Govt to expand irrigation services

May 10, 2017
A produce display at the Denbigh Agriculture Show last year.
Ian Allen/Photographer Karl Samuda, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.

The Government has begun discussions with the Caribbean Development Bank with a view to expanding irrigation services on the island.

"If we are serious about increasing agricultural productivity and production, we have to address, in a fundamental way, the issue of irrigation expansion," Samuda said in parliament on Tuesday.

"This is what will make a qualitative difference to agriculture in Jamaica and help us to move from sporadic growth, depending on rainfall, to a constantly increasing trend of growth," he added.

The agricultural sector grew by 12.8 per cent last year, due mainly to better weather conditions in 2016.

"This is not sustainable, particularly in the southern belt of the country, which is our major food-producing area and where thousands of acres of mechanizeable lands are available to be put into production," Samuda said.