The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is expanding its collaboration with INMED Partnerships for Children/INMED Caribbean to improve the capacity of small-scale farmers to implement climate-adaptive aquaponics farming and to strengthen Micro Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.
The Increasing Access to Climate-Smart Agriculture in the Caribbean through INMED Aquaponics® Project aims to boost the capacity of aquaponics companies and climate resilience in Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and The Bahamas.
“As economic opportunities for small-scale farmers decline amid significant climate change impacts, it is imperative to introduce viable, income-generating livelihood alternatives, particularly among our MSMEs,” says Lisa Harding, Coordinator Micro, Small and Medium Size Enterprise Development at CDB. Innovative solutions are especially needed as regional economies face a variety of climate-driven events. Global disruptions in the supply chain are delaying the delivery of foodstuff and supplies small-scale farmers depend on to sustain their livelihoods. CDB is proactively building climate resilience through this initiative with an adaptive agriculture model.
Current economic conditions have focused on agricultural enterprise support for an equitable and resilient recovery. Aquaponics combines aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (soilless crop growing) in a closed symbiotic system, conserving water and space and providing up to 10 times more fresh vegetables and fish year-round.
“INMED Caribbean first introduced aquaponics to Jamaica in 2011 and has implemented two dozen systems throughout the island for schools, charitable groups, civic organisations, small farm cooperatives and communities to build food security, climate adaptation and income generation,” says Dr Linda Pfeiffer, Founder and CEO of INMED Partnerships for Children. With key investments from CDB, IDB Lab and the Government of Jamaica, INMED Caribbean developed a comprehensive model with linkages to markets and financing and other value-chain support for smallholder farmers and emerging agri-entrepreneurs.
“The four nations we are assessing for expansion are well-positioned to benefit from INMED’s training programme because they each have a need and appetite for aquaponics farming,” says INMED Chief Operating Officer Kristin Callahan. INMED Caribbean is conducting research to identify stakeholders for the social enterprise training programme to jumpstart regional aquaponics expansion.
The project will involve virtual and in-person training workshops for participants in the pilot country, focusing on underrepresented and low-resource populations.
Credit: Source link