JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Pedro Plains (Beacon/Little Park) in St. Elizabeth, and New Forest/Duff House, in Manchester have been chosen as irrigation areas.
  • This is in keeping with the Ministry of Agriculture’s continued thrust to increase production and productivity in the sector.
  • Government Senator, Lambert Brown, argued that irrigation is critical to production and production is critical to growth.

Farmers operating in St. Elizabeth and Manchester are expected to see greater levels of crop production and productivity, following the designation of irrigation areas in those parishes.

Pedro Plains (Beacon/Little Park) in St. Elizabeth, and New Forest/Duff House, in Manchester have been chosen as irrigation areas, as contained in two Resolutions, which were approved in the Senate on November 15.

Moved by Justice Minister, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, the Resolutions – Pedro Plains (Beacon/Little Park) (Irrigation Area) Order; and the New Forest/Duff House (Irrigation Area) Order – fall under the Irrigation Act, which makes provision for the best utilisation of water available for the irrigation of special areas in Jamaica and for the conservation and use of subterranean water for those purposes.

Supporting the Resolutions, Government Senator, Norman Grant, said this is in keeping with the Ministry of Agriculture’s continued thrust to increase production and productivity in the sector.

“The initiatives are very strategic and one of the critical areas is to look at how we can get a number of irrigation schemes going, in order to provide our farmers across Jamaica with irrigation water, so that we can increase our production and our productivity,” he said.

“It is schemes like these and the provision of a framework that is going to allow small farmers to get on with production, and to ensure that there is a sustained economic path of growth and development in the economy,” added Senator Grant, who is also President of the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS).

In his contribution to the debate, Government Senator, Lambert Brown, argued that irrigation is critical to production and production is critical to growth.

He noted that by providing more water to farmers, “like the 800 farmers in Duff House and Pedro Plains and the 800 hectares of farm land to benefit from this irrigation,” this will contribute to further economic growth.

Also voicing his support for the Resolutions, Government Senator, K.D. Knight, said he is pleased that farmers will now “be in a better position to improve their productivity and increase production.”

“I think this is a good day for the nation…for the producers in our society, as we move to a fuller understanding of the importance of the agricultural sector to the survival of countries like ours,” he said.

In the meantime, Opposition Senator, Kavan Gayle, also expressed his support of the Resolutions, which he said come at a critical time when farmers need the assistance required for growth.

“I hope that this move will be extended to other farmers throughout this country at a time when they badly need it,” he said.

Senator Gayle implored the Government to ensure that the programme is sustainable, “because once it is sustained, then it is clear it should be a vehicle to create further employment.”

Opposition Senator, Robert Montague, who also supported the Resolutions, further called on the Government to consider lowering the cost of irrigated water, thereby lessening production costs for farmers.

The Senate also approved the Financial Services Commission (Amendment of Fourth Schedule) Order, which speaks to certain fees regarding the insurance industry.