Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick; BWA General Manager, Dr. John Mwansa; and Israeli Ambassador, Mordehai Bivas, during their recent meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture. (A.Miller/BGIS)

Barbados is moving to develop policies and legislation to assist in creating a modern agricultural platform, which could include aquaponics, hydroponics and greenhouses.

To facilitate these developments, Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, met with Israeli Ambassador, Mordehai Bivas; at his Graeme Hall, Christ Church office recently, to discuss a range of issues. Also present was General Manager of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), Dr. John Mwansa.

Dr. Estwick said it was hoped that Barbados would be able to draw on the expertise of the Israelis in the areas of waste water management and reuse. He explained that assistance with developing policy and legislation would be useful, especially as the BWA sought to move towards establishing a waste water division.

BWA General Manager, Dr. John Mwansa, said efforts were being made to develop a Water Supply Master Plan with the Caribbean Development Bank over the next two years, and a Sanitation Master Plan over the next two to three years.

However, he stressed that technical assistance in the area of training would be required, particularly in the areas of ground water recharge, waste water reuse and the standards which should be applied.

The General Manager explained that Government would look primarily at the non-potable uses of the water in an effort to augment the island’s water supply and alleviate the impact of climate change.

The Israeli Ambassador noted that there were problems with water in the region, and suggested that different forms of technology be examined to counter this issue. He explained that while Israel was in a desert, it did not have an issue with its water supply due to the installation of desalination and treatment plants to treat waste water.

“There are solutions,” he maintained, noting that the Agricultural Research Institute in Israel catered to all types of situations and could possibly find a solution the region’s problem.

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