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Antigua: Government to pay for water and electricity in Chinese project

Antigua and Barbuda will be bearing the cost of providing water and electricity for the project with the Chinese company, Yuan Longping High-Tech Agriculture Company (LPHT).

Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs, Colin O’Keiffe made the revelation on Observer AM yesterday.

“Most of [the electricity and water supply costs] will be covered by us, by Antigua and Barbuda because those activities are conducted at Green Castle and Diamonds, which are basically government-controlled facilities.” he said.

Director for Agriculture, Jedidiah Maxim, who also participated in the radio programme, said that he was not concerned about the impact that the project will have on the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) water supplies.

“You have to plan for rain,” he said adding that, “we recognise that there is a constraint on water right now and the water division of the APUA is being subsidised by the electricity division and are under serious constraints. But we cannot say because of those constraints we cannot do anything.”

The director pointed to Israel as an example of a thriving agriculture industry with little rainfall.

“[Israel] [has a] thriving agriculture industry because they are using innovative ways and approaches to supply water and some of these approaches are things we are looking at,” he said. 

The agreement between LPHT and the Antiguan and Barbuda government will grant the Chinese company thirty-five acres of land for three  years for experimentation and demonstration purposes.

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