Photo (L_R): Augustine Merchant, Coordinator, IICA Delegation in St. Kitts and Nevis; Eric Evelyn, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture NIA; Melvin James, Director of Agriculture; Conrad Kelly, Agricultural Resource Management Unit (ARM); Dominic Matthew, Marketing Manager TDC; Andy Blanchette, Institutional Liaison; Alistair Edwards, Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Agriculture

Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 31, 2016 (SKNIS):  On Wednesday morning (March 30), The Inter- American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) launched the regional ‘Climate Smart Agriculture: Stories from Farmers in the Eastern Caribbean States’ competition in St. Kitts.

According to Augustine Merchant, Coordinator of the IICA delegation in St. Kitts and Nevis, the competition will focus on developing and documenting farming technologies and practices with the aim of responding to climate change and its impacts on member countries.

Mr. Merchant explained that farmers must become cognizant of the fact that climate change poses a serious threat to their livelihoods, noting that, “the competition aims at identifying and raising awareness of successful cases of innovative and replicative agricultural technologies or practices that contribute to farmers’ resilience and adaptation to climatic change.”

Mr. Merchant added that IICA really wants “farmers in St. Kitts to see being climate smart as a way of life. It should be part of what they are doing and that is the real reason behind this competition.”

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Alistair Edwards, urged farmers to take advantage of the opportunity afforded to them by the competition. He said that he is of the view that “this a chance for you to help. This is a win -win situation, because whatever you do in terms of adapting of mitigating climate change is a win.”

Describing the competition as a “meaningful project” Permanent Secretary Edwards, said, “I want to express sincere thanks to IICA. We really want to thank them as a valuable partner to the Ministry of Agriculture.”

The competition will run from March 30 through the end of April. Winners will be informed one month after the competition closes.

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) is the specialized agency of the Inter-American System that provides technical cooperation on agriculture. St. Kitts and Nevis is one of the 34 member states of IICA. IICA promotes competitive, inclusive and sustainable agriculture that feeds the hemisphere and the world, while at the same time generating opportunities to reduce hunger and poverty among farmers and rural dwellers.

The Institute has its headquarters in Costa Rica, and offices in 34 countries of the Americas, as well as Office for Europe located in Madrid, Spain. The Directorate for Strategic Partnerships works out of IICA Office in Washington, D.C.  


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