Hillsborough Horticultural Centre completely destroyed during Layou disaster

The centre after the disaster

Agriculture officials here reported that the Hillsborough Horticultural Centre is completely destroyed. The Centre was funded by the Chinese Government and played a key role in the overall enhancement of the agricultural sector.

The facility however was destroyed by the raging waters of the Layou River following the breach of the Mattieu Dam early Thursday following persistent showers Wednesday evening.

According to Lennox Timothy, foreman at the Hillsborough station, the entire production area, that’s the field where planting is normally done, this entire area is covered with sand.

On Friday, a delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture including the Hon. Minister, Matthew Walter, and the Permanent Secretary, Samuel Carrette, visited what was left of the facility in an attempt to salvage what was left from the disaster.

Director of Agriculture, Ricky Brumant, said that that the Division of Agriculture is happy to assist the members of the Chinese Agricultural Technical Mission in clearing up the site.

“What we’ve done basically is mobilise all the staff that we have from the division of agriculture, some from the out regions as well.  They came to just help mop up, clean-up, salvage some of the things that we have so we know basically what we’ve lost.  We are just picking the pieces. We do have some students from Dominica State College who are on attachment from their programmes at college.  They have been with us from the beginning of July and like anything else they have hands and feet and energy so we have asked them to come on board,” he said.

Meanwhile, Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Matthew Walter, reassured the farmers of the country, that the Government of Dominica will take action to ensure the re-establishment of the Hillsborough Horticultural Centre.
The centre was geared at improving Farmers capacity and was the main producer of seedling materials for distribution to farmers.

Speaking after an extensive tour of the shattered centre, Walter described the disaster as a “heavy blow” to the agricultural sector.

He told GIS news that Government will meet to identify a suitable location for the re-establishment of the centre.

Despite over $8-million in losses, the Minister said that the Ministry is not daunted by this act of nature but is rather confident that the agricultural sector will rebound.

“Government has invested heavily in this centre and we will ensure that the Hillsborough Horticulture Centre will be relocated somewhere else so that farmers of this country will be able to resume the delivery of the services rendered by this facility,” he said.

Walter also expressed his deepest compassion to the government and people of the people’s republic of china especially members of the Chinese Agriculture Technical Mission who have contributed tremendously to the development of this horticultural centre.

“Certainly, I have spoken to some of them.  I have not spoken to the embassy but I intend to do so as soon as I leave here so that we could begin to trigger the discussion as a way forward for the re-establishment of this facility,” he stated.

The Minister also advised the farmers to remain resilient, despite the odds.

Though in the interim the destruction of this centre will create a setback in the delivery of services to the farmers but they must not lose hope because the ministry and government of the commonwealth of Dominica will ensure that we work in an expeditious manner to ensure the re-establishment of this centre and also, in quick time, the delivery of goods and services to the farmers of this country.

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9 Comments

  1. Ricksho
    August 6, 2011

    Hon Walter, Why cant this new site be set up at 1 Mile Agricultural Station In Portsmouth.. This once beatiful station is a mere shell of it’s former self.. Bring some pride to your area as Minister of Agriculture.

  2. laviebienwed
    August 6, 2011

    The fastest way to get things going again is to set up in quick time a tissue culture centre. We need one NOW

    • August 6, 2011

      WHO WOULD WANT TO CULTURE TISSUES. WHY DON’T THEY JUST BUY SOME IN THE SUPERMARKET?

      • laviebienwed
        August 6, 2011

        Ah! The bliss of ignorance!!
        Padnah, you have access to a computer. Please google “Tissue culture” and re-comment.

      • FED UP DOMINICAN
        August 6, 2011

        Your comment made me laugh.

        I would like to think that the type of tissue mentioned is not the Kleenex type, but the animal/plant type. Tissue cells.

      • Bayside
        August 6, 2011

        Tissue-culture has to do with agriculture. NOT the tissue sold in the supermarket. Zehzeh

      • August 8, 2011

        bayside, if u were intelligent,u would realize that i know what tissue culture is. if i know to define culture within its proper context, i would, therefore, know what tissue culture is. u actually responded the very way i had expect someone to.

  3. August 5, 2011

    WAIT! LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT, “deepest compassion to the government and people of the people’s republic of china?” DOESN’T THAT IMPLY THAT THIS WAS A CHINESE INVESTMENT FOR CHINESE INTEREST? THIS SOUNDS LIK ETH PLACE WAS CHINESE OWNED AND WE WERE WORKING FOR THE CHINESE. WELL IT SEEMS SO GIVEN THE CHINESE DECORATIONS ON THE FRONT GATE. SO THE WATERS THWARTED THEIR HILBORUOGH SCHEME, LET ME SEE WHAT OTHER “ACT OF GOD” IS GOING TO THWART THE STATE PALACE CONTRIVANCE

  4. D.A Massive
    August 5, 2011

    I just hope that this administration will not GIVE OUT the sand and will SELL IT, if the need arises in order to help with the cost of rebuilding. Every penny helps nowadays.

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