JIS News

Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller, on (June 11) officially commissioned into service the Seven Rivers Irrigation System, which will serve hundreds of farmers in South St. James.
The project is the second of three flagship projects to be delivered under the government’s National Irrigation Development Programme (NIDP) through some US$12 million in funding from the Inter American Development Bank (IDB).
Under the NIDP, which is being piloted by the National Irrigation Commission (NIC), some 40 irrigation systems are slated to be built by 2020.
Mrs. Simpson-Miller, in her remarks, said that she felt a sense of joy and pride as whatever was done to support agriculture “makes a difference in the lives of farmers and their families and contributed to the development of the rural areas.”
“As a daughter of the soil who grew up in a rural district, I know the tremendous contribution that our farming communities make to Jamaican life. One of the biggest problems (faced by farmers) has been access to water and that is why we are putting such emphasis on installing irrigation systems,” she stated.
She announced that, “there are many more irrigation systems to come. Another five systems are about to be constructed, with the assistance of the IDB.”
The Prime Minister noted however that irrigation was just one aspect of the government’s integrated rural development strategy, noting that the programme also covers the provision of water supply for communities, roads, electricity and housing.
She made mention of a number of water projects in St. James, including the upgrading of the Fern supply system, which was being undertaken at a cost of $13 million to benefit some 400 residents.
“The Roehampton water supply improvement project is also being undertaken at a cost of $20 million and will benefit over 2,500 residents. Elderslie water supply scheme will provide 6,500 residents in the communities of Garlands, Mocho, Flamstead, Niagra and surrounding communities with adequate and reliable water supply,” she informed.

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