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8 CARICOM countries to benefit from CA$10M climate-smart project | Loop Caribbean News

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Farmers and entrepreneurs from Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname stand to benefit from the new CA$10 million Regional Gender-Responsive Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems in the Caribbean project.

The four-year project (2024-2028) will be implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).  

A collaborative effort involving Canada, FAO, and local government and civil society partners, the project will enhance Caribbean farmers’ resilience to climate change and contribute to economic growth in the region.  

First announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the Canada-CARICOM Summit in October 2023, the regional project will contribute to improving the livelihoods of women and youth in climate-resilient agriculture value chains in the Caribbean.  

Through the Canada-funded project, FAO will work closely with local Ministries of Agriculture, farmer organisations, gender bureaus, research institutions, and community-based agro-processing centers to transform and upgrade these value chains ensuring that they are market-driven using relevant data and facilitate public-private sector partnerships. 

The project will also increase the use of climate-smart technologies, innovations, and practices by agricultural stakeholders to make more data-driven decisions and advocate for the expansion of more inclusive, gender-responsive climate-resilient value chains.  

Speaking at the media launch on June 3, High Commissioner of Canada to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Lilian Chatterjee said: “Canada recognises the disproportionate impact of food and input price inflation, supply chain disruptions, and climate change in the Caribbean, which has exacerbated pre-existing food insecurity.

Women are powerful agents of change that can actively contribute to achieving sustainable and resilient agri-food systems. Empowering women and closing gender gaps in agri-food systems is key to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.

This new project will complement Canada’s other efforts to strengthen agricultural entrepreneurship and food systems in the region, notably the CA$19.8 million Sustainable Agriculture in the Caribbean project and our support to Compete Caribbean”.  

FAO’s Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Caribbean, Dr Renata Clarke stated that the organisation has been promoting the use of climate-smart technologies that are adapted to the region and increase efficiency in the use of water, nutrients, biological control agents and reduce the use of pesticides.  

“Integrating efficient and affordable practices and technologies such as renewable energy for solar pumps for irrigation, and digital agricultural sensors have also been piloted to improve overall crop management. With the impact of climate and weather hazards, we have introduced Anticipatory Action protocols which are integrated with national Agriculture Disaster Risk Management and Climate Information Services”. 

The Regional Gender-Responsive Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems in the Caribbean project aims to reach up to 2,500 direct beneficiaries over a four-and-a-half-year period, with women making up 50 per cent of the beneficiaries and youth making up 20 per cent.  

The project will engage more than 30 farmer organisations, including women and youth-led organisations, over the implementation period.  

While targeting eight Caribbean countries, there will be broad regional benefits for all CARICOM Member States. 

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