The agreement, signed in October 2015 was geared towards focusing on building the livestock sector by strengthening the governance of local Farm Enterprises and promoting sustainable development plans, establishment of silvo-pastoral demonstration plots for proper animal nutrition, adoption of good climate change adaptation practices and building the technical capacity of livestock officers.
Silvo-pastoral systems maximize the synergies of pasture management and agro-forestry to increase farm output.This system diversifies the sources of income from the farm enterprise, as the farmer is also able to earn from the timber trees.
The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) says to date nine silvo-pastoral demonstration sites have been established in the parishes of Hanover, Trelawny, St. Elizabeth, Portland, Clarendon and St. Mary.
The IICA also reports that three dairy clusters, with an overall membership of 70 farmers, have been receiving support to strengthen their governance structures through a collaborative effort between IICA and the Department of Cooperatives and Friendly Societies (DCFS).
The groups are in the process of re-registration and registration as legal entities. After the registration process is completed, the groups will become cooperatives.
Specific areas for strengthening were identified by IICA through analysis of the groups, and a capacity building consultant was contracted by the Institute to facilitate the organizational strengthening of the three groups.
Livestock officers have also been trained in data collection, IICA says 15 research officers from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries (MICAF) at the Bodles Research Station received training in on-farm data collection. The primary objectives of the intervention were to improve the skills of the officers to collect data and to enhance the internal systems for standardizing the reporting process.
Some of the topics covered during the training included: forage management and evaluation, data collection for the evaluation of silvo-pastoral systems, data representation for reporting and analytical statistics.
The intervention is expected to improve the validity and reliability of reports provided by the research institution to farmers and other sector stakeholders.
- Countries: Jamaica