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  • Infrastructure works will continue in the arable Essex Valley area of St. Elizabeth during the new fiscal year, with additional funding of $612.37 million.
  • The money has been allotted under the Essex Valley Irrigation Infrastructure Development Programme, as set out in the 2020/21 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
  • For the upcoming fiscal period, work will include the continuation of well drilling at alternative sites; completion of the design of the Irrigation Network System; completion of a global gap assessment to identify the agricultural needs of the farmers; and commencement of construction of renewable energy infrastructure to support energy efficiency.

Infrastructure works will continue in the arable Essex Valley area of St. Elizabeth during the new fiscal year, with additional funding of $612.37 million.

The money has been allotted under the Essex Valley Irrigation Infrastructure Development Programme, as set out in the 2020/21 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.

For the upcoming fiscal period, work will include the continuation of well drilling at alternative sites; completion of the design of the Irrigation Network System; completion of a global gap assessment to identify the agricultural needs of the farmers; and commencement of construction of renewable energy infrastructure to support energy efficiency.

Up to December 2019 under the project, drilling of six wells had been completed; a Climate Vulnerability Assessment to support the development of the gender-responsiveness guidelines and training manual was completed; and an energy audit for energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions at the National Irrigation Commission/Agro-Investment Corporation was completed.

Through funding by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the project seeks to assist in the achievement of food security and the modernisation of the agricultural sector by increasing the area under formal irrigation in St. Elizabeth by 50 per cent and the yield of crops in Essex Valley to a minimum of 90 per cent of their potential, through the construction of wells and the development of associated agricultural infrastructure in the arable Essex Valley area.

The programme, which began in April, 2017, is slated to end in March 2022.

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