EcoAgriCulture 2 Project Objectives
- The EcoAgriCulture 2 project will draw on the lessons and experiences of a recently- concluded project in the Maracas and Caura watersheds of the Northern Range (titled 'Implementing Sustainable farming Practices in Trinidad's Northern Range Communities - EcoAgriCulture 1'. This EcoAgriCulture 1 project yielded several lessons which have influenced the design of the proposed project. Specifically the project will:
- Undertake a baseline assessment of farming conditions in three Northern Range watersheds (Santa Cruz, Lopinot and Aripo Valleys)
- Design a strategy (intervention strategy) for engaging approximately 90 farmers across the three farming communities, building capacity and providing technical support for the implementation of SFPs in the selected watersheds
- Design and implement a pilot approach for enhancing community governance arrangements in the selected watersheds
- Implement sustainable farming practices in one of the selected watersheds
In meeting its objectives the project will address the following socio-economic issues in the Santa Cruz, Lopinot and Aripo Valleys:
- Lack of awareness and/or lack of capacity among small-scale subsistence farmers to implement for sustainable forms of farming on the hillsides on the Northern Range.
- Inadequate governance arrangements in farming communities within the Northern Range to
- support farmers in meeting their needs and addressing challenges
- facilitate a more landscape-based approach to managing agricultural activities within watersheds
- Need to enhance relationships between farming communities and public agencies responsible for agriculture,e specially the Ministry of Food Production, in order to better facilitate the implementation of the National Food Production Action Plan for Trinidad and Tobago (2012-2015)
- Need for better information on agricultural issues (including food security and community resilience) to support decision and policy-making in Trinidad and Tobago
In meeting its objectives, the project will address the following environmental issues in the Santa Cruz, Lopinot and Aripo Valleys:
- The use of unsustainable land clearing practices by farming communities on hillsides, such as slash and burn, which can increase soil erosion and water run off, thereby exacerbating flooding in low-lying areas at the foothills of the Northern Range.
- The lack of soil stabilization techniques in farming practices which result in soil erosion and nutrient depletion
- The unregulated input of inorganic chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides), which affects water quality in the Northern Range
- The reduction of biodiversity on farms due to pesticides and mono cropping techniques.
- Need for better information on linkages between agricultural activities and the environment in order to support decision and policy making at the local and national levels.