The Economic Development Committee has agreed a slight amendment to the Agricultural Water Subsidy Policy to reflect the increase in water tariffs by Connect Saint Helena Ltd from 1 July 2018.
To this effect, subsidy payments have increased from a rate of Pound 0.13 per cube to Pound 0.28 per cube for agricultural untreated water and from Pound 0.25 per cube to Pound 0.56 per cube for agricultural treated water from 1 July.
The Agricultural Water Subsidy Policy was introduced by SHG in September 2017 following notice by Connect that there would be an increase in water tariffs from 1 October 2017.
The policy is targeted to agricultural producers and its aim is to reduce the impact on agricultural production as a result of increases in water tariffs. It applies to users of agricultural untreated water and agricultural treated water under Connect's tariff structure.
Key conditions attached to subsidy being made available to an agricultural producer include:
Producers should have access to an agricultural meter to demonstrate their water being subsidised was being used for agricultural production. This will require them to meet the cost of having an agricultural meter installed/retained
Payment of subsidy is made on the basis of receipt of the Connect utility bill for the period being claimed for
Subsidy can only be paid within a financial year for water consumption occurring during that financial year
Production data for the period claimed for is made available to the Agriculture & Natural Resources Division (ANRD) when the subsidy is claimed for
In the instance where SHG funding is limited or not available to support producers for a tariff increase, a quarterly or annual cap on the amount of subsidy a producer receives may need to be applied or the policy withdrawn until funding is available
Since the subsidy policy was introduced, agricultural producers have claimed subsidy for 4,529 units of untreated water and 259 units of treated water.
Persons wishing to view a hard copy of the Agricultural Water Subsidy Policy should contact the Receptionists at the Environment & Natural Resources Directorate or at ANRD. Electronic copies are also available from Andrea Timm at ANRD on tel: 24724 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Persons with any queries regarding the subsidy or who would like to register for subsidy payments as an agricultural producer should also contact Andrea via the above details.
Source: St Helena Government