SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION PRACTICES AT THE COMMUNITY LEVEL IN BARBADOS AND THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN

The Sub-Regional Office of the Caribbean of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO-SLC) facilitated the collation of information on sustainable production practices in Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and St. Lucia. The study, carried out by the Caribbean Agricultural Development and Research Institute (CARDI) on behalf of the FAO, aimed to identify the use of some of the 'tried-and-tested' methods in order to promote them by making them available to the wider agricultural community in the Region. This is in keeping with FAO's sustainable crop production intensification (SCPI) objective, which aims to increase crop production per unit area, taking into consideration all relevant factors affecting productivity and sustainability, including social, political, economic and environmental impact. In the current study, 'sustainability' included environmental, financial and socio-economic elements. Current practices were determined via onfarm observation and inquiry, as well as by reviewing marketing and legislative protocols. Activities of over 2000 producers were drawn from individual interviews, field inspections, Extension Officer reviews, and structured group sessions. Whilst several practices were seen to be endemic and common to all seven countries, there were subtle inter- and intra-island differences. Results indicate that in all countries, sustainability was more commonly defined in terms of environmental aspects by way of soil and water conservation, and ' sustainable' practices dealt with land clearing, erosion reduction and soil improvement. Additionally, water conservation as opposed to rainwater harvesting and storage was a central pursuit. Appropriate cropping patterns and other farming practices were largely determined by geography. There was a reasonable level of understanding of the benefits of biodiversity as related to sustainability. Interestingly, there were some practices which were not as widespread that could be expanded, and others that were widespread but not effectively executed. Several recommendations are presented based on the amalgam of practices recorded, on the areas of land use, soil quality, water use and reuse, environmental sustainability, and financial sustainability.


Issue Date:
2012
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/253715
Total Pages:
20




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-11-12

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