CARDI Guyana has overseen the construction of two climate-smart shade houses. Located on private holdings in Dalgin and Mahaica, these shade houses will be dedicated to demonstrating alternative intercropping options for coconut farmers, as a means of both diversifying their operations and multiplying their income stream.
CARDI, in collaboration with the National Agricultural and Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), will also develop a manual on good agricultural practices for intercropping coconuts. From the data collected from these operations, recommendations for the optimum combination of crops to achieve profitability will be presented. Emphasis is being placed on high valued intercrops.
CARDI, NAREI and MoA have been providing technical support to the farmers. The agencies have already assisted with the installation of irrigation systems and worked on a soil program, which included the use of ameliorants such as charcoal/biochar and manure.
These shade houses will be used as demonstration sites, where secondary ring farmers in the communities can learn best practices and gain new knowledge on commercial intercropping of coconuts with cash crops. The plan is to scale-up the adoption of climate-smart shade houses by coconut farmers across Guyana’s diverse agro-ecological zones.
The spacing between coconut plants is effective corridors for intercropping complementary crops – providing an opportunity for farmers to increase their incomes manifold.
This activity is being funded under Phase II of the European Union (EU)/CARIFORUM, Alliances for Coconut Industry Development, Expansion and Enhanced Support for the Caribbean project, jointly implemented by CARDI and International Trade Center (ITC).