December,16,2022 | News

WUR and CARDI join forces to develop a research agenda for nature based systems



Three workshops aimed at developing a research agenda for resilient and nature inclusive systems on Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean, were hosted by Wageningen University and Research (WUR) and CARDI on 6 and 7 October, 2022 in Trinidad. The sessions which were held at the Sugar Cane Feeds Center (SFC) in Longdenville, the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries’ County Victoria Office and Cascadia Hotel, targeted a wide cross section of representatives from the Agriculture sector. Participants included farmers, extension officers and representatives from research and development agencies and women and youth groups.


Resilience must be the bedrock on which the Region’s agriculture sector is repositioned. In his opening remarks, CARDI’s Executive Director, Ansari Hosein noted that “Biodiversity conservation and protection are critical to supporting food security and economic development in the Caribbean. Therefore, any resilience strategy must strike a balance between protecting nature (land and sea) and reversing ecosystem degradation.”


At the sessions participants were asked to identify some of the challenges impacting the sector, and actions to mitigate against them. Some of the challenges identified included: poor water management, climate change, praedial larceny, education and training, lack of youth involvement, land tenure, high input costs and poor infrastructure.


As a follow up to these workshops WUR’s Regional Manager for Latin America & The Caribbean Ria Hulsman, accompanied CARDI staff on a site visit to Nariva/Mayaro, to understand the impact of salt water intrusion in the Kernahan area on cucurbitaceous crops such as watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe. They also visited a cassava farmer in Rio Claro to discuss trials to improve yields.


Ms Hulsman subsequently visited CARDI Headquarters, and met with a team to discuss development of joint project proposals to address some of the aforementioned challenges. At the core of these proposals will be actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore natural or modified ecosystems, to effectively support human well being and biodiversity benefits. Some of the areas being targeted are Regenerative Agriculture, Soil and Water Management and Precision Agriculture.

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