Minister of Agriculture, David Estwick, purchasing items at a recent Farmers Market event. (FP)

There is some good news for local farmers.?? The Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC) is working to upgrade and expand its irrigation infrastructure.

This is according to the BADMC’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Skeete, who said the project was being carried out through the Agricultural Development Fund Grant.

"We are currently building some pump houses, [and] replacing obsolete equipment with new ones. We are also waiting on some new equipment in terms of pumps etc. to outfit the existing 12 irrigation districts to make the operations more efficient," he pointed out.

Mr. Skeete added that as part of the expansion process, the BADMC has outfitted two areas in St. Philip with smart metres.??

"They are working relatively well and if we do a cost benefit analysis and we determine it is best to outfit the remainder of the irrigation districts, then we will do so," he remarked.

Earlier this year, BADMC officials joined Minister of Agriculture, Dr. David Estwick, and other agriculture officials to tour Newcastle, St. John, in an effort to address some of the chronic water problems which have been affecting farmers.

According to Mr. Skeete, that committee has already met and work has started to help alleviate the shortages.

"A site visit has been done and they have examined the existing structures that are there. [They] are now in the process of putting together a proposal in order to link up the spring, so that water which is currently flowing [freely] will soon be available to the farmers," the CEO pointed out.

The project will be a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Agriculture, the BADMC and farmers in the Newcastle area.

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