Jamaica News: Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF), Hon. Floyd Green, says a collective stakeholder approach is needed to mitigate the impact of climate change on Jamaica, particularly in the agricultural sector.
“Climate change demands that we bring change and innovation to the sector. We have to work smarter and we have to increase our collaborative efforts so that we [can] use best practices from across the world that have already been proven,” Mr. Green said.
He was addressing the 10th annual Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) meeting at the Royalton Negril Resort and Spa in Westmoreland on Tuesday (October 1).
Mr. Green noted that the sector is one of the most vulnerable and susceptible sectors to weather-related disasters, citing a cumulative $30 billion in crop losses over the last 15 years.
This, he emphasised, necessitates urgent wide-ranging stakeholder action and behavioural change
“Agriculture is the bedrock of what we do. In fact, it contributes to some seven per cent of our gross domestic product (GDP). We, therefore, have to continue and accelerate the pace [to] introduce climate-smart farming methods and soil-erosion control techniques in order to increase productivity and improve food security,” Mr. Green argued.
Additionally, he said, “we have to continue to introduce our farmers to various water harvesting techniques, including gravity feed and small drip-irrigation systems as well as expanding areas with access to irrigation”.
These inputs, the State Minister further posited, must be complemented by timely and efficient delivery of extension services to guide farmers on appropriate cultivation cycles and effective water management.
GFRAS, initiated in 2010, provides advocacy and leadership on demand-driven extension and rural advisory services for sustainable development.
It seeks to strengthen rural advisory services by providing a platform for learning and exchange for stakeholders in agricultural innovation systems.
The four-day meeting, which started on September 30, seeks to explore the role of these services in climate change and disaster risk management.
The event, which is co-organised with the Caribbean Agricultural Extension Providers’ Network (CAEPNet), MICAF and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), is being attended by agricultural sector stakeholders from several countries around the world.
Source: JIS News