Technical Assistance Provided To La Poterie Farmers In Implementation Of Climate Change Project

PR – Seventeen farmers from La Poterie, St. Andrew, are the latest to benefit from a climate change-oriented project, implemented by the  Grenada Community Development Agency (GRENCODA), which will help in alleviating some  of the issues faced in accessing and storing water. 

The project titled “Equipping Farmers of La Poterie St. 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 of La  Poterie: to remove the excess water from the land; establish riparian buffer zones to stabilize and  prevent erosion; to provide the rainwater harvesting systems to farmers, to assist in dealing with  the shortages of water during the dry season and to 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. This intervention, he added, 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 to Combatting Climate Change. 

“I am thankful for my Rainwater 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. According to Rick, 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 St. Andrew North-East, Hon. Kate Lewis, hailed  the project as one, which 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. Due to the constant accessibility to water, this approach will allow the 17 farmers  to diversify their production in crops such as watermelons, corn, sweet potatoes, coconuts and  others.