Building capacity in protected agriculture in Grenada

A greenhouse has been constructed at the CARDI Grenada Field Station in Westerhall. The protected structure was supplied under the Caribbean Regional Track of the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) project funded by the Climate Investment Fund (CIF) through the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB). CARDI will use the greenhouse to produce and supply quality, coconut and cassava planting material to farmers. In addition, the site will be used to demonstrate good agricultural practices in nursery and greenhouse management technologies to stakeholders.

 

Grenada, like many small island developing states is considered a climate change “hotspot,” where changing weather patterns are expected to be significant in coming years. The country is prioritizing disaster risk management and climate change adaptation to prepare for immediate and future impacts.

 

Protected agriculture structures are recognised as a viable option to adapt to climate change and achieve food and nutrition security targets. Through demonstration and building capacity, many growers will become more aware of this innovation through which they will be able to achieve optimum yields.

 

In the past, protected structures have failed mainly because they were inappropriately designed to withstand local weather conditions. This model, installed at CARDI Grenada’s field station, has a split roof and reflective netting as part of its cooling features. A trickle irrigation system is installed which facilitates the efficient use of water resources. According to CARDI Representative in Grenada, Reginald Andall, “the trickle system enables the water to be directed to the root zone and allows for better disease control as the water does not come in direct contact with the plants.” Other features of the system includes the installation of reusable trellises, an off-site rain water harvesting system which supplies the irrigation water and a solar powered pumping system.

 

In the event of a hurricane or adverse weather the plastic cover can be removed and secured. The cover can be put back up quickly after and production can be restarted almost immediately.

 

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