Barbados is moving to develop policies and legislation to assist in creating a modern agricultural platform, which could include aquaponics, hydroponics and greenhouses. And it is turning to a Middle Eastern country known for its ability to turn barren desert into arable land for assistance.
Minister of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick met with Israeli Ambassador Mordehai Bivas at his Graeme Hall, Christ Church office recently, to discuss a range of issues.
He said it was hoped that Barbados would be able to draw on the expertise of the Israelis in the areas of waste water management and reuse. He said assistance with developing policy and legislation would be useful, especially as the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) sought to move towards establishing a waste water division.
BWA general manager Dr John Mwansa, who was also at the meeting, said efforts were being made to develop a Water Supply Master Plan with the Caribbean Development Bank over the next two years, and a Sanitation Master Plan in two to three years.
However, he stressed that technical assistance in the area of training would be required, particularly in the areas of ground water recharge, waste water reuse and the standards which should be applied.
Mwansa explained that Government would look primarily at the non-potable uses of the water in an effort to augment the island’s water supply and alleviate the impact of climate change.
The Israeli Ambassador noted that there were problems with water in the region, and suggested that different types of technology be examined to counter this issue.
He said that while there were desert conditions in parts of Israel, the Middle Eastern country did not have an issue with its water supply because of the installation of desalination and treatment plants to treat waste water.
“There are solutions,” he maintained, noting that the Agricultural Research Institute in Israel catered to all types of situations and could possibly find a solution the region’s problem.