by Farm – Saint Kitts

Description

Climate change has been affecting Saint Kitts area in different ways. Farmers had to cope up with disastrous weather events like hurricanes while running out of water during prolonged droughts. Other effects of climate change experienced in Saint Kitts are:

  • Pests and alien species;
  • Loss of seasonality of production;
  • Change in produce (black spots etc).

In order to cope up with those effects of climate change, the experience of the presented farm in Saint Kitts show the adoption of several best practices:

  • Own production of fertilisers not to be reliant from providers;
  • Production of organic fertilizers and pesticides customized on the different plantations;
  • Investments in water tanks;
  • Free-range chickens that help fertilize the soil;
  • Diversification of income (i.e making oil out of nuts produced on the farm).

Results

  • Resilience from extreme events;
  • Wiser use of pesticides;
  • Circular use of what is grown on the farm;
  • Positive change in soil composition.

Climate smartness

The different practices promoted in the project, contribute significantly to the three CSA pillars since they focus on mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and the increase in profitability of crops. Most of the practices promoted in the project are identified within a global CSA evaluation carried out by Sova et. al., 2018. It is highlighted that the project promotes circular economy practices, where all products and by-products are used for the development of the production process within the farms, which results in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The inclusion of additional practices is recommended, with the purpose of supporting farmers to improve yields and climate resilience. In addition, it is essential for the optimal implementation of climate-smart agriculture to strengthen climate information flows to producers, as well as the empowerment regarding the use of climate information, to ensure better decisions in the future, adjusted to their socioeconomic and environmental conditions.

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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.