by Grenada Organic Agriculture Movement (GOAM)

Description

Too much water, too little water, rainfall intensity, too high temperatures and pest and diseases continue to be the most noticeable impacts on the farming system in Grenada. What is missing is hard data to ascertain whether or not these anomalies or occurrences are due to climate change or some other phenomenon.
Thanks to funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Strategies (ICAS), GOAM implemented demonstrations of best practices to combat climate change. These demonstrations included:

  • Composting;
  • Biochar production;
  • Mulching;
  • Establishment of windbreaks;
  • Organic pesticides;
  • Making of compost tea;
  • Vermiculture;
  • Use of swales to manage water flow.

GOAM collaborated with other farmers’ organizations to demonstrate other practices, for instance, crop rotation and the use of repellents and attractants to control the pest.

Results

The timeframe of the projects did not allow to fully measure the impact of these practices on the farming system. However, post-project monitoring of some of the sites is showing interesting results. There is more knowledge now in providing workable solutions to farmers who request information about organic practices that can be used in an organic farming system.

Climate smartness*

The practices promoted in the project contribute significantly to the three CSA pillars as they focus on mitigation, and adaptation to climate change, as well as crop’s profitability. Most of the practices promoted in the project are identified highlighted in Sova et. al. (2018) report as one of the most important CSA options globally.
It is worth mentioning that all the practices contribute to climate change adaptation in the first place, however, some such as windbreaks and Biochar production, have a significant contribution to the mitigation pillar.
The project may benefit of including additional practices tailored to the specific needs and conditions of the farmers, which can be done through a deeper understanding of weather and climate behaviour, linkages with agricultural production and mechanisms to use forecasts to better plan and manage crops and overall agricultural activities. This can be done through participatory methodologies for building capacity on climate for farmers’ decision-making processes.
For more information about CSA, in the study of the World Bank, CIAT and CATIE (2014), it is possible to identify several practices for Grenada evaluated around 6 key criteria: Water, Carbon, Nitrogen, Energy, Climate, and Knowledge / Info.

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*This is done in the framework of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) approach. Climate-smartness in agriculture means understanding impacts of climate change and variability along with the agricultural activity, which includes the planning of what crop to plant, when to plant, what variety to plant and what type of management practices are needed to reduce the impact on the environment (e.g. emissions reduction), maintain or increase productivity (e.g. yields) while increasing resilience and improving livelihoods.