COTED green-lights Agriculture Regional Emergency Response team

What is left of a greenhouse in Dominica

The Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) has approved the Regional Agriculture Emergency Response Sub-Committee to  provide prompt  action to help the agriculture sector in Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States to rebound after natural disasters.

Approval came at the 71st Special Meeting of the COTED on Agriculture held at the CARICOM Secretariat on Friday 6 October, 2017.

The 71st Meeting of COTED approved the Emergency Response Sub-Committee
The 71st Special Meeting of COTED on Agriculture approved the Emergency Response Sub-Committee

The Sub-Committee will include representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), the Caribbean Plant Health Directors (CPHD), the Caribbean Animal Health Network (CaribVET), the CARICOM Secretariat, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). Belize and Antigua and Barbuda will also be represented on the sub-committee.

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Following unprecedented hurricanes, resilience in agriculture in focus at Agriculture Meeting

Mr Raymon Nojodimedjo, Deputy Director, Planning and Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Chair of the Meeting of Officials.

With the recent widespread damage, and destruction of the agriculture sector in several Caribbean territories at the forefront of their minds, regional agriculture officials began meeting in Georgetown on Wednesday. A key focus of their meeting is building resilience of Caribbean agriculture to natural disasters.

Representatives of CARICOM Member States and regional institutions are holding discussions at the CARICOM Secretariat from which they will put forward recommendations for the consideration of Ministers at their 71st Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) Agriculture on Friday.

At the beginning of the day-long preparatory session, Chairman of the Meeting of Officials, Dr. Raymon Nojodimedjo, Deputy Director, Planning and Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries of Suriname, expressed sympathy and support to those who were affected by the hurricanes which left a trail of destruction in the Region within the past month.

Agriculture and Climate Change-related Matters is a key agenda item of the Meeting. The use of the Regional Standardised Audit Instrument Tool to integrate Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management considerations into the work programmes of the planning units of the Ministries of Agriculture, will be emphasised to attain greater levels of readiness to deal with climatic catastrophes.

Additionally, the Ministers will be asked to support the development of the Strategy for Emergency Assistance to the Agriculture Sector, and the establishment of Regional Agriculture Emergency Sub-Committee, for a more coordinated response to disasters in the agriculture sector.

Please see more photos of the Meeting of Officials
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Region focuses on climate smart agriculture

(Photo via BGIS)
(Photo via BGIS)

From September 14 to 15, technocrats, policy-makers and agricultural planners put their collective heads together to come up with suggestions as to how best to strengthen innovation agriculture systems to withstand the effects of natural or man-made disasters.

The officials, drawn from countries across the region, participated in panel discussions and other interactive sessions while attending the 11th Meeting of the Regional Planners’ Forum on Agriculture – Innovation Systems for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development, at the Hilton Barbados Resort.

During the opening ceremony, Programme Manager for Agriculture and Industry at the CARICOM Secretariat, Nisa Surujbally, reminded participants that Hurricane Irma, which swept through the Region as a category five hurricane, highlighted the need for smarter agricultural planning.

“Hurricane Irma underscores even more, the need for Climate Smart Agriculture to be a main component of agricultural planning and national disaster preparedness plans.  We have been working assiduously to mainstream climate change and disaster preparedness into the policy framework for the agricultural sector both nationally and regionally,” she pointed out.

Read more at: Barbados Government Information Service

What does ‘climate-smart agriculture’ really mean? New tool breaks it down

Water catchment tank (IPS photo)

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Aug 14 2017 (IPS) - A Trinidadian scientist has developed a mechanism for determining the degree of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) compliance with respect to projects, processes and products.

This comes as global attention is drawn to climate-smart agriculture as one of the approaches to mitigate or adapt to climate change.

Steve Maximay says his Climate-Smart Agriculture Compliant (C-SAC) tool provides a certification and auditing scheme that can be used to compare projects, processes and products to justify the applicability and quantum of climate change funding.

“C-SAC provides a step-by-step, checklist style guide that a trained person can use to determine how closely the project or process under review satisfies the five areas of compliance,” Maximay told IPS.

“This method literally forces the examiner to consider key aspects or goals of climate-smart agriculture. These aspects (categories) are resource conservation; energy use; safety; biodiversity support; and greenhouse gas reduction.”

Read more at: Inter Press Service