Small farmers to get climate-smart agri training
Some 5,000 smallholder farmers in the parishes of Portland, St Thomas and St Mary are slated to benefit from specialised training to increase their capacity to implement climate smart agricultural practices.
Under the project, dubbed 'Accelerating the Uptake of Climate-smart Agriculture in selected African, Caribbean and Pacific countries', to be implemented in three beneficiary countries - Jamaica, Mali and Ethiopia - the training will be conducted over a two-year period.
The project is being implemented in collaboration with the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA), based in the Netherlands. The launch of the Jamaican component was held yesterday. It will be executed through a partnership involving the CTA, the Climate Change Division in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).
The project is aimed at promoting the incorporation of information communications technology (ICT) tools as an element of climate-smart agriculture and the widespread adoption of climate-smart practices that are aligned with national priorities. This is in an effort to improve the resilience of the agriculture sector, enhance productivity and food security, and secure the income of smallholder farmers, the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation advised in a press release.
In welcoming the partnership, principal director in the ministry, Una May Gordon, explained that promoting the use of climate-smart agriculture will go a far way in the resilience-building effort and improving food security.
"The fact that the activities will be carried out in alignment with the national priorities will allow us to keep at the forefront of our minds the fulfilment of our obligations under the Paris Agreement as it relates to our nationally determined contributions (NDCs)," she said.
Meanwhile, Oluyede Ajayi, the CTA's senior programme coordinator, explained that the intervention will be carried out through ICT-based extension approaches.
"We will be working with beneficiary countries to review national climate change priorities, including NDCs, and identify opportunities and entry points for the promotion and implementation of climate-smart agricultural technologies. We will also be facilitating training and access to ICT-enabled information and advisory services for smallholder farmers to provide weather and climate-smart agricultural services," Ajayi said.
... Climate-smart agricultural practices can secure multiple benefits
Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Peter Thompson, is noting that the increased adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices can secure multiple benefits.
"It has the potential to not only increase productivity, but support adaptation as well as mitigation. As one of the primary agencies on the frontline of engagement with farmers and other agricultural agencies, we welcome the support in building our engagement outlets with our stakeholders and strengthening our extension services, and we look forward to working with the partners to achieve maximum results," he noted.
The Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states and the European Union (EU). Its mission is to advance food and nutritional security, increase prosperity and encourage sound natural resource management in ACP countries. It provides access to information and knowledge, facilitates policy dialogue and strengthens the capacity of agricultural and rural development institutions and communities. The CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.