Sunday, 30 December 2012

Agriculture Ministry getting the job done

Tasks assigned to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and Water Resource Management are well under way. 

This was disclosed by head of that Ministry, Dr. David Estwick, recently when he gave an account of some of the major projects and programmes undertaken during his two-year stewardship. 

He revealed that since having ministerial responsibility for the portfolio, his department had been tasked with five major projects.

“We were tasked with getting the new headquarters for the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) started and it is going up. 

“We were tasked with providing three million gallons of water to St. Philip and Christ Church and we have done that. The contract has been awarded to Potable Water Supply and they will find three million gallons of water, ensuring that all the developments in the south and east of the country are sorted out,” he told the media.

Dr. Estwick went on to point out that his Ministry was tasked with creating molasses storage facilities to sustain the rum industry, and this is being done. He also acknowledged that the 2010 budget spoke to the Tractor Cultivation Scheme, and that is currently in progress with the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (BADMC).

The Agriculture Minister further indicated that the last major task to be undertaken is the transformation of the sugar industry to a sugar cane industry.

“That process is very far advanced, and we are working with a Chinese company known as CMEC, which is the sixth largest Chinese state corporation, and they are going to be dealing with the engineering aspects. We are also working with a regional and local consortium because the way the Chinese Import Export Bank works is that they would have one of their state corporations come to them for the funding and then the Chinese corporation would then deal with the engineering aspects. You also must have a domestic component and that is now being put together and we should have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by this week. So, hopefully early in the new year we will be dealing with that operation down at Andrews Sugar Factory,” Dr. Estwick said.

He added that for the first time they will be producing 150 000 megawatts of electricity into the grid and they will also be able to produce ‘A’ and ‘B’ Strike Molasses for the rum industry.

“The other aspect of that sugar cane transformation is to make sure that we go back to the production of fancy molasses, and we are going to be producing bulk sugar for domestic and local consumption,” Dr. Estwick revealed. (TL)
Original Article here

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