Prolonged dry spell threatens agricultural production

The Agriculture Department within the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Housing and the Environment has been outlining the negative impact the prolonged dry spell is having on agricultural production.

In summary, Director of Agriculture Melissa O’Garro has told ZJB News that there is no doubt that production based on available data has fallen off drastically for the period in question.

Meantime, to back up the director’s position, Extension Officer in the Department of Agriculture, Anthony Breedy, says there are several production that have been hard hit.

Mr. Breedy says that whatever crops are there now are those that merely came through the drought.

He says however that the full effect of the dry spell will be felt in another two weeks or so if it doesn’t rain. Continue reading

Visitor arrivals up in 2013

Montserrat has seen an increase in overall visitor arrivals in 2013, in comparison to 2012.

According to the latest tourism figures released by the Montserrat Statistics Department there have been a 10 percent increase in overall visitor arrivals.

The overall visitor arrivals for 2013 was 15, 648, while in 2012, the figure was 14, 210.

The largest number of visitors for any month in 2013 was 2,456.

That contrast with 6, 462 for December 2012 , due to returning Montserratians and visitors coming for the 50th festival anniversary celebrations.

A shortage of flour threatens to put a damper on Easter baking and cooking

Homebaked_BreadMontserrat continues to experience a shortage of flour.

And this does not spell good news for bakers and residents who are looking forward to doing their usual Easter baking and cooking.

ZJB News contacted MS Osborne Limited, the main local agent for the importation of flour to get an update on the situation.

A top official at MS Osborne says the company is hoping to receive a shipment of flour on Wednesday to take consumers through the Easter weekend.

The official says they hoping to source the commodity from two neigbouring islands. Continue reading

Lecture on cardiometabolic risk

tracy-kernanet-huggins 1A health education lecture on cardiometabolic risk and its relationship to high blood pressure and diabetes will be held on Wednesday.

Cardiometabolic risk refers to your chances of having diabetes, heart disease or stroke. These conditions are known to be prevalent on the island.

The event is being coordinated by Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tracy Kernanet-Huggins as part of a public education campaign being carried out by the Ministry of Education, Health and Social Services medical division.

Medical experts advise that many things increase your cardiometabolic risk. Some of these  cannot be changed. For example, as you get older your risk increases. Men also have higher  risks than women. However, the good news is that there are risks you can change.

Healthy lifestyle changes can be important ways to lower  your risk.

Wednesday’s lecture will be delivered by Dr Icilma Fergus-Rowe, and Dr Janice Scobie.

Continue reading

Less garbage in Salem following major clean up

salem garbageThere’s a lot less garbage in Salem after residents joined the Environmental Health Department of the Ministry of Education Health and Social Services in a massive clean-up last Saturday.

The cut off time was twice extended to assist householders in getting rid of a range of garbage ranging from old cars, to white goods and discarded construction material.

The clean-up which started early Saturday morning was originally scheduled to end at 12 noon but it was first extended to 4pm and then to 6pm. Continue reading

Small business owners to benefit from ECCB training workshop

Another small Business Management workshop will be staged here later this month.

The April 22nd to 30th workshop is organized by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in collaboration with the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus.

The workshop, which promises to be practical and highly interactive, is a four-module course which will focus on business and financial techniques required to effectively operate a small business.

It will cover topics such as business planning, creative thinking to solve business problems, identifying opportunities, effective selling and negotiation techniques, and managing the finances of a business. Continue reading

LIME prepares to re-install fibre optic systems and services

In anticipation of a re-installation of fibre optics into Montserrat, the island’s lone telecommunication provider, LIME, is nearing the end of preparation to accommodate this critical service.

A fibre optic network vastly improves the speed and quality of internet access and other telecommunication services.

At present, LIME, is putting in fibre optic cables from their Sweeney’s headquarters Exchange to the Woodlands Exchange.

Lime cable pulling

Lime laying fibre optic cables

A senior company official says they hope to complete the works by the end of May.

He says the aim is to provide connections to more government offices and other business establishments that require the service. Continue reading

Dr. George Irish appointed as the Acting Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Education of Medgar Evers College in New York

IrishMontserrat-born Dr. George Irish has been appointed Acting Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Education of Medgar Evers College (MEC) in New York.

In a statement, the highly respected academic institution said it was honoured to announce the appointment of Dr George Irish to the position.

It said Montserrat-born Dr. Irish “has been a valued member of the MEC community for 25 years, having taught several Caribbean and Latin American Studies courses at the College’s Caribbean Research Center.

“Along with teaching at MEC, Dr. Irish was recently awarded the Order of Excellence from the Government of Montserrat in the Caribbean. Continue reading

Governor’s Office donates generator to the Montserrat Cultural Centre

cultural centreThe Governor’s Office has donated a generator to the Montserrat Cultural Centre (MCC).

Since it swung its doors open in May 2007, the Montserrat Cultural Centre has never had a dedicated stand-by generator in case of power outages during public performances.

The MCC recently received a donated surplus generator. Continue reading

DFID to host 2-day workshop for administrators in both the public and private sector

The Department for International Development (DFID) will be hosting a two day workshop later this month for administrators in both the public and private sector.

The two-day course will bring together senior public stakeholders with responsibility for energy, trade and development, as well as private sector agencies such as the Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Association, and the mining and quarrying community.

It will discuss the appropriate policy that will govern the development of the geothermal industry and related value chain.

This workshop will be followed by a two week course for  4th and 5th form students from the Montserrat Secondary School. Continue reading