This project targets female farmers to meet their needs in preparation, adaptation and mitigation of disasters as they are usually first respondents during disasters
Female farmers in Dominica are receiving much needed support through one of the microfinance initiatives under the Strengthening Disaster Management Capacity of Women in the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and the Commonwealth of Dominica Project. With support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean and in collaboration with the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica, through funding from the Government of Japan, 19 farmers 17 female and 2 male from the communities of Kalinago territory, Castle Bruce Grandfond Bellevue Delices Belles Cochrane, Gleau Gommierre and Pond Case were provided farm tools and materials to assist them in preparing for, mitigating against and adapting to impending farm hazards, such as hurricanes, floods and drought. Among the materials provided were water tanks and water hoses to relieve potential drought conditions.
These 17 women beneficiaries along with two men are the first of 200 targeted farmers in the parishes of St. David, St Paul, St. Patrick. These farmers were selected after a rigorous consultation process with stakeholders. In Dominica female farmers play a critical role to national food security and the nation’s health, thus this project specifically targets female farmers to ensure that their needs in preparation, adaptation and mitigation of disasters are duly met as they are often first respondents during disasters, yet their contributions are not sufficiently recognized or acknowledged and consequently their specific gender needs not met. It is critical to the project’s success that farmers gain an in-depth understanding of the steps they can take to protect their farming livelihoods.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Dr. Kyra Paul stated, “quote.” Sawana Fabien, Project Coordinator in her remarks added, “As we work towards building forward better, we must adequately prepare women in all industries. Women in agriculture face many challenges and through knowledge building and active-inclusion, we can ensure that the region and all of its farmers are better prepared."
Overall, this project seeks to increase national and community capacities in the effective and timely use of early warning systems; provide skills training (Participatory Integrated Climate Services for Agriculture (PICSA) and Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) to farmers to encourage the adoption of new practices including the better utilization of climate and weather data in their farm planning, accelerate the use of drought resultant seeds and cultivars, assist with the diversification of current farm operations, facilitate the provision of grants to farmer groups, and enable the setup of a microfinance facility. Key project partners are the Ministry of Blue and Green Economy with extension officers playing a vital role, the Dominica MET office, Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), University of Reading (UoR) and Inter-American Institute for Cooperation In Agriculture (IICA.)
This project is part of the work of UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean in its commitment to promoting gender equality and women and girls empowerment in the region. As the Caribbean continues to seek solutions to mitigate the impacts of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic, UNDP in partnership with governments and stakeholders remains dedicated to the advancement of inclusive and sustainable development throughout the region and building resilient communities that can withstand shocks and crises through targeted projects and programmes.