Scotland water rescue move
GOVERNMENT IS ACTIVELY seeking solutions to the irrigation problems of farmers in the Scotland District.
This following a tour of three areas of St John last week: Newcastle; Bath and Codrington College – following a request from the Scotland District Farmers Association.
Minister of Agriculture Dr David Estwick was adamant that a solution must be found in short order.
“This tour was conceived . . . to look at how to address chronic problems such as irrigation. Their view is that they are ‘starving’ for water amidst plenty water so we have come to look at the quantity of water available as well as the logistics to design solutions where water can be captured in one location,” he said during a media briefing afterwards.
The tours involved personnel from the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation, the Soil Conservation Unit and the Ministry of Agriculture.
Estwick said they now had to look at where to place catchment areas as he had seen there was enough water available for the farmers.
“I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of water flow at Codrington. We have to see how best to site catchments and also see if we can augment our potable water supply . . . but we have to do investigations to see what is the total annual flow.
“What I have to do now is ask our internal ministry and developmental partners what kind of feasibility study can take place,” he said.
The minister said they were considering short-term solutions such as water storage facilities to direct water from the hills for immediate use by the farmers while their developmental partners would be looking at long term solutions. However, he added it was all dependent on available funds.
“We are coming to the end of the financial year so we have to see if there is money in the Budget to exercise any short term solutions,” he said.
Deputy Chief Agricultural Officer Charleston Lucas said the work would be an extension of the Agricultural Development Fund’s irrigation expansion project which would be revised to meet the needs of the Scotland District Farmers. (CA)