• JIS News

    Story Highlights

    • The National Irrigation Commission Limited (NIC) is to spend over US$1.8 million to upgrade the irrigation system at the Hill Run Agro Park in Central St. Catherine, where farmers are engaged in commercial fish production.
    • The project will involve civil, mechanical and electrical works, which will expand the irrigable areas to be served by the existing canal network, and result in efficient and equitable distribution of water to fish farms.
    • The existing irrigation system provides water to over 120 fish farm service lots covering over 734 hectares of land and this is set to increase significantly.

    The National Irrigation Commission Limited (NIC) is to spend over US$1.8 million to upgrade the irrigation system at the Hill Run Agro Park in Central St. Catherine, where farmers are engaged in commercial fish production.

    The project will involve civil, mechanical and electrical works, which will expand the irrigable areas to be served by the existing canal network, and result in efficient and equitable distribution of water to fish farms.

    The existing irrigation system provides water to over 120 fish farm service lots covering over 734 hectares of land and this is set to increase significantly.

    Addressing a JIS Think Tank on October 9, Chief Executive Officer of the NIC, Dr. Mark Richards, said  the upgraded project will improve the carrying capacity of the Turners Pen Canal from 3, 300 gallons per minute to 7, 600 gallons per minute.

    This will provide enough water to satisfy peak demand.

    Dr. Richards told JIS News that due to the prolonged drought, farmers, who are served by the Hill Run project, are now receiving water on a weekly rotation basis.

    “The drought is definitely impacting our supply and the demand, so we have to now manage that situation effectively, but we have the expertise in house who will work along with our stakeholders to provide a service that will maintain production in the agriculture sector,” he said.

    He noted that the NIC has a cadre of professionals, who have been in the irrigation system for a number of years and they continue to contribute significantly to the growth of the agriculture sector.

    Dr. Richards, in the meantime, is imploring farmers and community members to desist from tampering with NIC property, noting that a number of meters have been stolen.

    The upgrading of the Hill Run irrigation system will be carried out under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Agricultural Competitiveness Programme (ACP), which is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of Jamaica.