Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Samal Duggins says providing fresh water remains a top priority for agricultural uses, and desalination is a viable option being considered.
During an appearance on InFocus, he shared his hopefulness for water in the agriculture sector.
“What we have been discussing, is as we improve [desalination], we take the strain off of some of our wells and our rivers.
Like I said, we could divert some of that natural ground water as well as underground water into agriculture. And so, we’ve been looking at what are the feasible wells that we could direct and divert into agriculture; what rivers that are running now that we could stem and send into agriculture production. Because, that water is generally better for agriculture anyway… It’s just a matter now of trying to get past the immediate challenge [of water shortage] that really hit us over the last two years. Where the rainfall is just significantly less than anyone imagined that no one could prepare for, but we are not looking at it and being lost. We are actively tackling the problem.”
The minister said there have been collaborative meetings with the water department. He gave an insight into some of the discussions had.
“Yes, we’ve had these discussions…both ministries and the technical officers so the PS and I would have met with Mr. Williams and others to discuss intently. How do we share the water supply? Because as much as we recognize our food producers need it for food production, we are also members of families and we need it for homes…And we are also a part of a commercial environment and they need it in businesses. And so, we have to be mindful of all of that. And again, we’ve seen efforts in improving [desalination], digging new wells. And I believe agriculture will see that impact coming through the next couple of months into 2024 and definitely into 2025.”
The conversation was held on Wednesday, October 19th against the backdrop of World Food Day, which was celebrated on Oct 16.
The theme this year is: “Water is Life, Water is Food.