Green commissions two new water trucks for farmers in St ElizabethMonday, April 12, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green on Friday commissioned into service two 6,000-gallon water trucks, valued at $35 million, to provide irrigation water to farmers in several farming communities in south St Elizabeth.
Noting that drought conditions have been a major concern of the farmers, many of whom have produced large quantities of melons, cantaloupes and condiments without access to irrigation water, Green said the new trucks would increase water supply to the farmers and provide significant savings for farmers.
“These two trucks will increase the capacity of the NIC (National Irrigation Commission) by 100 per cent in relation to the amount of water that we can truck weekly,” said the agriculture minister, who was speaking at a launch held at the NIC's office in Watchwell, St Elizabeth, last Friday.
The new trucks, he said, will increase supply capacity; improve service time for water delivery; and expand the reach to farmers in areas such as Top Hill, Southfield, Congo Hole, Seaview, Santa Cruz, Middlesex, Slipe, Burnt Savannah, Mountainside, Billy's Bay, Treasure Beach and Sandy Bank.
This expanded supply of water, Green said, will allow for more farmers to have access to irrigation water and would make a significant difference in the farmers' return on investment as well as lower their cost of production.
The trucking of water is part of a wider drive by the ministry in the southern St Elizabeth belt to south Manchester to bring water to farmers to include the Essex Valley Agricultural Development Project where work is under way and the Pedro Plains Irrigation Scheme where a feasibility study has been completed and financing is being actively pursued with the French government.
Additionally, the ministry said loading bays are to be expanded by the NIC to include separate stations to accommodate smaller vans/trucks to reduce their turnaround time and cost.
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