Good practice options for Disaster Risk Reduction

The project field tested and demonstrated various good practice options for DRR in the villages/areas of Bogis, Mabouya Valley, Roseau, Delcer, Dennery and Soufriere. Good practice options support sustainable livelihoods, along with criteria to build climate resilience ensures the sustainable development of farming systems.

Description of Good Practice Options


© Carleen Jules

Soil & water conservation practices
An improved system for rain water harvesting and soil conservation was demonstrated on a farm located at a steep slope in Mabouya Valley by installing a tank on a cemented platform on top of the farm combined with roof water collection; and establishing, in addition, contour ridges and counter stone bunds, stabilized further with Vetiver grass to reduce water runoff and soil loss on the farmlands. Water was already harvested and stored previously on small scale, but by installing a thirty thousand gallon tank, the farmer can now conserve enough water during rainy season to allow an additional cropping cycle in the dry season. Through the combined water harvesting and soil conservation techniques the key natural hazard risks faced on the farm were addressed; farm income will be increased through the additional dry season crop.

Drought, heavy rains and soil erosion

© Carleen Jules

Pest management (comparative field & greenhouse studies)
Farmers were trained in the identification and control of major pests and diseases in tomato using the integrated pest management method. Pests and diseases were viewed by farmers as an emerging hazard affecting their livelihoods. Due to high temperatures and the recent threat of the yellow curly leaf virus, farmers were apprehensive to continue with tomato production due to the high cost of chemical treatment of the virus and the uncertainty of crop yields. By undertaking a comparative field and greenhouse study, it was investigated how best to manage curly leaf virus affecting tomatoes. The activity focused on the control of the virus through appropriate and scheduled use of chemicals and good farm management practices. The greenhouse was used to help farmers improve the yield and quality of tomatoes and also to compare control of the curly leaf virus to open field production. The results showed that were the chemical application schedule was followed and crop husbandry practices followed, the incidence of tomato curly leaf virus was reduced and crop yield and quality had also improved.
Crop pests and diseases

© Carleen Jules

Construction of a concrete floor within an existing 4000 sq.ft. poultry pen
Traditionally poultry production (both broiler and layer) has played an integral part of small farming systems and for food security throughout rural and suburban communities in Saint Lucia. As a DRM good practice activity, a concrete floor was constructed within an existing 4000 sq. ft. poultry pen as well as a footbath at the entrance of the said pen. These measures are recommended by the Poultry Unit of the Veterinary and Livestock Services Division of the Ministry of Agriculture in order to ensure increased bio-security for poultry farms. These are risk reduction strategies, which allow for healthy stock to be sold at the market, generating income and contributing to people’s livelihoods and food security. These new DRR good practice options were established on some farms around the island. It is noteworthy that, since the implementation of the DRR pilot project activities those practices have become standard and mandatory.
Poultry diseases

© Carleen Jules

Construction of a hurricane-resistant small ruminant housing
Major constraints to small ruminant production have been water shortages during the drying season, lack of improved forage species for maximizing production and unavailability of improved housing for livestock. The construction of a hurricane-resistant small ruminant housing unit incorporates rain water harvesting and bio-security features, such as the construction of a footbath, a slatted wooden floor and concrete base beneath the pen to facilitate efficient manure handling and disposal. Small ruminant farmers, have in the past, addressed these housing issues in isolation. However, since the implementation of the DRR project in Saint Lucia, these good housing practices have become standard and all-inclusive in the design plans for construction.

Storms/drought/parasitic diseases


Other technology options tested for enhanced risk reduction in agriculture:
- Forage bank establishment for complementary feeding of livestock ;
- Construction of septic tank on a swine farm to avoid flow of waste into nearby river system ;
- Instalment of composter for utilizing manure as part of waste management disposal ;
- Improved drainage and footbath for broiler unit to mitigate diseases;
- Rainwater harvesting and construction of a footbath for biosecurity ;
- Improved hurricane resistant roof constructions of hen pens;
- Morne d'or water reservoir for community based drought management;
- Instalment of hurricane clamps on farm buildings ;
- Tree pruning to reduce hurricane impacts ;
- Stabilization of river banks and main drains;
- Provision of winch to facilitate removal of boats at sea in case of hurricanes.

These successfully tested good practice options will be included in the:
FAO TECA database on proven agricultural technologies and practices for smallholders

last updated:  Tuesday, February 14, 2012