NAREI, USAID advance discussion on climate-smart agriculture

NAREI and USAID representatives meeting

Guyana’sNational Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) has advanced discussions on climate-smart agriculture with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Mission in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean (ESC).

NAREI’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jagnarine Singh, Research Scientists David Fredericks, and Dr. K Bramdeo recently met with the USAID representatives.

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach that helps guide actions to transform agri-food systems towards green and climate-resilient practices and supports reaching internationally agreed goals such as the SDGs and the Paris Agreement.

According to NAREI, the meeting focused on reducing systematic constraints to climate and disaster finance and increasing investments in resilience across priority sectors such as agriculture.

“The visiting team solicited information regarding the work of the Institute focusing on Climate Smart Agriculture,” the agency noted in a statement.

The meeting is integral as global temperatures are on the rise, resulting in extreme weather patterns to which countries of the ESC are highly vulnerable.

“Between 1960 and 2013, tropical cyclones and riverine flooding were responsible for the majority of the occurrences across the Caribbean, accounting for 71 per cent and 16 per cent of occurrences respectively. Estimated damage from storms and hurricanes is significant and has ranged from six per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) to as high as 200 per cent of national annual GDP from a single event,” NAREI explained.

The government through the Ministry of Agriculture has developed several measures that are intended to promote climate-smart practices in keeping with its expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) 2030.

In fact, an Agriculture and Innovation Entrepreneurship Programme (AIEP) was launched in 2022, which aims to construct hundreds of shade houses across Guyana.

Other strategies for smart-agriculture practices include drip irrigation, greenhouse cultivation, crop rotation, and diversification, which were all highlighted in the expanded LCDS. (DPI)