FAO working in support of Climate Smart Agricultural practices
In Guyana, agricultural production is rain-fed which makes it climate sensitive and susceptible to climate change. The anticipated increase in temperatures with concomitant decrease in precipitation would adversely affect major field and vegetable crops, livestock production, fisheries – both marine and freshwater production and water availability. These effects would have precarious impacts on the patterns of future agricultural production; threaten livelihoods and keeps vulnerable people insecure.
The mitigating and adaptive efforts to combat climate change in Guyana include but not limited to climate smart practices such as the use of shade houses. Shade houses or greenhouses as they are popularly called are used primarily to protect plants from severe weather patterns, providing a more favorable environment for plant growth.
During 2018, FAO commissioned several shade houses in schools and communities around the country. Recent beneficiaries include Charity Secondary, Bartica Secondary, Wisburg Secondary and Linden Foundation Secondary schools. Most of these houses were constructed via self-help labor with technical support and partnership for the goal with the Inter-American Institute for Corporation on Agriculture (IICA) and Partners of the Americas under FAO’s Technical Corporation Programme (TCP).
The green house initiative provides a great opportunity for students to learn and acquire skills in climate smart agricultural practices and to rejuvenate their general interest in agriculture on the whole. Students are given an opportunity to produce their own crops, encouraged to eat what they grow, thereby promoting better nutrition and healthy diets and change in consumption patterns. This initiative is of importance since students develop an appreciation for producing healthy and nutritious foods that enhance the nutritional quality of meals prepared by the school feeding programme of which they are integrally involved.
The Angela Alleyne Shade Garden
Commissioned on June 22, 2018 the Angela Alleyne Shade Garden is the facility located at the Charity Secondary school as a memoir in honor of the late Angela Alleyne, former Assistant Representative-Programmes: Guyana and one of the pioneers of the Telefood Shade Houses project. Ms Alleyne, just before her passing, worked feverishly to commission this facility to satisfy her passion to promote the interest of youth in agriculture and to treat same as a business and means of livelihood. Most importantly, to promote and enhance food and nutrition security, increase income and prosperity of families and communities.
This facility like many others was constructed by the students and members of the community with the support of FAO. Initially, vegetable seedlings were provided and the school has reported that they are about to reap for the fourth time lettuce, pak choy and celery. These produce are packaged and sold to the community and forms part of the school feeding programme. The profits are used to prepare the shade gardens for its next crop.
FAO hopes to continue providing similar assistance to schools and other groups as it works towards building a food-secure world for present and future generations.