SVTP Task Team Leader Mr. Joop Stoutjesdijk interacting with the Minister during the visit

The SVTP had the privilege of hosting the Minister of Agriculture Honorable Lobin Lowe MP at the Shire Valley construction site on 12th June 2021. This was the second monitoring visit the Minister undertook to the site to monitor the progress of the project. The first visit was in November 2020.

The project has made good progress in the construction of the Intake and the first 6km of the Main Canal. So far, the following structures have been constructed: 13 out of 14 drainage works, two cut-off walls at the Intake, one bridge completed and another under construction, one siphon under construction, excavation and paving of the canal is still in progress.

Speaking during the visit Honourable Lowe emphasized the need for investment in knowledge to beneficiaries for greater buy-in into commercial farming and planning for farming high-value crops.

โ€œWe need to invest a lot into building capacity of the farmers as they prepare for commercial farming. We have to work hard in identifying markets for high-value crops our farmers will grow. There is a need for proper planning and market surveys. As a Ministry, we are committed to ensuring that this huge investment becomes a reality,” he said.

Parliamentary Committee during the meeting

The Programme also hosted the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture on 13th June 2021. The Committee visited the project to appreciate the progress made by the project since construction commenced in April 2020 and to understand more about the project.

Speaking during the site tour, Chairperson of the Committee, Honorable Sameer Suleman MP, expressed satisfaction with the progress made on site.

โ€œThe concept of the Shire Valley Irrigation Scheme has been on the drawing board for over 80 years. It is an honor to witness the fulfillment of the vision in our lifetime. This project will transform agriculture in the country. We are committed to providing all support the project needs for easy implementation,” he said.