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FAO in Jamaica, Bahamas and Belize

Jamaica’s new national committee on Agriculture Disaster Risk Management endorsed by Minister Shaw

Minister Audley Shaw with the Members of the new National ADRM Committee
03/07/2019

Minister Audley Shaw endorses Jamaica’s new national committee on Agriculture Disaster Risk Management.

 

Jamaica re-establishes a National Agriculture Disaster Risk Management Committee to further activities in promoting disaster risk and climate change adaptation measures in Jamaica’s Agriculture sector.

Over thirty agriculture stakeholders from government entities, non-governmental organizations and other development partners were named as members of Jamaica’s National Agriculture Disaster Risk Management (ADRM) Committee during a meeting held on June 27, 2019.

The meeting was the result of collaborative efforts of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Rural Agriculture Development Authority (RADA) to develop a new Agriculture Disaster Risk Management (ADRM) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) Framework and Terms of Reference and an ADRM Strategy for Jamaica’s agriculture sector. The Framework is the result of months of multi-stakeholder consultations and meetings geared towards actions on mainstreaming agriculture disaster risk management and climate change adaptation into the operations of the agriculture sector, fully supported by national policies and strategies.

These are the first documents of their kind for the sector and their alignment with regional and international strategies and frameworks augur well for achieving buy-in from stakeholders including development partners. A 2019-2020 draft workplan and terms of reference for integrating disaster risk management and climate change adaptation into Jamaica’s agriculture sector have been reviewed. A revised framework is expected to enable stronger cohesion and direction among stakeholders to build farmers’ resilience across Jamaica.

FAO Value Chain Consultant Ms Bree Romuld thanked the stakeholders for their engagement over the months that led to the development of the framework, strategic plan and the establishment of the committee. She added that as the country witnesses climatic changes and embarks on agricultural diversification, the meeting was an important step in building resilient value chains and identifying how to manage risks and recover from disasters at the production, processing and marketing levels. She added that strengthening the country’s resilience, particularly to promote food security was a top priority for FAO and that a multi-stakeholder approach was vital in this process.

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Honourable Audley Shaw highlighted during the meeting, that the re-establishment of the committee was timely as the country faced extreme weather conditions that affected the agriculture sector including crops, livestock, fisheries and natural resources and ultimately the country’s food security. He noted that as the nation worked on increasing its access to markets and helped farmers in dealing with the impacts of climatic change, the committee had a huge task to achieve and that much effort was needed to ensure diverse and resilient agricultural production.

Minister Shaw commended the stakeholders on the development of the framework, terms of Reference and Strategy, which he remarked, aligned well with the Sustainable Development Goals and Jamaica’s Vision 2030 and thanked FAO for their continuous technical support in this endeavour.

The ADRM in Jamaica is led by RADA and its Principal Director of Technical Services, Mrs Marina Young, will chair the Committee with support from the Secretariat.

Establishing ADRM                                                           

As a Small Island Developing State, Jamaica is vulnerable to natural disasters and the adverse effects of climate change. The agriculture sector stands to bear significant losses in food production and a disruption of livelihoods, including impacts on food security and economic growth, if appropriate measures for ensuring resilience and adaption are not established.

Over the past two years, FAO and RADA have been working together under the project “Strengthening Institutional Capacity for an Agro-Environmental Approach to Disaster Resilience in Jamaica” to mainstream disaster risk management and climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector. Under the project was the establishment of on-farm drip irrigation systems using harvested rainwater as an alternative during times of drought to support farmers in St Elizabeth. The new ADRM framework seeks to strengthen institutions by helping to establish and reinforce an organized structure, mechanisms, rules and multi-stakeholder relationships to ensure a robust plan for reducing disaster risks and building resilience in adapting to climate change in Jamaica.