CYDEC Conference 2019

Dry skies hurting farmers

13-straight months of drier-than-normal conditions have plagued Cayman’s farmers, who rely on mother nature to provide the resources they need to grow crops.
As Cayman’s drought continues Cayman 27’s Philipp Richter speaks with one farmer who shares the struggles he faces to make a living.

“I have banana, I have plantain, pepper and they need water right through the time,” said farmer, Carlton West.

Farmer Carlton West tends to his farms as best as he can, but says there’s only so much he can do.

“You have to use the water to have production, but you got to eliminate your water, otherwise your water bill will run more than what you earn,” said Carlton West.

Not only have the dry conditions made growing crops a challenge, after they’re harvested, Mr. West is unsure when or if next round of crops will grow back.

It’s going to be stagnant, so you just got to wait patiently for the rain

The limited supply of healthy, fully grown crops is hurting his bottom line.

“I just got to cut back on some of my productions certain time of year,” said Mr. West

Mr. West says even his irrigation wells are being impacted.

“It causes the water to get blackish, so we are not getting the fresh water, so the water getting salty, so we got to eliminate our water system on certain days to let the water table settle,” said Mr. West

For all the trouble the dry conditions have caused for him, all he can do is look up to the sky and hope for the best.
Mr. West says that some items that have a limited supply will increase in price due to demand.

About the author

Philipp Richter

Philipp Richter

Philipp Richter was born in Austria and moved to the Cayman Islands at the age of three. Throughout his life, he has always enjoyed documenting his surroundings with cameras. Studying television broadcasting and communications, he now can show the reality of life in Grand Cayman to the public.

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