Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Indar Weir, is assuring farmers that his ministry is working assiduously to address the challenges with water being experienced by farmers at Riverland, St. Philip.
The assurance comes in light of a recent report in a section of the media which suggested otherwise. Mr. Weir noted with regret that he was at no time contacted by the entity on the accuracy of the claims made in the report.
Describing the report as “erroneous and unfortunate”, he pointed out that although he was never officially contacted by any group of farmers for assistance, he has visited the area on numerous occasions.
The most recent visit being three weeks ago, during which he was accompanied by the Chief Agricultural Officer and Deputy Chief Agricultural Officer.
The purpose of the visit, he explained, was to scope the area regarding the continuous clearing of the water stream.
“Officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security have identified 50 acres of land, as well as have agreed to clear the stream of plant growth, which is impeding the natural flow in the area. This work will be carried out by the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC).
“The BADMC is also working on a new irrigation system as part of measures to ensure access to water during drought conditions,” Minister Weir stated.
Additionally, he said officials have agreed to consult the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance regarding the clearance of any impediment to the natural water flow in accordance with Riparian water rights.
Mr. Weir is also reassuring farmers that his ministry is committed to ensuring the protection of their livelihoods.