St. Kitts and Nevis forges ahead with Implementation of FAO Funded Project

The Ministries of Agriculture and Environment are moving forward with the implementation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) funded project “Assisting Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to integrate the agricultural sectors into climate change priorities and nationally determined contributions (NDCS)”.

The project comprises two outputs; strengthening technical capacities for innovations in climate adaptation and mitigation in the agricultural sector and integrating the agricultural sector and food security priorities into national climate change strategies, action plans and NDCS.

FAO National Climate change officer, Stephen Duggins explained that the project will be beneficial to St. Kitts and Nevis, in particular the agriculture sector.

“The impacts of climate change are likely to have a greater impact on agricultural sectors and food security than other sectors. Therefore, this climate change project and the opportunity for groups to demonstrate their ability to reduce the impact of such changes becomes significant to the country,” he said. “the small size and resource limitation make small islands even more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Building capacity of the various stakeholders not only creates a greater awareness of the negative impact of climate change, but puts the country in a much better position to identify and adopt measures that will ensure greater sustainability of the environment and the economy.”

Duggins said at present, the FAO funded climate change project is seeking small scale creative/innovative projects that could minimize the adverse impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector.

“Impact from intense storms or hurricanes which could give rise to strong winds and/or flooding, increase in temperatures and changes in our rainfall patterns are just a few potential impacts. Similarly, drought conditions, can seriously impact food production and our livelihoods,” he said. “the project will provide grant funding up to us$8000.00 for as many as three small scale replicable agricultural project that will contribute to sustainable and resilient domestic food production, food security and nutrition.”

He added that the pilot projects selected for grant funding will provide a template for other stakeholders in other areas and perhaps in other countries to minimize similar effects of climate change.

Local focal point on the project, Cheryl Jeffers, said that the project is extremely important.

“this project tends to focus on prioritizing adaptation actions in the agricultural sector in an effort to safeguard food and nutrition security. This is important for St. Kitts and Nevis because agriculture and fisheries play a key role in supporting the local economy, thereby, contributing to food security, employment and income,” she stated.

The US$2 million dollar FAO project, which runs from January 2017 to June 2019 is underway in Caribbean countries, including, St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and Guyana.

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