JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Some 200 farmers from all three counties are benefiting from the JaREEACH programme being spearheaded by the Ministries of Agriculture,Fisheries, Water, Land Environment and Climate Change.
  • The training, which has received financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is being implemented by ACDI and VOCA.
  • Clifton Wilson( ACDI/VOCA representative), spoke to JIS News after the session held at the Junction Assembly of God in St. Elizabeth on Thursday (July 3),he stated that the training is apart of the JaREEACH project.

Some 200 farmers from St. Mary, Clarendon, St. Andrew and St. Elizabeth are benefitting from a climate change training programme being spearheaded by the Ministries of Agriculture and Fisheries and Water, Land Environment and Climate Change.

The training, which has received financial support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is being implemented by the Washington-based Agricultural Cooperative Development International, (ACDI) and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (VOCA).

Technical Field Representative of ACDI/VOCA in Jamaica, Clifton Wilson, who spoke to JIS News at the end of a session held at the Junction Assembly of God in St. Elizabeth on Thursday (July 3), said that the training is being done as part of the Government’s Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change, (JaREEACH) project.

He said the main focus of the training is to help farmers, especially those in the targeted parishes to adapt to climate change.

“We have been having longer drought periods, increased temperature, and more intense hurricanes, which all point to climate changes and these have been having an adverse effect on the farmers,”

Mr. Wilson said farmers have been having difficulty in predicting rainfall pattern and as a result, they have not been able to plan properly in terms of when they should plant and in some instances, the crop that they should plant.

Climate Change

“We are working with the National Meteorological Service in helping to educate the farmers on the changes that have been taking place and how they can change their operations in order not to be severely impacted by the changes. Farmers are also being trained on how to fight pests that may affect their crops whether in dry or wet seasons”, he said.

Farmers in St. Elizabeth, who have been battling the Beet Army Worm, which affects crops such as escallion and onion, are being given technical support on how to manage the pest, which thrives in dry, humid conditions.

“We are also working with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) in getting technical support for our intervention among the farmers in respect of pest control and proper cultivation practices,” Mr. Wilson informed.

He said that the response from the farmers has been very encouraging.

“St. Elizabeth is the fourth location so far for this training programme and so far the sessions have been well attended. We have seen real interest from the farmers, who have also shown a keen interest in matters relating to the matter of climate change. Farmers want to know what the impact of these changes will be on their livelihood and how they can adjust,” he stated.