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« Tanzania: Adaptation through Conservation Agriculture | Main | Mozambique: Finding Climate Smart Agricultural Solutions to Famine »
Wednesday
Oct172012

St. Lucia: Adaptation, Agriculture and Livelihoods

Brenda Wilson (Saint Lucia), has been working for the past four months on a project in the community of La Pointe, Micoud, St. Lucia. 25 households are low income from crops and produce due to changes in the weather patterns bringing extreme weather events such as hurricanes, and an increasingly unpredictable beginning and end to rainy season.

These challenges affect the organization and its members in their active involvement in developing successful agri-business to meet the needs of families and the wider community. This inhibits their ability to obtain more secure land tenure and the development of the organization to make a more significant contribution in alleviating situations of hardship encountered by the community, increasing awareness of the benefits of agri-business as well, as well as the impact of poor environmental practices on the community.

Participatory Needs Assessment

After conducting a participatory needs assessment with the community members of La Pointe, Brenda developed this project outline to increase crop production, reduce malnutrition and improve food security and reduced mortality rates among children and the community.

Their simple project outline:

[Problem 1] Low income from crops and produce
Advocacy Program for Government Market development Support
[solution to underlying cause: Bureaucracy associated with market access; engaging in group activities that are not seen as beneficial to obtaining markets]
[Activity 1]. Facilitate the organization of a community Advocacy Program committee
[Activity 2]. Consultation with advocacy expert to develop a participatory process and committee training program
[Activity 3]. Advocacy Program committee develops an advocacy plan in order to work together with the authorities on assistance in identifying and gaining access to markets.
[Activity 4]. Advocacy program: Make an official claim to the Ministry of Agriculture and akin agencies asking to include on the budget assistance to Superior Broom Producers and Latanye Farmers in identifying and gaining access to markets

Climate Smart Agricultural Practices Programme  [solution to underlying cause: changes in the weather patterns springing  extreme weather events such as hurricanes, and an increasingly unpredictable beginning  and end to the rainy season]:[Activity 1]: Surveys and interviews to collect traditional knowledge on agriculture, changes in agricultural cycles, vulnerabilities and coping strategies
[Activity 2]: Identify expert specialist/extension agent in soil, water and agriculture to design and facilitate participatory workshops
[Activity 3]. Community workshop on participatory mapping of water and land resources and uses, agricultural challenges and vulnerabilities—and  degraded hotspots
[Activity 4]. Extension agent visits most affected farmers to identify exact CC impacts to crop production and needs of farmers to adapt to the impacts (diseases, droughts and floods and other adverse events)
[Activity 5]: Develop plan that combines resilient and improved agricultural techniques with traditional knowledge for an overall improvement in productivity
[Activity 6]: Establish pilot plots demonstrating better cultivation practices
[Activity 7]: Conduct Farmer workshops on soil restoration and conservation techniques
[Activity 8]: Conduct Farmer workshops on water conservation and management techniques
[Activity 9]. Workshops on crop diversification and drought resistant crops.

Project Goals:

Brenda's project goals are to let the community members of La Pointe be able to enjoy obtain improved incomes from greater market access for products and produce and through a climate smart agricultural practices program aimed at reducing the impacts of changes in weather patterns.

These solutions will enhance the development of the organization and its members in their active involvement by developing successful agri-business to meet the needs of families and the wider community, provide opportunities to obtain more secure land tenure, improve the capacity of the organization to contribute significantly towards alleviating situations of hardship encountered by the community, increase public awareness of the benefits of agri-business as well as having positive impact on good environmental practices within the community.

You can download the participatory needs assessment with photos for her project here:
OL 341 Assignment One.

You can download her full project outline here:
OL 341 Assignment Two.

You can download Brenda's compelling two-page fact sheet here:
OL 342 Assignment Five.

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