Jamaica News: Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green, says the Pedro Plains Irrigation Feasibility Study has been completed.
The study was jointly undertaken by the Governments of Jamaica and France to establish an irrigation system that will provide the farmers of Pedro Plains in St. Elizabeth with water from the Black River, which flows through the parish.
Mr. Green said the project will boost the availability of water for more than 4,000 farmers when implemented.
“The good thing is that the Black River has enough carrying capacity to satisfy the needs of those 4,000 farmers, [and] that there is a way to get it done. But it will take a significant capital investment; in fact, when we look at the preliminary cost, we’re looking at somewhere in the region of US$150 million,” the State Minister indicated.
He was speaking at the recent Eat Jamaican Day exposition on the lawns of Devon House in St. Andrew.
Mr. Green emphasised that “no cost can be too high” to bring water to one of the country’s most productive farming regions.
“The truth is, if we want to move Jamaica forward, we have to remove these barriers and make it easier for our people to get into farming and to stay in farming,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Green is encouraging young people to give consideration to agriculture as a viable career for pursuit.
“Oftentimes when our children are doing well in school… when we see them and we say they are bright, we encourage them to go into fields like law and medicine; we don’t pick out the bright ones and say, ‘you should be doing farming’,” he argued.
The State Minister contended that “we need to change that narrative in this new Jamaica that we are building”.
“I want to see some of the best and brightest from the classroom go out into the fields, because the agriculture we are building will require the best and brightest minds,” he added.
The Eat Jamaican campaign, now in its 16th year, is spearheaded by the Ministry, Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), and the Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) under the theme ‘Grow What We Eat, Eat What We Grow’.