??David Estwick, Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management. (FP)

A new Farm Mechanisation Programme is in the works and could be ???up and running’ within the next couple of months.

This was announced recently by Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, who said his Ministry was now in the process of sourcing the necessary equipment for such a scheme.

The Farm Mechanisation Programme allows small and medium-sized farmers to have access to services at concessionary rates where their land can be prepared for farming.

"All of these services would be done in a joint arrangement between the Ministry and private sector personnel… once we get that established and we are working on the dynamics of it, those persons previously who could not get their farmlands ploughed, can now do so through contacting the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation," Dr. Estwick explained.

He stressed that such a scheme would be of tremendous benefit to the local agricultural sector, particularly crop production.

"We are inundated every day with farmers complaining that they can’t get their lands ploughed, they can’t get their [crops] prepared and you can appreciate why because the large scale operators have the wherewithal and the other capacities to buy tractors and so on. Since they [small and medium-sized farmers] don’t have the capacity, the state has to intervene and create the institutional framework to assist them in enhancing their agricultural production," the Agriculture Minister maintained.


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