With a major focus on advancing irrigated agriculture, the National Irrigation Commission (NIC) is operating 10 irrigation schemes that cover 36,066.20 hectares in the eastern, central and western regions of Jamaica.
Addressing a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on March 19, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the NIC, Dr. Mark Richards, said the Commission has been given the mandate to manage, operate, maintain and expand existing and future irrigation schemes and systems to enable the agricultural sector to optimise production.
Pointing to the strategic transformation initiatives that have been undertaken by the NIC, to expand and improve its services to clients, Dr. Richards emphasized that repositioning the organization is critical at this time.
“Given the importance of the agricultural sector to the economy, our mission now outlines that we should be enabling an improvement in agricultural productivity, production and prosperity through the provision of reliable, efficient and affordable irrigation and related services to farmers and other customers,”, he said.
The NIC has been playing a significant role in the agro-park initiative and is providing irrigated services to eight of the nine agro-parks across the island.
According to Dr. Richards, the NIC’s planning, design and installation teams have provided services in the development of the irrigation component and other support services to farmers to ensure the success of the agro-park programme.
“We are cognizant of the significant value of the agro-park initiative to economic growth and development, so we are committed to their success and we are doing all we can to ensure their implementation,” he added.
The NIC was established by an Act of Parliament in 1987 and operates under the Irrigation Act of 1949. The NIC is licensed to extract and deliver water under the Water Resources Authority (WRA).
Source: Judith Hunter, Jamaica Information Service
Photo: Donald Delahaye, Jamaica Information Service