By Monique Washington
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS) April 5: The effects of climate change in the region have taken top priority in the Ministry of Agriculture as achieving food security has become great priority.
‘Embracing Climate Smart Agriculture to Achieve Greater Food Security’ has been the theme chosen for the 2017 Agriculture Open Day, and the Minister in charge of Agriculture informed during the opening ceremony that over the last 12 months they have seen the implementation of plans and programs geared towards the understanding climate change and it effectives on agriculture and our survival.
With pest, monkeys, donkeys and the occasional draught on the island, farmers are now asked to adapt ‘smart agriculture’ in maintaining food security.
“Certainly this theme reflects the vision from us at the Ministry and Department at Agriculture here on Nevis since we have seen an increased production in crops, livestock, plants and fishing here on the island and despite the challenge the industry has faced this upward movement will continue since food security is high on the agenda of Department of Agriculture,” Hon Alexis Jeffers, Minister of Agriculture said.
Recently the OECS rolled out the ‘OECS Climate Change Programme’ which is to enhance the resilience of OECS Member States to Climate Change Impacts as a means to enhancing the competitiveness of States.
“The Programme seeks to create an enabling environment and enhance capacity of institutions and stakeholders at the community, national and regional levels to effectively manage natural resources and reduce the risks associated with climate change through the adoption of climate change adaptation mechanisms and removing the barriers to implementation” a communiqué reads.
Hon Jeffers said that when they can be more resilient by understanding their weaknesses and appreciating their strength and developing a path way to ensure that they adapt to the force of nature and at the same time ensuring “that we do not succumb to these negative forces”.