PIOJ: Small Farmers in Vulnerable Communities Reap Big Harvests from Game-Changing Adaptation Fund Programme
By Claire Bernard, Deputy Director General, Planning Institute of Jamaica & Shelia McDonald-Miller, Programme Manager (Government of Jamaica/Adaptation Fund Programme), Planning Institute of Jamaica
More than 2,500 farmers and their families in highly vulnerable communities are breaking the cycle of poverty using new techniques learned under the Government of Jamaica/Adaptation Fund Programme (GOJ/AFP) to produce bumper crops and increase earnings.
Under implementation since 2013 by the Planning Institute of Jamaica, the accredited National Implementation Entity of the Adaptation Fund for Jamaica, the project has been commended for its successful impact. The project, “Enhancing the Resilience of the Agricultural Sector and Coastal Areas to Protect Livelihoods and Improve Food Security”, has been hailed by Donovan Stanberry, Permanent Secretary in Jamaica’s Agriculture Ministry as a “game-changer” for the targeted channeling of technical support and funding resources to farmers in over 200 farming communities and in the government’s agro-parks.
“The impact of the programme has been remarkable…nothing short of a game-changer for us. The interventions in land husbandry and water harvesting have worked well, and it is now heartwarming to hear the farmers consistently using the term ‘smart agriculture’ to describe their new approach to farming.” – Donovan Stanberry, Permanent Secretary, Agriculture Ministry of Jamaica
In the face of Jamaica’s high vulnerability to climate-related hazards, the components of the project have focused on building institutional and local capacity for climate change adaptation, and protecting livelihoods and improving food security in vulnerable communities. GOJ/AFP Programme
Manager, Shelia McDonald-Miller is pleased with the programme’s contribution and impact and points to the value of partnership in achieving programme outcomes.
“By working together we achieved tangible results on the ground over the implementation period of the Programme. Investments of over US$ 3 million have resulted in positive economic impact on livelihoods and greater food security; improvements in land and water management as well as Disaster Risk Reduction training, Business Continuity Planning, and climate change education. All this has led to more empowered and knowledgeable communities,” McDonald-Miller says.
Concrete results of the GOJ/AFP include:
- 7,500 tons of crops reaped from 909 hectares and support to 15 school gardens to improve food security;
- 220 gravity drip irrigation systems, 11 land husbandry demonstration plots, farmer field school training and the establishment/formalization of 21 Water Users Groups to enhance land and water management.
Mr. I.W. Wilson, Manager of the agricultural component of the project, cites improved community resilience and prosperity as hallmarks of the programme. Using farmers’ crop reports he estimates that sales and earnings have exceeded JMD$1 billion to date. “Jamaica’s farmers made a success of this Adaptation Fund programme, and we are confident that they will continue to improve their livelihoods,” added Mr. Wilson.
In lauding the support of the Adaptation Fund, Claire Bernard, Deputy Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica cited the enduring legacy being left by the GOJ/AFP.
“This programme made measurable impact: it improved local capacity, reduced vulnerabilities, fostered community empowerment, increased awareness of the environment and climate change and built more climate-resilient communities”, she affirmed.
We express our appreciation to the Adaptation Fund for providing these resources to facilitate the implementation of options that are integral to building the climate resilience of our country.