Jamaica: Cocoa farmers get tools to combat impacts of climate change

The two-year project focuses on, among other things, protecting rural lives, livelihoods and ecosystems in targeted Jamaican communities that are affected by climate change, through interventions that drive adaptation and build resilience.

The tools were handed over to the cocoa farmers, who were drawn from seven groups between the two parishes, at a ceremony that was jointly organised with the Rural Agriculture Development Programme (RADA) in Portland.

Efforts to improve the resilience and productivity of the Jamaican cocoa industry will go a far way in boosting Jamaica’s overall agriculture sector and food security.

Under the Ja REEACH Project, an additional $3.5 million will be spent to support livelihood diversification opportunities as part of the resiliency building strategy for these farmers, bringing the total value of the support being provided to $6 million.

The environmental impacts of climate change are dire and include an increase in the frequency and intensity of hurricanes, droughts, flooding, environmental degradation, soil erosion, watershed degradation, and deforestation.

The farmers have been trained in how to use the tools to protect their farms from the negative effects of climate change under the Ja REEACH Project’s Climate Change Farmer Field School Programme, and with the requisite tools now have an opportunity to practise what they have learnt in the field. For example, they will use pruning tools to reduce the height of trees so that the trees won’t be damaged by heavy winds.

Source | jamaicaobserver.com

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