You can now listen to Antigua News articles!
By Aabigayle McIntosh
The government remains unrelenting in its plans to repurpose the lands at Dunbar’s Agriculture Station for a planned Housing Development.
The lands are being cleared to make way for the start of a social housing project, however, workers attached there are calling on the authorities to pause the excavation work to save vital crops that have been planted at the site.
Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Lionel Hurst told Reporters on Thursday that no grace period will be granted outside of the time that has already been allotted.
“We are going to be building houses there, we are no longer going to be using it as an experimental station. We are not giving them weeks or months to move the equipment, especially the drip irrigation system.
According to Hurst, the workers will remain under the employ of the government, however, agriculture experiments that are usually conducted in the area will cease.
The Chief of Staff also had this to stay to the many people, who have complained that the move is a major blow to the government’s thrust to achieve food security. Some are also of the opinion that once again prime agricultural lands are being used for housing.
“We certainly know that 10 pounds of sweet potatoes could not yield any more than $200, even if it yields $500 it still compares poorly to the cost of a house,” Hurst said.
Over a week ago, the United Progressive Party (UPP), through its media house, blasted the government’s actions as “an ill-advised housing project” showcasing videos of excavators clearing lands where produce and drip irrigation systems were still in the ground.