Agricultural Sector’s Adaptation to Climate Change Being Closely Monitored

Jamaica News: Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the Government is seeking to increase the rate and scale of adaptation of Jamaica’s agricultural sector to climate change.

In a message read by Chief Technical Director in the Ministry, Dr. Roy McNeil, at a workshop today (July 30), at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston, Mr. Shaw said Jamaica’s agricultural sector is particularly vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change.

The workshop, titled, ‘Accelerating the Adoption of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) in Jamaica’, was held under the theme ‘Promoting Climate Finance to Support Agriculture through Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Processes in Jamaica’.

Mr. Shaw said data compiled by the Ministry revealed that between 2001 and 2012, damage and loss to the agricultural sector was estimated at US$214 million. He further noted that a subsequent drought in 2014 resulted in crop loss totalling approximately US$1 million.

“As we speak, the agricultural sector is again being impacted by the severe drought now being experienced islandwide. This statistic is relevant as we seek to focus on the importance of agriculture to feed the majority of the population in the urban areas and as we take a closer look at the vulnerabilities of the majority of the population living close to the coastline,” the Minister noted.

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Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), Peter Thompson, said what the country is experiencing in the environment now is not normal and what is happening is threatening food security and food sovereignty.

“We as agriculturalists and stakeholders have to put measures in place and be proactive in addressing the issue of climate change,” the CEO said.

The main objectives of the workshop were to discuss and validate the findings of the country study on NDCs and agriculture, [and] identify priority options and models to support investment from the private sector to support Climate Smart Agriculture.

Additionally, discussions focused on mechanisms to raise the profile of agriculture in the implementation of NDCs in the country and identify key priority action points to promote climate action in the country, to be submitted to the regional meeting on NDCs and climate finance for agriculture.

The workshop was an initiative of the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Co-operation, the Climate Change Division and RADA.


Source: JIS News

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