With climate change advancing rapidly and a global pandemic to contend with, increasing climate and economic resilience for small farmers and firms is a priority.
The ITC Alliances for Action programme works with a network of partners worldwide to boost agribusiness value chains ethically and sustainably through boosting farmer and small firm competitiveness, market access and values-based food systems.
The ITC-Alliances for Action Caribbean Coconuts project is implemented in partnership with CARDI and funded by the European Union, the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and CARIFORUM. It aims to increase resilience by diversifying climate-smart crops, products, income streams and risk and building strategic market linkages and sector alliances.
In Jamaica, in partnership with the Coconut Industry Board (CIB) climate smart irrigated intercropping plots were established, generating improved productivity and opportunities to sell short-term cash crops on the domestic market. This has helped offset COVID-19 induced reduction of tourism and hospitality markets, as well as adverse climate conditions and a lack of crop diversification. 2 coconut nurseries were also stocked with 5,000+ coconut seed nuts now distributing high quality seedlings to partner farmers to increase supply and income from coconuts.
Adrian Robinson, a lead farmer from the project is grateful for the increased resilience that crop diversification offers: ‘We were able to put in climate-smart irrigation and continue with our intercropping during the drought. We planted papayas, sweet peppers, pumpkins, plantains, hot peppers and as a result we were able to keep our workers at work every day.’ He adds that the extra produce means they can supply the local market in and around the area and get extra income.