The Engineering Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries provides the engineering needs of the agricultural sector. The work of the Division is programmed based on the requests and information from other divisions of the Ministry. The Engineering Division does not execute works at the direct request from farmers or the farming community. It present mandate focuses on:
The work of the Division include the rehabilitation and maintenance of agricultural roads used by the farming community for delivering inputs such as fertilizers, chemical, seedlings etc., and transporting produce from farm to market. In some cases these roads have become impassible to motor vehicles. There are over 1200km of agricultural access roads. The selection of roads for rehabilitation is based on available funding and priorities (as determined by the Regional Administrations North and South), with final approval from the Permanent Secretary.
Water Management involve the design, preparation of estimates and tender documents, and the supervision of execution of contracts that address flooding, irrigation and wastewater treatment and reuse. All works are limited to projects located at Orange Grove, Plum Mitan and Caroni/Bejucal at present. Within the scope of these projects are the water management interventions to prevent flooding (pumps and pump installation, channel clearing and desilting, and embankment repairs).
Also included are water management interventions for the provision of irrigation water in the dry season. This will include the construction of sluice gates, pumping systems and communal ponds.
Under its recurrent expenditure, the Engineering Division also has a desilting programme. The programme includes water channels (drainage or irrigation) that service agricultural areas are cleared and desilted.
The Regional Administrations North and South usually provide the list of channels, and works are programmed based on the priority of works needed and the funding available.
Design and Execution of Training Programmes to Extension Officers and Stakeholders in the areas of Pond Construction for Water Storage, Conservation and Flood Alleviation, are also activities that the Water Management Section engages in.
The work of the Division also involves the design, preparation of estimates and/or tender documents, and supervision of execution of contracts for building infrastructure works.
The projects are diverse and spatially located throughout the country. It ranges from the repairs and/or construction of fishing centres (from Moruga to Erin to Toco to Las Cuevas and Blanchisseuse), office buildings (for all divisions of the ministry), pens for animals, nurseries for plants (including Forestry) etc.
Operations and Emergency Response
This section is comprised of Central Workshop, Facilities and Maintenance, and Pumps. On a routine basis the activities include:
- Repair and maintenance services to ministry vehicles and equipment
- Provide transportation services to all Divisions in the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries.
- Provide repair and maintenance services to buildings and facilities in the Engineering Division and other Divisions.
- Assist farmers in application for Water Abstraction Licenses and loan of pumps for irrigation and drainage.
In times of emergencies, the Division’s fleet of vehicles, equipment and pumps stand ready to provide whatever relief it can to the farming community.
Supporting the work of the Engineering Division are the Soil Testing Laboratory (for soil investigations, material testing and checking for adherence to specifications), the Surveying unit (for topographical surveys, road and building alignment, and checking for adherence to specifications), and the Administrative Unit (to provide accounting and clerical support in managing the Division’s Human Resources, Finances and Goods and Services).