It’s applause all??round by BAMC officials and local farmers, after??the Minister of Agriculture, Food Fisheries and Water Resource??Management, Dr. David Estwick (right of sign) officially launches the New Castle Irrigation Project yesterday. (A. Miller/BGIS)??

The chronic water shortages which have plagued farmers in Newcastle, St. John are now a thing of the past with the construction of a new irrigation system by the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC).

At yesterday’s launch, Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management, Dr. David Estwick, expressed special thanks to landowners in the area, because without their support, he said, the project would not have been possible.

He explained that the new system would ensure that farmers who cultivated some 150 acres of farm land in Newcastle would be able to access water for agricultural services.

The Agriculture Minister added that this was only the start and his ministry, through the BADMC, would be working to bring further relief to farmers in the area soon.

"This aspect is with regard to a district of 150 acres, divided into an eastern and western side. We are pleased that we can bring some relief on the western side. We will be working towards the eastern side very shortly because we recognise that there is similar topography [in the area] and as a result of that, there may be water flowing in those areas, while persons are starving for water to irrigate their various produce," he pointed out.

BADMC Irrigation Engineer, Edmund Brathwaite, said the project, which was ongoing for many years, was a joint collaboration between his department and the farmers, through the Scotland District Farmers Association.

He explained that the catchment for the new irrigation system, which harvests water from a nearby spring, was about 292 cubic meters or 64, 000 gallons of water.


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