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Farmers ‘still getting’ water subsidy


Kendy

Farmers ‘still getting’ water subsidy
Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir (second left), permanent secretary Terry Bascombe (right), head of the Agricultural Services Unit at the ministry Arlie Connelly (second right) and Mount Poyer farmer Nicole Rollins (left) looking on as manager of agricultural services at the BADMC Dr Jamekal Andwele place a box of seedlings near a garden bed. (Picture by Tonia Atwell)

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Despite the pushback from some sections of the farming community about the new water rate, Government says it is providing a subsidy for the much-needed resource.

Minister of Agriculture Indar Weir made the point yesterday during a site visit with other agriculture officials at Mount Poyer, St Lucy, to get an idea of how things were progressing at that farming district since land was allocated to farmers who graduated from the FEED (Farmers Empowerment and Enfranchisement Drive) programme.

“The commercial rate for water [from the Barbados Water Authority] has not changed. That starts at $4.66 per cubic metre and can go as high as $7.66. The rate that farmers will be paying commercially is $1.80, so however you look at it even if the cost is borne by the BWA or if the BADMC (Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation) has to carry the additional cost, it is still being subsidised by Government,” he said.

“This is a significant point to note because the reason why this is being done is that Government has a commitment to ensure the small farmers are supported.” (SB)

 

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