Retrofitted NIC pump station in Clarendon to reduce pollution, spendingMonday, March 01, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, commissioned a 120-kilowatt, grid-tied, solar-powered pump station at Ebony Park in Clarendon, stating that the retrofitted pump station would lead to a reduction in pollution as well as an annual savings of $4.8 million.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony for the $32.2-million retrofitted Ebony Park Pump Station in Clarendon on February 24, Green commended the National Irrigation Commission (NIC) for its efforts to ensure its operations are more environment-friendly and cost-effective.
According to the ministry, the upgraded pump station will reduce carbon emissions by 145 metric tonnes annually and is one of five solar projects implemented by the Commission. It said it serves some 172 farmers operating on the 678 hectares of land.
Noting the effect of climate change on the agricultural sector with the recent flood rains in October which resulted in over $2 billion in damage to the sector, Green commended the farmers for their resilience and high level of production despite being among the worst affected by the rains.
He said production by the 76 farmers in the Ebony Park Agro-Park moved from 626,404 kilogrammes in 2017 to 955,199 in 2019. With some 612,835 kilogrammes produced up to December, valued at approximately $6.26 million, the agriculture minister said he was expecting a bumper crop by the end of the financial year.
He added that through the Agro-Investment Corporation, contracts were signed for farmers to provide 2,000lbs of sweet potatoes, 400lbs okra, and 900lbs of pumpkin to a local supermarket chain as well as export of pumpkin and sweet potato to the United Kingdom.
Green further noted that with Southern Plains Agricultural Development Project now under way in Clarendon, an additional 795 hectares of land would be irrigated and facilities for storage and processing would be constructed.
“We have identified this Clarendon area, all of these lands that used to be in sugar cane, is being transitioned into other crops so that agriculture can grow,” he said.
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