Ministry of Agriculture and IICA collaborate on more sustainable farming practices to address water situation

The Ministry of Agriculture says it will be seeking to address the impact that low water-availability is having on farmers by utilizing more sustainable and modern practices in agriculture.

Ikah Fergus, an acting Agriculture Extension Officer, notes that water constitutes a major part of agriculture and is regarded as one of its key ingredients.  However, he says that, traditionally, Antigua and Barbuda is a drought-prone country, receiving very little rainfall annually.

As a result, this has impacted the ability of farmers – and the Ministry, by extension – to produce adequately.

Meanwhile, Craig Thomas, the local representative of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), says the body has been working in earnest with the Ministry of Agriculture to address the current water woes and the impact on farmers.

Thomas says that water conservation through drip irrigation is one such measure that has been investigated. 

He says that IICA is assisting the Ministry to implement technologies that will allow farmers to view agriculture from a more technical and innovative standpoint – and as less labour intensive.

Thomas says there are other different technologies that can be deployed in farming, such as the rapid multiplication bin, a system in which sprouts are used, in addition to less planting materials.