocation will also fund training for the farmers and other sector stakeholders in smart agricultural practices, and proper water and land management, as well as promote more efficient use of water, through drip irrigation systems.

He made this disclosure during his 2014/15 Budget Debate presentation in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (April 23) under the theme: ‘Continuing the Growth – Going for Export’.

Mr. Clarke said the latest projections from the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, which he described as “frightening”, highlight disaster which the agricultural sector is likely to encounter from factors such as impending rising temperatures and extreme drought, “if we do nothing.”

“The Government, in response to climate change, has spent over $5 billion to install new irrigation systems in the last 10 years, to ensure sustainable agriculture through the reduction of our dependence on rainfall,” he informed.

Two of these systems, he said, were established and commissioned in New Forrest, Manchester, and Yallahs, St. Thomas, around which two of the island’s agro-parks have been created.

 

Mr. Clarke also advised that grants, totaling $40 million, have been allocated from the Cane Expansion Fund, to 15 cane farmers islandwide, to enable them to install drip irrigation systems on their properties.

Additionally, he said the Ministry continues to provide resources to the National Irrigation Commission (NIC) for the lining of earthen canals, in a bid to lessen water loss during distribution.

“The great challenge is to mainstream climate change adaptation and mitigation in our farming practices. We commit to work with the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), and the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change; and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, to mobilize more resources for climate change adaptation in the (agricultural) sector,” Mr. Clarke stated.