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A farmer at Connector Road, Chaguanas, organises his vegetables for sale after harvesting his crops earlier in May. (File photo)

Nine Caribbean countries to benefit from sustainable agriculture project

A farmer at Connector Road, Chaguanas, organises his vegetables for sale after harvesting his crops earlier in May. (File photo)

Nine Caribbean countries will benefit from US$1.2 million in funding from the United Nations Green Climate Fund, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and other partners as part of a project that aims to promote sustainable agriculture in the Caribbean

(File photo)

Under the initiative, The Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Haiti, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago) will aim to increase the engagement of the agriculture sector in climate action and planning; to develop analysis and capacities for evidence-based decision-making; and to identify good practices, methodologies and technologies to boost agricultural resilience.

“Agriculture should be part of the solution and we must support the countries of the Caribbean in generating the conditions that will allow them to be more resilient to climate change, while ensuring an adequate and quality food supply for their people”, Manuel Otero, director general of IICA, reasoned.

Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture Manuel Otero (File photo)

Prioritising investments in resilience

The funding from the United Nations Green Climate Fund will be directed into the development of capacities, strategic frameworks, knowledge management and learning, which should strengthen the base upon which the Caribbean agriculture sector can prioritise investments for resilience.

Moreover, the project will seek to create a road map to improve reporting on greenhouse gas emissions in specific agricultural value chains, thus facilitating the defining of measures to address them since the region is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

“Agriculture should be part of the solution and we must support the countries of the Caribbean in generating the conditions that will allow them to be more resilient to climate change…”

— Manuel Otero, director general, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture

“The scope of these key objectives will assist in channelling additional resources to support the climate change response of the Caribbean agriculture sector, which is a source of income for thousands of families but one which is also extremely vulnerable to climate conditions. We will also aim to identify investment priorities and foster cooperation among countries to build more resilient food systems,” Kelly Witkowski, manager of IICA’s Climate Change, Natural Resources and Management of Production Risks Program, indicated.

Among the project’s primary beneficiaries will be farmers, civil society and non-governmental organisations, agricultural technical officers, governments, entrepreneurs, and Caribbean youth, among others.

A farmer in Haiti prepares a plot of land for rice farming. Haiti is one the beneficiary countries in the United Nations Green Climate Fund project. (File photo)

According to the IICA, at present, the limited capacity of the Caribbean agriculture sector to identify and manage needs in this area is creating challenges and hampering efforts to mobilise investments to reduce climate risk and to assist in emission reduction. As such, this limitation prevents stakeholders in the agriculture sector from accessing international climate funding.