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  • Approximately 2, 100 farmers in some 50 communities across the island have benefited from $92 million in support over the last two years under the Government of Jamaica/Adaptation Fund Programme (GoJ/AFP).
  • This was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier today (Sept. 1), during the presentation of hand tractors to farmers groups benefiting under the project, at the Ministry’s Old Hope Road offices in St. Andrew.
  • The Adaptation Fund was established to finance concrete adaptation projects/programmes in developing countries that are party to the Kyoto Protocol and are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

Approximately 2, 100 farmers in some 50 communities across the island have benefited from $92 million in support over the last two years under the Government of Jamaica/Adaptation Fund Programme (GoJ/AFP).

This was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier today (Sept. 1), during the presentation of hand tractors to farmers groups benefiting under the project, at the Ministry’s Old Hope Road offices in St. Andrew.

He informed that the support was provided through various infrastructure and capacity-building initiatives undertaken in the seven targeted parishes of   St. Thomas, St. Mary, St. Ann, Trelawny, Manchester, Clarendon and St. Catherine.

“This investment has contributed to improvement of the irrigation capital stock of the sector. The project’s intervention stimulated an incremental increase in production of over 7, 500 metric tonnes of crops, particularly onions, Irish potato and hot peppers, among other crops,” he said.

He further pointed out that the interventions provided under the project, which was implemented in 2013, have contributed just under $1 billion to the livelihood of the farmers, including women and young people.

The Minister noted, however, that a number of the farming communities are constrained to optimize their production due to the terrain on which they farm and the unavailability of adequate farm implements to facilitate proper land preparation.

It is against this background that the GoJ/AFP has partnered with Food for the Poor to donate hand tractors to the farmers.

Minister Kellier said the 20 hand tractors provided by the charity “will be of valuable assistance to the farmers as they conduct their business.”

 

“This synergistic relationship…can only help to deepen the impact of our efforts as we leverage our resources and we work towards enhancing the resilience of the agricultural sector, thereby contributing to economic stability, livelihood security and sustained development of the country as a whole,” he noted.

He informed that in accordance with the scope of the GOJ/AFP, the Ministry is supporting the nation’s farmers with rainwater harvesting infrastructure, small-scale drip irrigation systems, production and productivity inputs, land husbandry infrastructure and training in climate-smart agriculture.

Senior Director at Food for the Poor, Ron Burgess, said his company is committed to providing small farmers with the necessary tools required so that they can contribute meaningfully to the island’s food security.

President, Ballads River Farmers Group, Viola Bryan, expressed gratitude for the hand tractors, noting that they will assist tremendously with land preparation.

The primary objective of the agriculture component of the GoJ/AFP is to protect livelihoods and food security of the population in vulnerable communities by strengthening coastal protection; improving land and water management; and providing building capacity for climate change adaptation.

The Adaptation Fund was established to finance concrete adaptation projects/programmes in developing countries that are party to the Kyoto Protocol and are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

Jamaica is one of the first countries to access support from the Fund.