Concerns in the agricultural sector over the high probability of heavy financial losses resulting from natural disasters have witnessed an initiative that will allow for farming communities to mitigate the effectiveness of those eventualities.
Community-based Early Warning Systems are being infused into farming communities through the collaborative efforts of the Government of Guyana, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
The formalization of the plan for the introduction of the early warning system was subjected to intensive discussion in the agricultural sector and a subsequent workshop was tasked with compiling the draft plans for each pilot community.
Representatives of various sector support organizations including the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) contributed to an exercise in extensive consultations with farmers in their respective coastal communities.
Stabroek Business was informed that the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) was instrumental in the mobilization of the farmers and in identifying particularly vulnerable farming communities.
The communities selected to participate in the pilot project are Now or Never, Lovely Lass, Bush
Lot, and Number Four Village in Region Five and various communities within the Gibraltar/Fyrish Neighbour-hood Democratic Council in Region Six.
Stabroek Business learnt from NAREI Chief Executive Officer Dr Oudho Homenauth that the initiative will afford NAREI the opportunity to advise farmers on adapting to the vagaries of climate change and the preferred mitigation measures.
It is expected that the successful implementation of the project will better position Guyana to realize two critical sustainable development goals, those significantly contributing to ending hunger and improving nutrition and improving food security.
The initiative is being pursued within the framework of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA), an approach to farming that helps to guide actions needed to transform and reorient agricultural systems to effectively support development and ensure food security in a changing global climate. CSA seeks to tackle three main issues: sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes; adapting and building resilience to climate change; and reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions, where possible. It is an approach to farming for developing agricultural strategies to secure sustainable food security under climate change. CSA also seeks to provide the means to help stakeholders from local to national and international levels identify agricultural strategies suitable to their local conditions.