Government commissions expanded water access for Clarks Town farmers in Trelawny

Contributed by Our Today

A new pumping station, ramp and water truck have been commissioned in the community of Clarks Town, Trelawny, to benefit farmers in the area.

The commissioning was spearheaded by the National Irrigation Commission (NIC).

At the handover ceremony held on Thursday (October 5), Agriculture Minister Floyd Green said the commissioning is to ensure that a massive leap is being taken in farming in the parish.

He pointed out that the ramp became operational in February 2023, and it came about through the rehabilitation of a well and the construction of a ramp, which represents an investment of J$15.6 million.

“The well is producing a staggering 950 gallons of water per minute and will be a game changer in ensuring that we have access to a number of communities, but we appreciate that if we just have the well rehabilitated and we have the ramp, we still have challenges moving the water to you at a reasonable cost,” he explained.

He added that considering this, the Government purchased a water truck at a cost of J$19.3 million, with a capacity of more than 4,400 gallons, a pump head of 16 metres and a pumping capacity of 500 gallons per minute.

“I know several farmers will reap the benefits of these investments. What we are doing is not just preparing for now but ensuring that as we move forward, we are better able to serve,” Green outlined.

Meanwhile, the minister lauded the farmers and highlighted that the parish has the most potential agriculturally.

“Trelawny has the greatest opportunity to move forward in agriculture for a few reasons. Not only do you have the land and wonderful flat terrain but you also have markets, and if you go just 20 to 25 miles [from here] you will see the construction of additional hotel rooms to bring expanded markets to the people of Trelawny,” he said.

NIC board chairman Nigel Myrie, said the agency continues to deliver on its mandate to provide world-class irrigation services to the agricultural sector.

He added that it is not always easy to fund irrigation systems, “so we must find innovative ways to bring water to farmers”.

As part of the irrigation thrust in the parish, the NIC in collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) will be distributing some 20 irrigation kits to farmers in the parish. Each kit will comprise two rolls of drip irrigation hoses and a 1,000-gallon water tank.