Major Upgrades Ahead for Farm Access Roads

The Government of Dominica will soon undertake several projects to address concerns of farmers across the country.

Minister for Public Works, Hon. Rayburn Blackmoore met with the media personnel last week to address a series of construction projects planned to upgrade the state of farm access roads on island.  This is in keeping with Governments policy to upgrade and maintain physical infrastructure within the country.

Eighteen feeder roads totaling about thirty kilometres will soon make life easier for 890 farmers.

The scope of those works is in the region of 2.5 million dollars.

According to the Minister high producing farming areas have been given primary consideration.

“If I were to just give an idea of specific locations so one gets a sense, we’re talking about Calibishie, Wesley, Belles, Cuba/Mero, Macoucherie, Salisbury, Woodford Hill, Riviere Cyrique, La Plaine, Grand Bay, Colihaut, Bense, Paix Bouche, Vieille Case and Capuchin.”

“I want to underscore a very important fact, the Ministry of Public Works was informed by the Ministry of Agriculture as to the most productive areas and as a consequence we have decided to place emphasis on those priority areas.”

Works in Belles and Cuba Road, Mero have already begun.

The Minister also noted that local contractors will be in charge of those jobs.

“The expectation is to engage a number of local contractors.  We’re looking at an aggregate of twenty local contractors and based on the ministry’s analysis, we can make the projection that at least one hundred and sixty people will be employed over a twelve week period. That is the time we expect it will take to complete the eighteen feeder roads.”

Minister Blackmoore described exactly what the upgrades entail.

“We’re looking at improvement to the concrete drains, vegetation control and the actual surfacing of the respective roads.  In most cases, we’ll be using concrete.”

Hon Blackmoore believes the upgrade of farm access roads is a positive first step towards long-term progress on the island.

While Government is focusing on agriculturally productive areas of the country at this point it does intends to pay attention to the other areas.

“The intention is to address a combination of one hundred and nine kilometres of feeder roads. Of course one has to be informed by some critical information.  We are targeting the areas where we have productive farming first and then gradually address the other areas with farming activities.”