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La Poterie farmers get technical assistance

At total of 17 farmers from La Poterie, Saint Andrew are the latest to benefit from a climate change project, implemented by the Grenada Community Development Agency (GRENCODA) to help alleviate water access and storage limitations.

The project titled “Equipping Farmers of La Poterie Saint Andrew to Use an Integrated Water Resource Management Approach to Combat Climate Change,” is worth USD $48,900. This funding was used to assist GRENCODA to achieve its main objectives for the farmers to remove the excess water from the land; establish riparian buffer zones to stabilize and prevent erosion; provide rainwater harvesting systems, assist in dealing with water shortages during the dry season; and restore and repair the community water pump for use by farmers.

Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Michael Stephen said, “The Ministry is pleased to be involved in such a timely project. We are aware that agriculture is one of the sectors most impacted by the advent of climate change and increased weather variability. The volatility of rainfall in recent years, in particular, has adversely affected our farmers, reducing their production and productivity, thus threatening their livelihoods.”

Stephen was speaking at the closing ceremony held on September 24, 2020, at the La Poterie Pump House. He added, that the intervention fits perfectly into the Ministry’s COVID-19 Mitigation and Response Plan, as it aims to increase food production in that community.

Being affected by drought conditions in the dry season and floods in the wet season, one farmer from La Poterie shared how he is utilizing the Integrated Water Resource Management Approach in Combatting Climate Change. “I am thankful for my Rain water Harvesting System. This has allowed me to save money and time. When I get water from the rain, I do not have to bother about starting the pumps and waiting for water to reach my farm,” said Rick Edwards, one of the benefiting farmers adding that he can use that same water to wash his fruits and prepare them for delivery or pickup.

Benny Langaigne, Deputy Secretary of GRENCODA, said the non-profit organization is pleased to partner with the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands and the Global Environmental Facility, to assist farmers in these rural communities.

Kadijah Edwards, National Coordinator of the Global Environment Facility Small Grant Programme (GEF SGP) said, “The project is expected to increase food security in Grenada, by placing farmers in a better position to produce year-round, which would in turn lead to more food being available.”

Throughout the implementation phase of this project, more than 60 community members were employed. Parliamentary Representative for Saint Andrew North East, Hon Kate Lewis, hailed the project as one that can increase the production of local foods.

She said, “This approach can help us to build resilience in the water and agricultural sectors of Grenada. This can also help us to adapt to the impacts of climate change and ensure that our food and nutrition security is not seriously compromised.”

Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) is a process, which promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources to maximize economic and social welfare equitably, without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems and the environment.

A constant supply of water will allow the 17 farmers to diversify their production in crops such as watermelons, corn, sweet potatoes, coconuts and others.

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