A farmer signs the contract
A farmer signs the contract

The Emergency Agriculture Livelihoods and Climate Resilience Project has reached a milestone in Dominica. The Ministry of Blue and Green Economy, Agriculture and National Food Security, World Bank funded project has begun delivering on the project's Sub Component A1- Restoration of Farmers Cropping System.

On January 20, 2020, crop farmers began signing beneficiaries' agreements, allotted vouchers and collecting agricultural inputs and tools and equipment. As of March 6, 2020, eight hundred farmers have signed beneficiary agreements and 595 have collected agricultural inputs to include agrochemicals and fertilizers.

To date the project has signed contracts for procurement of inputs i.e. fertilizers, agricultural tools and motorized equipment, vegetable seeds, and agrochemicals, totaling 6.3 million EC dollars.

1.3 million EC dollars for agricultural tools and motorized equipment. Small tools like, cutlass, hoe, drain shovel,, rake and knapsack sprayers and motorized equipment to include, mist blowers, rotavators, brush cutters, chain saws, pruning saws, wood shedders and water pumps.

Agricultural inputs i.e. weedicide, nematicides, fungicides and plant supplement make up – over 1.3 million EC dollars. Meantime, over 3.2 million EC dollars has been spent so far on fertilizers (organic and synthetic fertilizers) for root crops, tree crops, banana, vegetables and horticulture.

An assortment of vegetables seeds to include carrot, sweet pepper, lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, tomato, cauliflower, sweet corn and pumpkin used up EC three hundred eighty six thousand, eight hundred fifty seven dollars.(386,857.00)

The distribution of inputs is presently being undertaken from warehouses at Belfast and Longhouse in Portsmouth, with distribution sites soon to be in operation in Castle Bruce, Laplaine and Londonderry.

Small tools will be distributed from the warehouses, while the motorized equipment will be delivered at the DAPEX building. The project will provide farmer training in the "Safe use of motorized equipment" The project is targeting 3180 crop farmers, 200 livestock farmers and 172 fishers. Applications received to date for crop farmers is 1724 and 919 have been approved so far as approvals continue.

Crop farmers are delighted with the project. Here are few impressions

"The project is well timed following the devastation of Hurricane Maria. It shifted agriculture to a different level for us because it speaks to ownership of lands which is critical to agriculture. It also forces people to decide what is their priority on the farm in terms of production, said Ezra Blondel, Colihaut vegetable farmer.

Following the devastations of Hurricane Maria in September 2017, the Government of Dominica received financial support from the World Bank to the tune of US$25.0 million equivalent to EC$68 million dollars for the implementation of the "Dominica Emergency Agricultural Livelihoods and Climate Resilience Project (DEALCRP), a five-year period intervention.

It is designed to help farmers and fisher folk affected by Hurricane Maria restore their agriculture and fishing livelihoods and adopt climate resilient practices.

(Press release from Dominica Emergency Agricultural Livelihoods and Climate Resilience Project).