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Agriculture sector to benefit from technical support

Agriculture sector to benefit from technical support

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The agricultural sector here will soon be benefiting from technical support as it relates to water conservation methodologies.{{more}}

This will be done through the assistance from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Saboto Caesar made the disclosure yesterday following his return from an Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) meeting held in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The September 25 to 26 meeting was held under the theme “Water to feed the land.”

Caesar was among Ministers of Agriculture of the western hemisphere who attended the meeting.

The meeting discussed strategies for the development of the agriculture sector and, in particular, to analyze the relationship between water and agriculture and propose actions to promote integrated water resources management in the region.

According to the declaration of the Ministers of Agriculture Buenos Aires 2013, water availability is one of the key factors for improving agricultural productivity and, therefore, development.

The declaration further states that our hemisphere’s abundant water resources account for 46 per cent of the world total, but that the distribution and availability of water is highly uneven and varies significantly between regions and countries, as reflected in the fact that vast territories of the Americas consist of arid or semi-arid land.

It also called for the ministries of agriculture and producers to improve their capacity to make sustainable use of water used in agriculture and, at the same time, take part in policy development and in national strategies for water management, so as to guarantee sufficient supplies of water for agriculture.

“We will soon have the opportunity to obtain the technical support through IICA as to water conservation methodologies and also to some simple methods of irrigation that can be used,” the minister told SEARCHLIGHT.

Caesar also revealed that this country’s main irrigation line suffered significant damage during the April floods and Hurricane Tomas in 2010.

“Therefore, we are going to receive some technical support as to how we can do smaller to medium scale irrigation process for our farmers and also how we can improve our farm practices to incorporate methodologies that can support the whole idea of water conservation.

“The theme of water conservation and how it is done is definitely an evolving science. So, right now we are talking about the evolving science of water management and we want out farmers to be exposed to the most updated version of this science and our farmers will benefit significantly,” he added.

The agriculture minister, however, noted that there is no set date as to when this technical support will be given, due to the fact that St Vincent and the Grenadines is not among the territories that have long drought periods.

“Of course we would see a lot of the assistance going first to those places that are drought prone, because there are some places in the hemisphere that would have signalled at the meeting that they suffer from droughts up to six months per year,” he said. (AA)

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