Livestock Farmers Receive Water Tanks – St. Lucia Times

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

The Unleashing the Blue Economy of the Caribbean (UBEC) Project has executed a critical project initiative with the procurement of 500 water tanks for distribution to various livestock farmers across St. Lucia.

The aim is to ensure consistent water supply to sustain and increase livestock production.

The distribution commenced in the Cul De Sac Area, with livestock farmers in Ferrand’s Estate, receiving 1000-gallon water tanks.

UBEC expects that the distribution of 500 water tanks will be completed within the coming weeks.

This project follows swiftly on the heals of the recent distribution of 34, 000 bags of fertilizer to banana and plantain, tree and root crop and vegetable farmers, across the length and breadth of Saint Lucia.

Other support initiatives for livestock farmers to be unleashed shortly include strengthening the animal breeding programme for ruminants, swine and cattle. This will involve the importation of new bloodlines and the establishment of an artificial insemination lab.

The UBEC Project is a USD 29 million initiative of the Government of Saint Lucia being executed by the Ministry of Finance, with funding from the World Bank.

This project aims to stimulate economic recovery in St. Lucia, by supporting marine and coastal resilience within the tourism, fisheries, and waste management sectors.

The support for livestock farmers is a complementary component of the UBEC project to provide assistance in the event of an eligible crisis through the Crisis Response Window (CRW).

In addition to the blue economy objectives, the project is also responding to the country’s food insecurity crisis with targeted support to the Ministry of Agriculture.

This component of the project has a one-year time frame ending December 31st 2024 and comprises fifty-seven (57) activities aimed at providing direct assistance to farmers and fisherfolk, to augment their productivity and ensure the sustainability of their livelihoods.

Speaking on the distribution of the water tanks to livestock farmers, UBEC Project Manager, Mrs. Shermaine Clauzel explained how linkages among economic sectors is critical in dealing with the food insecurity crisis.

“We look forward to continuing our support to the farmers and fishers who are the gatekeepers of not just food security, but nutrition as well. If local food production diminishes further, and financial resources remain at their current levels among households, there is the very real threat to our nation’s health from chronic diseases such as heart disease, hypertension and diabetes; as cheap imports, high in salt and sugar and low in nutritional content, increasingly become unhealthy staples. Our efforts, therefore, are multi-fold, focusing on resilience and enhancement of the agricultural sector to guard against the high cost and uncertainties of imported food, but also to secure the health of citizens.”

It is expected that Saint Lucia’s blue economy can drive substantial growth through improved sectoral collaboration, access to financing for blue economy small businesses, strengthening of climate resilience initiatives, and increased employment opportunities, amongst others.