GIZ-ICCAS Climate-Smart Agriculture Capacity Development and Dissemination Programme

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 9:29 PM - George's, Grenada
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New challenges for the agricultural sector - Climate Smart Agriculture as the solution?

The agriculture sector is a key economic sector in Grenada. It provides income for a large number of households, and is the backbone for food security to the Grenadian population.

Agricultural exports account for almost half (47%) of total exports between 2010 and 2014, making it an important industry for foreign exchange earnings for the country.

However, the sector has had to cope for decades with a number of challenges: a decline in the lands available for agriculture as well as in the number of farmers. Agriculture in Grenada is carried out mainly on small-scale, family-run farms where the production is mainly tree crops, fruits, vegetables and root crops and livestock.

In addition to these trends and challenges seen in the past – and still valid today – there is also a new set of challenges impacting agriculture: its vulnerability to climate change.

Some of these impacts include: reduced yields due to less rain and longer droughts; increased water stress resulting to increased demand for irrigation; increased pests, diseases, and non-native (invasive) species; increased heat stress for farmers and animals; salt water intrusion resulting in loss of agricultural lands; seed sterility issues may arise; and damage due to hurricanes and floods and other extreme events. For example, the prediction to the end of year 2015 going into the year 2016 there is a high likelihood of drought.

Small farmers - including livestock farmers - are amongst the groups most vulnerable to climate change.

There is therefore a need for sustainable increases in agricultural productivity to enable people to achieve food security, for food producers to improve their livelihoods and for reducing food losses and waste, while at the same time resilience needs to be improved for all food systems to adapt to climate change and also to enable the agriculture sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, where possible.

As part of a Programme on Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Strategies (ICCAS), the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) designed a training programme on Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA).

This Capacity Development and Dissemination programme for CSA (CSA-CapDiP), engaged officers in the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (MALFFE) extension officers from Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB), the Grenada Cooperative Nutmeg Association (GCNA) and the Grenada Cocoa Association (GCA).

The training which was implemented in cooperation with Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) took place from September 14th to 25th.

The objectives of the CSA-CapDiP are to disseminate knowledge on CSA within the agricultural through the Modules of Sustainable Agriculture (MoSA).

The training is a mix of class-room and field training; including building a compost bin demonstration on a farm, so that the knowledge gained will be quickly transferred to the farmers and other stakeholders through the standard advisory work of the extension officers.

MoSA, developed by GIZ experts in the field of agriculture and climate change, aims to provide and create a holistic view about sustainable agriculture and its present and future challenges.

The modules covered in the Grenadian training were Sustainable Agriculture, Soil, Water and Water use, Livestock, Plant Protection, Biodiversity, Climate, Economic Viability, Nutrient Cycle, Value Chains and an introduction to the social issues associated with the sector.

The action plan developed outlined the next steps for further dissemination of CSA within the sector, which will be supported by GIZ-ICCAS, IICA and potential other international organisations.




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