Jamaican Farmers Building Climate Resilience with the Help of EU and the Forestry Department

THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU) has funded 46 initiatives to strengthen Jamaica’s climate resilience through cooperation with the Jamaican government’s Forestry Department.

The subprojects are part of a three-year project called Budget Support for Improved Forest Management in Jamaica. In Clarendon’s forested communities of Crofts Hill and Ward Hill, where agriculture is the principal source of income, two such subprojects have been established.

Despite the importance of agriculture to the inhabitants, it has suffered substantial degradation as a result of poor farming practices, mining, and tree felling. Farmers are contributing to the restoration of wooded regions through improved techniques, sustainable and ecologically friendly farming practices as part of EU-funded programmes.

Farmers from the Morant farmers group, for example, have been trained to employ apiculture and agroforestry to keep the forest ecology and the community in balance in Ward Hill. The project’s beneficiaries are Alvin Smith and Hensley Golding.

They recognize the need of maintaining a healthy balance between communities and woods, and they applaud the project as a worthy endeavor that will help to preserve local watershed areas.

The farmers believe they now have a greater grasp of the connection between apiculture, agroforestry, and the preservation of forested areas in their communities after participating in the project’s training phase.

It is normal practice in rural villages like this to remove trees for charcoal or other purposes. Participants in the project said that members of the community now want to learn more about making money while preserving the environment.

A greenhouse project in Crofts Hill has allowed for diverse farming in woodland areas without compromising biodiversity.

Stefano Cilli, the EU’s attaché and programme manager, said the Morant and Crofts Hill farmers’ groups’ projects are just one part of the Improved Forest Management for Jamaica Action Plan.

Forest covers more than a third of Jamaica’s land area. As a result, it is critical to protect and manage them in a sustainable manner.

As a result, the initiatives, which are in line with the EU’s Development Agenda for Change, look at modernizing legislation, reducing forest pressure, reforestation, and afforestation, with a focus on native Jamaican species, as well as providing forest management tools like a mangrove atlas.

Photo Credit: https://www.forbes.com/sites/daphneewingchow/2020/08/09/investing-in-jamaicas-smallholder-farmers-climate-resilience-could-double-agricultural-production/?sh=460a92ef7a2a