Catch & Release - GOJ/GEF/IDB Yallahs Hope Project Catch & Release Volume 1: July - December 2016 - Page 7

Weeks before our infants and juveniles made their debut in the new school year, our farmers were already enrolled. In what has been described as Schools Without Walls, some one hundred (100) farmers who span four communities in St. Thomas and St. Andrew are learning from each other how to better manage their soil and lands for increased yields and improved water supply. Farmers within the Yallahs and Hope River watershed management units make up 7% of the island’s farmlands. Their produce ranges from spices, fruits and the world famous Blue Mountain Coffee. Now, thanks to the dynamic team from the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), the feeders of our nation are learning how to farm smart in the face of climate change.

Norman Baugh, Land Husbandry Specialist at RADA says the 13-week programme will introduce sustainable agriculture and land management practices.“From drought mitigation methods to hurricane and wind resistant measures, farmers will strengthen their knowledge and ability to withstand the harsh weather conditions caused by climate change.” Baugh said.

The trainings are being conducted in the St. Andrew Hope River watershed communities of Westphalia and Content Gap/St. Peters. Farmers from St. Thomas’ Yallahs River watershed communities comprise Penlyne Castle, Windsor Forrest and Gutter Head.