The National Irrigation Commission Limited (NIC), an agency of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, announces that its Board of Directors has named Dr. Mark Richards as Chief Executive Officer.
In his new role, Dr. Richards will be responsible for, among other things, managing and coordinating the operations of all divisions within the NIC and directing studies of the current and projected national needs for irrigation services in Jamaica. He has also been tasked with fostering partnerships with various stakeholders from within the public and private sectors as well as international development partners to fulfill NIC’s role in meeting the government’s objectives for agricultural growth, food security and national development.
An environmental specialist for over ten years, he has worked in several capacities within agencies of the Government of Jamaica in the areas of environment management and planning, climate science and project management. He previously served as highway construction monitoring consultant with the National Environment Protection Agency, and as an environmental engineer at the National Works Agency where he was extensively involved in major projects involving roads, buildings and drainage.
Dr. Richards holds a Doctorate in Atmospheric Environmental Chemistry from the University of the West Indies and has training in the management of climate change and eco-systems from Seoul National University and University of California. Additionally, he completed undergraduate studies in pure and applied chemistry at the University of the West Indies, where he worked as an assistant lecturer in applied chemistry and unit processes in industrial chemistry.
Dr. Richards, who is also a farmer, serves as a member of the National Air Quality and Disaster Risk Reduction Committees.
The National Irrigation Commission Limited is the sole provider of irrigation to the agricultural sector. The organisation operates irrigation services within the districts of Yallahs, St. Thomas; Mid-Clarendon; Braco, Trelawny; St. Dorothy, Rio Cobre and Colbeck, St. Catherine; New Forest/Duff House in Manchester; Hounslow and Beacon/Little Park, St. Elizabeth and Seven Rivers in St. James.