The long awaited reaping of produce from the greenhouses at Paraquita Bay has been extended again due to discussions between Government and the greenhouses owner IBT.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, Mr. Ronald Smith-Berkeley told legislators that IBT sent correspondence to the Ministry, and that there were still discussions being held with the Ministry of Finance and the Attorney General’s Chambers as it relates to the direction forward.
Mr. Berkeley stated that the company would only need three months to have the greenhouses fully operational, and the Ministry of Natural Resources anticipates that by the 2017 agricultural exhibition the facilities would be producing.
The Permanent Secretary also disclosed that the cost of making the greenhouses functional is $1.5 million dollars. He stated that the amount would cover the irrigation and computerization of the greenhouses, as only the casing is available at the moment.
Additionally the Permanent Secretary stated that the funding would also take care of the replacement of the covering and pay for the labour.
Last year during the World Food Day celebrations that were held on 16 October Mr. Berkeley announced that the greenhouses remain a key part of Government’s food security plan
In a speech on behalf of Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr. the Honourable Kedrick Pickering, Mr. Berkeley stated that with the implementation of the greenhouse technology there will be an increase in the production of short crops in the Territory.