Information reaching MNI Media is that The Ministry of Agriculture, Trade, Lands, Housing and the Environment on Montserrat have today, Wednesday June 19th, commissioned the first in a new fleet of vehicles for the Ministry.
According to information received by MNI, the first commissioned vehicle was a 4X4 double cabin Toyota Hilux Pickup. (as pictured)
MNI Media wanted to know more about the background on purchasing this new fleet, thus a Ministry official was contacted who informed MNI that when Minister David Osborne and PS Silcott-Greaves took up the reins at the Ministry, they were confronted with staff receiving an archaic monthly horse allowance of EC$74.00 which has been in place for decades.
Furthermore, MNI understands that a business case was developed to include the procurement of this vehicle shown in the picture above, and also for the payment of travel allowances to staff. The proposal received the nod of approval and financing from what is known as the Small Capital Asset Fund.
It is understood also that approval is being awaited for the Ministry's request for support to procure a small tractor and a chill/cold storage. It is expected according to Ministry officials, that these will be prioritized under this year's allocation along with replacement for the vehicles being used by the Lands and Survey Team.
MNI was told via the information share we received, that the chiller mentioned above is part of their strategy to promote local production by extending the shelf life through chill/cold storage.
Incremental steps are being made with the resources available, according to officials.