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The farmers are predicting severe drought for the 2020 Dry Season

Farmers at Depot Road in Longdenville are calling on an intervention from the Ministry of Agriculture to assist in the irrigation of their crops as there is no pipe-borne water.

The farmers, who have been accessing water via a pond, are predicting severe drought for the 2020 Dry Season, similar to what they experienced last year.

The existing pond is filled with silt and is in dire need of dredging.

Speaking with the T&T Guardian, public relations officer of the Depot Road Farmers Group, Anand Boochoon explained that there is a water pump but it’s not operational.

“Because of the state of the pond with the overgrown grass, the pump is not operational. The farmers cannot get water to supply their crops in the start of the dry season,” Boochoon said.

“The pump shed was installed by WASA where lines were run to each of the farms, but the water cannot be supplied,” he added.

Boochoon said farmers are now forced to purchase their own pumps, lines and diesel supply, in order to water their crops. He said the water level in the pond is dropping because of how shallow it is and the overgrown grass makes it impossible to pump water from the pump into the farm lands.

President of the group, Christine Balchan, said there are 21 farmers in the area who grow crops on approximately 172 acres. Crops such as tomatoes, watermelon, hot pepper, pimentos and cassava are grown to provide wholesale to major vegetable markets and supermarkets throughout T&T. There are also a few poultry farmers in the area.

Christian Balchan also called on the ministry to assist with making a proper access road for them.

When contacted, Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Senator Avinash Singh, gave the assurance that he will bring the matter to the attention of the Ministry’s Engineering Division.

He also said he will pay the farmers a visit to “see how best a solution can be met”.