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Agriculture Ministry commissions Yallahs irrigation system and launches agro-park
January 24, 2014

The Yallahs Irrigation System in action at an onion field in St. Thomas at the commissioning of the system and launch of the Yallahs Agro-Park on Thursday, January 23.

Prime Minster the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller on Thursday, January 23 officially commissioned the Yallahs Irrigation System and launched the Yallahs Agro-Park on the grounds of the Yallahs Irrigation Specially Authorised Society at Yallahs in St Thomas. Both projects were implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, through the National Irrigation Commission and the Agro-Investment Corporation respectively.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Hon. Roger Clarke, said that   the provision of this irrigation system and the launch of the agro-park marked another step in his Ministry’s committed journey to advance agriculture in Jamaica so that the sector can truly realise its full potential and increase its contribution to the national economy.

Minister Clarke, in explaining the importance of the project said,“The proper management of our water resources is an essential component in achieving increased production.”

Some $1 billion has been invested in the establishment of two irrigation systems to facilitate production at New Forest/Duff House and Yallahs agro-parks in Manchester/St. Elizabeth and St. Thomas, respectively.

“Through the establishment of the parks, the Ministry is continuing the expansion of the ginger and turmeric programme to increase ginger production by 43 per cent and produce 2,300 metric tonnes of turmeric.

“We also plan to achieve increased production in Irish potato from 70 to 100 per cent of local demand within the next year through a strategic partnership with you the farmers …,’ Minister Clarke emphasised.

He further stated that production was already under way in six agro-parks and that by 2015 all nine agro-parks should be in operation.

The irrigation project is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank and was carried out under the Ministry’s National Irrigation Development Programme implemented by the National Irrigation Commission.