JIS News

Story Highlights

  • A five-year climate change plan is being crafted for the country’s agriculture sector, which is intended to strengthen the sector’s resilience to weather-related impacts such as droughts, tropical storms and hurricanes.
  • The Climate Change Strategy and Plan (CCSAP) is being developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries through funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change (Ja REEACH) project, with technical support from the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change.
  • Minister Kellier said the effects of climate change, particularly recent droughts, have been having adverse impacts on crop production, and have resulted in a 21 per cent reduction in sugar production this year, over last year.

A five-year climate change plan is being crafted for the country’s agriculture sector, which is intended to strengthen the sector’s resilience to weather-related impacts such as droughts, tropical storms and hurricanes.

The Climate Change Strategy and Plan (CCSAP) is being developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries through funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Jamaica Rural Economy and Ecosystems Adapting to Climate Change (Ja REEACH) project, with technical support from the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change.

“It will position the agriculture sector to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate variability and change, while achieving its food security and competitiveness objectives,” said Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier.

He was addressing a climate smart symposium today (July 16) at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.

Minister Kellier informed that CCSAP will target key agricultural subsectors such as traditional exports, domestic and non-traditional exports, and livestock. “The decision on the final sub-sectors to be considered will be done in collaboration with key sector stakeholders,” he noted.

Mr. Kellier said the plan is expected to provide a blueprint for the transformation needed within Jamaica’s agricultural sector and food systems, to meet the challenges associated with climate change and food security.

 

It will inform the establishment of climate resilient agricultural policies and strategies to promote climate smart agricultural techniques consistent with the National Food and Nutrition Security and Climate Change Policies.

Other objectives are to sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes while adapting to the risks posed by climate variability and change; and to transform agricultural extension services to be more responsive to climate variability and change and the precipitous effects.

It will also integrate adaptation and mitigation strategies in sector programmes, including ways of reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions; and guide Government actions to support decision-making including research and development, infrastructural investments, and catastrophic event response strategies for the sector.

Minister Kellier said the effects of climate change, particularly recent droughts, have been having adverse impacts on crop production, and have resulted in a 21 per cent reduction in sugar production this year, over last year.

“The example of the 21 per cent decline in sugar production this last year underscores the urgency of expanding and overhauling not just irrigation systems but climate smart agricultural systems in general. The frequent periods of drought we are experiencing as a result of climate change and global warming is the greatest risk to agricultural growth and hence growth in the economy in the mid-term,” he contended.

The Climate Smart Agriculture Symposium brought together farmers, scientists, technical experts and extension providers, as well as decision-makers to share information on research, best management practices and innovations to inform sector level decision-making.

 

The Ja REEACH project is a three-year initiative funded by the USAID. Through a range of interventions, Ja REEACH works with the Government, civil society and farmers to increase the awareness and application of practical actions that help Jamaicans to become resilient to the impacts of climate change.