Farming equipment, including excavators and other earth-moving machines are currently on their way to Antigua and Barbuda from China.
That’s according to Agriculture Minister, Dean Jonas, who suggested that this means that the modernisation of the sector is now in implementation stages.
The Chinese-based Yuan Longping High-Tech Agriculture Company (LPHT) is the entity which will be providing technical assistance to the agriculture sector valued at between eight to ten million dollars.
Jonas said that while the project was met with a lot of negativity by some farmers, who claimed that the government was giving away lands to the Chinese, they are beginning to see tangible benefits.
“A lot of the equipment was shipped already. They are not here yet, but I suspect that within the next few weeks they will be here,” Jonas told OBSERVER media.
He also indicated that the rollout of the Chinese program will begin in earnest early next year.
“The Chinese are actually waiting on the arrival of the equipment and in the meantime about nine engineers are here assessing the situation and providing training to local farmers,” he added.
A marketing study is in the works for farmers in Antigua and Barbuda, according to Jonas.
“We are now completing our marketing studies and then we will do a production plan for farmers and seek a meeting with them,” he added.
He said that the Chinese will donate money totaling eight million dollars to purchase equipment for that particular project.