Update on Agriculture & Housing Ministry Activities
The Ministry of Agriculture, Trade, Lands, Housing and Environment (MATLHE) celebrated National Tree Planting Day on Wednesday 5th December. MATLHE also scheduled a Tour to assess achievements in the field, as well as, evaluate the implementation of its key strategies for 2018/19. While on tour the team, led by the Honorable Minister, Mr. David
Osborne, visited the following sites and projects:
- Brades Field Station – Nursery and Aquaponics site Agricultural Extension Officer, Lorenzo Greaves gave a description and outlined some benefits of aquaponics as well as ongoing plans for the relocation of the plant
nursery to the site. The Ministry recognizes the need to attract younger farmers and also to incorporate the use of ICT in the agricultural sector.
The Ministry is committed to increasing the supply of locally grown vegetables. Over the years, it has been working with farmers to develop the agricultural sector. While on tour, the Hon. Minister, Mr. David Osborne and his “A Team” visited the farm of Ms. Florabel Allen. At this open field site, there were a variety of vegetables being cultivated including carrots, cabbages sweet potatoes and corn.
- Barzey Livestock Station Improvement Works – Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Selvyn Maloney was on hand to speak about the progress of work on the Barzey’s Livestock Station. He spoke of the health of the imported Boer goats and shared plans for hosting a workshop on proper nutrition for semi-intensive livestock rearing to interested farmers.
- Social Housing Project – The tour took the ministry to Mongo Hill for a site inspection and project status update at the home being constructed by Vernia Joseph, a recipient of the H.O.M.E (Home) Motivates Everyone) Programme. Ground was broken at the site on February 2018 and Miss Joseph will be moving into her new home for Christmas.
- At Dick Hill, progress was seen with another Social Housing Project. The home of Leroy Ryan is nearing completion and he too will be moving into his new home for Christmas.
The Ministry confirms that at least 10 new homes will be completed and occupied in this financial year under the various social housing programmes. It was also announced that four vulnerable households will benefit from the Home Improvement – Toilet Projects as the Housing Unit continues its drive to improve the living conditions of Montserrat’s vulnerable households with the provision of access to indoor toilet and shower facilities. The team at MATLHE met on site at Underwood (Dyer Piece) with one of the beneficiaries.
The Ministry was happy to announce the re-introduction of Onion Cultivation on Montserrat. The Project Site of one of the farmers in the Blakes Mountain area was visited.
Leroy Weekes has planted an acre of onions using a seeder machine. The onions, as observed, appeared in healthy condition.
- DFID funded Social Housing Project – Site Visit to Lot #192 at Davy Hill
Status update on site by Mr. David Tuitt of DarJav Inc. The Contractor was awarded the contract to construct 4 two-bedroom houses. Two of these houses are at an advanced stage of completion and the keys will be handed over in the next few days.
The Contractor has given commitment to finish these homes before Christmas 2018.The practical completion date set is 23 December 2018.