As part of a programme on Integrated Climate Change Adaptation Strategies (ICCAS), the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) designed a training programme on Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA).
This Capacity Development and Dissemination program for CSA, engaged agricultural technical officers in the Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ministry of Carriacou, Petite Martinique, Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB), Grenada Co-operative Nutmeg Association (GCNA) and the Grenada Cocoa Association (GCA).
The first phase of the training programme, which was implemented in co-operation with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) came to an end with the closing ceremony on February 10.
The objective of the training was to disseminate knowledge on CSA within the agricultural sector through the GIZ developed Modules of Sustainable Agriculture.
The training also included a demonstration on how to build a compost bin over a 10 week period, using Winston Ottley’s farm in Mt. Cassell, St. Andrew’s as the pilot.
The knowledge gained will be transferred to farmers and other stakeholders through the advisory work of the agricultural technical officers, but also through exchange between farmers, which will also be supported by ICCAS.
The closing ceremony of the first phase entailed viewing Ottley’s use of the compost on his short crops and corn.
“I want to leave the soil much better than I met it – and I want to save costs on artificial fertilizers. Both can be done with compost, and I can only recommend that other farmers do the same thing”, said Otley.
The agricultural technical officers were also very happy to see that the crops were responding well to the compost and were quite animated when sharing the results with other farmers.
Technical Officer with GIZ, Ntaba Francis urged the officers “to not only share composting with farmers but also inform them about many climate smart practices as possible such as rainwater harvesting, soil conservation practices and others.”
As part of the ceremony activities a composting factsheet “How to Build a Compost System Using Locally Available Farm Material” was presented by Mr. Troy Augustine, Agronomist in the Ministry of Agriculture and produced by GIZ-ICCAS to support the officers in training farmers in the process of composting.
Currently the integration of CSA practices into the 2016 work plans of the Ministry takes place, in order to institutionalise CSA into the officers’ standard advisory service to the farmers. This is part of the dissemination phase of the training program.
The ICCAS is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) under its International Climate Initiative (IKI), and is implemented jointly by the Environment Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, GIZ and UNDP.