Farmers across the country continue to contend with a number of challenges that impact their production and profits, among them the provision of water.
Minister of Agriculture Samantha Marshall says she is cognizant that existing drought conditions still hamper production on farms and threaten the country’s food-security ambitions.
As a result, the Ministry will be submitting a proposal for the provision of water tanks to farmers operating within the six agricultural zones, including Barbuda.
Antigua Labour Party representatives have already embarked on the distribution of water tanks to households. The tanks were purchased with taxpayers’ money – reportedly through the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHAPA) – while some were said to be donated by the People’s Republic of China.
Meanwhile, the United Progressive Party – which introduced the concept of the water-tank distribution to farmers through its WATER Programme – is hoping that this prospective venture to farmers will not be made political, as is the case with the household initiative.
Reportedly, only known supporters of the Labour Party are being given tanks, or those that MP’s hope will vote for the party in the upcoming General Elections.
The UPP has been decrying this action, referring to it as bribery.