Specific focus is being placed on addressing the impacts of climate change, as the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, through support provided by the Caribbean Aqua Terrestrials (CATS) Project, offers technical support in irrigation technology to 2 farmers’ organisations: the North East Farmers Organisation and the Carriacou Farmers Organisation.
Minister for Agriculture and Lands, Hon. Yolande Bain-Horsford, recently handed over the equipment to the presidents of the 2 benefitting farmers’ organisations.
The equipment includes main and secondary irrigation pipes, drip irrigation lines, micro sprinklers and pumps that allow the farmers to become more productive with access to water.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, Minister Bain-Horsford said the ministry continues to make valuable investments into projects likes these. “We have been a valued partner in the programme. We have provided in excess of EC$100,000 to the project in the form of staff support to design the systems, procuring the equipment and waiving of taxes and duties,” she stated.
The ministry, she added, “has been addressing water availability and efficient use of water by farmers to respond to climate change and the prolonged dry periods that affect crop production,” as particular interest is being placed on proper irrigation practices and water use efficiency.
As part of the Government of Grenada’s Covid-19 Response, additional irrigation equipment will be provided to farmers to boost local agricultural production of essential agricultural crops to ensure the nation is food secure.
The focus of the CATS Project in Grenada and Carriacou will be the introduction of Climate Smart Agricultural Practices in regard to irrigation, preferably Drip and Micro Irrigation, along with Rainwater Harvesting.
President of the Carriacou Farmers Association, Jashaka Andrew, said the equipment will contribute to improving access for 4 farmers on the sister isle. “We know that in Carriacou we have issues in accessing water; we do not have rivers, so we depend solely on the rain, which is why we can implement techniques such as Rainwater Harvesting and we can control the amount of water we use for wetting plants. This will surely improve our ability to produce food.”
Another of the benefitting organisations is the North East Farmers Organisation (NEFO). President, Evans Gooding, says that as a farmers’ organisation, this water management system will make a difference in the life of the farmers. “During the dry season there is a challenge, we can only plant things that do not need much water. This system will go a long way in assisting farmers to grow their produce year-round and in improving their livelihoods,” he stated.
The next phase of the project will be the installation of the irrigation systems on the farms and training of farmers in how to operate and manage the system.
Through funding from GIZ, over US$100,000 have been invested by the CATS Project, in interventions such as irrigation support, agroforestry, strengthening of value chains and market assessments. The CATS Project is a regional initiative aimed at building resilience within local communities, by responding to and reducing the impacts of Climate Change. This project is expected to conclude in 2021. It is being implemented in other Caribbean islands such as St Vincent & the Grenadines.
Ministry of Agriculture and Lands