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Future of Mabouya Valley Development Project under Review

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Tuesday, June 25, 2002 - Officials of the Mabouya Valley Development Project (MVDP) are currently holding talks on the way forward for the Project after some ten years of existence and the increasing scarcity of much needed donor funds. Director of Agricultural Services and Chairman of the Mabouya Valley Development Authority (the body that oversees the project), Julius Polius, says two interventions aimed at injecting new life into the project are now underway.

“The European Union has done an end-of-phase evaluation and a document will soon be produced,” said Mr. Polius. According to him, “in that document one will expect certain directions to be given in terms of the way forward. The Office of Private Sector Relations (OPSR) intervention has to do with another study carried out by a group of local consultants called AGRICO. The overall purpose is to look at the options in terms of the way forward for the MVDP.”

Polius says the general direction is towards commercializing the operations of the project, although he notes serious constraints are involved in commercializing a rural development outfit. The social and developmental nature of the MVDP according to the Director of Agricultural Services, further complicates the matter. “What the OPSR funding is doing is to finance a group of consultants to look into the MVDP and examine what elements of the project that can be commercialized in order to generate revenue to the extent that this revenue may support the social and developmental aspects,” said Polius.

An interim report on the OPSR study has already been submitted to project officials with the final report expected later this year. The OPSR intervention is worth over two hundred thousand dollars. The project’s principal financial backer at this time is the Government of St. Lucia.


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