Thanks to the collaboration of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and CARICOM with funding by the European Union, Dominican farmers are learning to be sustainable build capacity for the sustainability of small farmers, youth and women in rural communities.
An agricultural policy program titled the ‘Traditional Knowledge and Innovation Training for Sustainable and Resilient Small Farming Systems’ took place on September 13th in the community of La Plaine.
In attendance were organizations such as the Belles Farmers Cooperative, Dominica State College, Cochrane Farmers Group and Giraudel Farmers Group.
The agricultural policy program is multi-dimensional focusing on related enabling policies and institutional environment, appropriate researched technology and innovation and market development with a view to delivering benefits to small producers under these initiatives.
IICA Representative, Kent Coipel addressed the event and described the components of the program
Component one focuses on policy and strategy, Component two focuses on applied research and Component three focuses on enterprise development.
CARICOM, CARDI and IICA respectively will execute these projects.
Dorian Etienne represented the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute, CARDI.
“Over the years, agro producers have used a wide range of knowledge and practices which have been passed down through oral or written tradition. Somewhere along the line, we deviated and adopted other practices of producing crops and livestock. With climate variability and high input costs, we are being sent back to the drawing board to take a closer look at the traditional knowledge and practices that sustained our small producers.
“It is against this background that CARDI is seeking to improve the capacity of small farmers to build capacity and resilience.
Some of the topics covered at the training are: Sustainable Land Preparation Practices; Soil Health; Pest Management; Farm Waste Practices, and Climate Resilience.