Although this report concludes with the activities completed by August 1987, with intensive technical assistance from the OAS during the tenure of the Programme Officer under OAS contract, the implementation of the Mabouya Valley Development Project continues. The EDF financing began coming on stream in the middle of 1988 with the approval of a five year project valued at nearly US$ 4 million.
By the end of 1990, significant progress had been made in the implementation of all Project components. Forty-three hillside farms had been established, ten miles of rural roads built, and two village woodlots and more than forty gardens were being cultivated by the local residents. Social infrastructure in the villages was undergoing improvement, while newly-serviced lots were being readied to accommodate the growing demand for house-lots.
A second phase of the Project is currently being prepared by the Government of Saint Lucia for financing by EDF as the original Project comes to an end. This second phase will include the sub-division of some of the valley lands, the introduction of non-traditional crops and livestock, introduction of agro-industry and, in general, applying the Project's approach to development in other parts of the island.
Since the start-up of the Project, the OAS technical assistance has continued, but on a different tack, targeting specific areas of agriculture with the development of a new, treatment-oriented classification of land capability, better suited for guiding hillside land use than the traditional classification scheme. The new system is now being used by the Project staff in laying out the hillside farms, and in preparing the cropping systems for each individual farm.
Nearly six years elapsed between the start-up of the Morne Panache Land Registration and Farmer Resettlement Pilot Project and the beginning of the EDF-financed Mabouya Valley Development Project. The long-term perspective which has been an integral part of the OAS technical assistance to countries in the region provided the necessary continuity and short-term flexibility to make the Mabouya Valley Development Project a reality.
Another important factor in the successful implementation of the Project has been the strong orientation of the OAS technical assistance toward institutional strengthening. Since initiating its activities in 1980, the OAS has worked closely with government ministries, project work-groups, and special boards created to promote and guide development in the country. Professional development, training and transfer of expertise and technology always received priority in the implementation of the technical assistance projects.
The OAS collaboration in the Mabouya Valley provides an interesting and successful case study in integrated regional development strategies. The lessons and experience gained in the Mabouya Valley should prove instructive and beneficial to continuing efforts in Saint Lucia, the Caribbean, and other countries with similar regional development needs.