Prime Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley insisted that his government’s work in the agricultural sector had seen real progress. And despite the setbacks, Dr Wheatley said his government was ready to deliver on its promises to increase agricultural production.
Asked at a press conference recently about his rhetoric and why farmers still seemed to be suffering even after years of promises, Premier Wheatley, who was formerly Minister of Agriculture, said he had been frustrated along the way with “bureaucratic processes”.
“I don’t agree that it’s just pure conversation. Certainly, we have made a lot of tangible progress over the past three years,” said Premier Wheatley.
“You know, we have processes – we have a budget process, you have legal processes – you have all kinds of other time-consuming bureaucratic processes. I would like these things to happen much faster, but unfortunately, this is where we are, ”explained the Prime Minister.
According to him, it is therefore the duty of the elected official to push for streamlining the processes and making them more effective and efficient.
The Prime Minister further argued that it is not just elected officials who must make government work more efficiently.
“We also need the civil service – which is led by the governor – to make sure that we streamline the processes, make them less bureaucratic so that we can serve the people,” Premier Wheatley said.
We brought back the fair
In the meantime, the Prime Minister sought to highlight a number of his government’s achievements in the sector, expressing his joy that the Agricultural Fair has returned after a few years of absence. He promised an even bigger event in the future.
According to the Prime Minister, the Water and Sewerage Department (WSD) has also made real efforts to deliver water to farmers, especially in the Paraquita Bay area.
“They (WSD) have run a brand new pipe from the Sabbath Hill Reservoir from the Spring Ghut area to Paraquita Bay to help farmers draw water there,” Dr Whealtey said. .
Before that, the Prime Minister explained, farmers received free water from a cistern. He also noted that this cistern will eventually be used by the treatment plant.
The Prime Minister also highlighted the development of a water policy by his government and insisted that the much talked about reservoir promised by his government will come to fruition.
“We have identified the resources needed to complete the reservoir,” he said.
The Prime Minister further assured that a Money Services Amended Bill recently passed by the House of Assembly (HOA) provided an allocation of $1.9 million for the agriculture and fisheries sector. .
Dr Wheatley said the amount will allow the government to procure the long-promised reservoir and begin rebuilding the agriculture and fisheries complex destroyed by hurricanes five years ago.
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