Farmers desirous of obtaining a number of incentives for irrigation systems, organic farming, refurbishment of wells as well as rat bait, are reminded that they can still do so through the Ministry of Agriculture.

Word of this has come from Senior Agricultural Officer, Dr. Dennis Blackman, who said that the farming community could still apply for these allowances which fall under the Agricultural Incentive Scheme.

"We want to get the message out to those interested farmers and members of the farming community that they can take full advantage of the incentives programme being offered by the Ministry.?? For example, with regard to Irrigation Systems, there is a rebate of 50 per cent of the cost of establishing an approved irrigation system to a maximum of $60,000 or up $72,000 where two or more farmers are prepared to share common facilities, or for active members of a registered Farmers Organisation," he said.

Dr. Blackman also indicated that farmers could receive a rebate for establishment of an approved water storage system for crops or livestock to mitigate the effects of drought.?? He further pointed out that there were also a number of allowances for those farmers who were involved with organic farming.

" A rebate of 50 per cent up to a maximum of $30,000 of the cost of establishing a facility to manufacture organic inputs such as pesticides, mulches, planting material, fertilisers, soil ameliorants and compost using local material, would be made available to a registered farmer’s organisation or agricultural cooperative predicated upon an acceptable business plan," the official explained.

In addition, the Senior Agricultural Officer stated there would be a return of 50 per cent up to a maximum of $7,500 per farm per annum of the cost of cleaning, draining and refurbishing of existing wells on farms granted to registered farmers by the Government.?? He added that a reimbursement of 50 per cent up to a maximum of $3,000 per registered farm per year would be granted towards the purchase and application of rat bait or other approved rodent extermination and control devices.

"There are two important things that I want persons to be aware of. The first is that the crop season is the best time of the year to clean wells and the ideal time to bait for rodents and, secondly, we want registered farmers or interested persons to know that once they apply and submit their receipts, the Ministry is ready and willing to assist," the Senior Officer stated.

Further information may be obtained by contacting Dr. Dennis Blackman or Jerry King at the Ministry of Agriculture, Graeme Hall, Christ Church, at telephone number 434-5000.

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