EcoAgriCulture Project Description
The key objective of this project is to build capacity of small-scale subsistence farmers within the Northern Range to implement sustainable farming practices (SFPs), explore opportunities for improving livelihoods and food security, and reduces the negative environmental impacts of sustainable hillside farming.
To achieve its goal, the project is structured in two inter-dependent components:
Component I: Pilot Project on Sustainable Farming Practices:
Selection of the Maracas/ St. Joseph and Caura/ Tacarigua watersheds for the implementation of this project was based on range of socio-economic and ecological factors.
The implementation of the project began with an assessment of the baseline conditions of the two sites to measure the potential environmental and economic impact of adopting environmentally sustainable cultivation practices on participating farmers. This step was critical in building understanding of the implications and impact of existing farming and other activities by the community on the sustainability of community livelihoods.
See Baseline Assessment Report
Analysis of the baseline assessment was used to design an intervention model for the project which outlines and describes key considerations for implementation of sustainable farm practices in the two areas.
See Intervention Report
The next major sub-component of this project is the provision of technical support to participating farmers in selected pilot communities to teach and transfer practical skills and knowledge of alternative farming practices. These interventions will be conducted via a series of workshops and demonstration projects including land preparation and management, crop selection, and agronomic practices.
Evaluation at the end of the project will be based on monitoring and evaluation reports developed throughout the project to measure progress in terms of stated project objectives and specific analysis of environmental changes measured against data collated in the baseline assessment.
Technical results of the interventions will be monitored over time and measured against the baseline assessments and measurements to clearly document project results. The analysis of project results will be supported through the provision of technical and other resources from the institutional partners.
Component II: Strengthening of Local Networks and Dissemination of Results:
A crucial step to achievement of broader project objectives will be networking with the selected communities, other similarly affected communities, and public and private stakeholder organisations to disseminate information on the environmental and socio-economic benefits of adopting alternative farming practices.
The dissemination of the actual results achieved within participating communities is a key factor in ensuring buy in for the alternative approaches introduced and the sustainability of improved practices beyond the project execution and investment period.
As such, in an effort to achieve mainstreaming and sustainability of this approach to food cultivation in vulnerable environments and communities, key stakeholder organisations from the public and private sectors are involved in steerage of this pilot project, the distillation of lessons learned and the recommendation for expansion and mainstreaming of this approach, initially at the national level.
Copyright The Cropper Foundation, 2013