It has been proven time and time again, that water is the sustainable life force to all living things. Once again the importance of water management in the Agricultural Sector was brought to the fore as a result of the continued works to expand the banana industry in Saint Lucia. The SFA 2000 Programme was in fact a continuation of the SFA 1999 Banana Commercialization Programme, which sought to provide irrigation and drainage facilities to support increased banana production. The SFA 2000 funding programme was implemented to continue the efforts in this area with the project on five sites:
As with the SFA 1999 Programme, the projects were put out to tender both locally and internationally. The bids for the two (2) irrigation projects were won by the French company, FARMEX and the contracts for the three (3) remaining projects awarded to local companies Hippolyte Equipment Services Ltd. and Phoenix Construction Co. Ltd. The Roseau Valley Drainage entailed the excavation of 34km of drains, the installation of twenty-one (21) culverts reinstatement of 180 meters of road. The Cul-De-Sac Drainage, the scale of which was reduced due to some of the works funded by another agency entailed, the excavation of 3.3 kilometers of drainage, the installation of four (4) culverts and the construction of a drainage wall and road.
The first of the SFA 2000 projects commenced in August 2003 and were without delays, with the exception of the Roseau Reservoir where completion was delayed due to the frequent rains during the hurricane season.
All the projects were successfully completed within the budgeted allocations of the EU. The funding under the SFA 2000 Grant Contract, managed by the BIT, totaled EC$11.2 million of which EC$9.8 million was spent on capital works. With savings from the two drainage projects, approval was sought and received to utilize EC$1.0 million to install “Off-Farm” Irrigation infrastructure on about 100 acres in Marquis Valley. The works commenced in October 2006 and were completed by 31 December, 2006. The handover to the farmers was done by mid-March of 2007.
All of the SFA 2000 Programmes were completed at the end of December 2006 and the closure report as of 31 December 2006 was completed and forwarded to the NAO/EU Delegation.