During the tumultuous experiences of the COVID -19 pandemic, 46 farmers from the Mount Airy Farmers Group were able to successfully participate in a Climate Resilience Farmer Field School Training Project undertaken by the Nature Conservancy/ Coca Cola in collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority.
The project commenced on February 17, 2020 through a sensitization session with farmers followed by a series of practical training exercises. The farmers were engaged and eagerly participated using the FFS methodology of learning without walls.
During the height of the COVID-19 crisis in March – April and minimization of face to face meetings, the farmers continued the learning and sharing process via zoom meetings as they were determined to make a difference in their individual farms with this new learning experience.
The practical training continued in May 2020 to ensure soil preservation and increased productivity. The trainings included: Construction & Use of A-frame & Triad, hillside ditches, individual basis, the establishment of barriers and contours (Pineapple/Sugar Cane /vetiver & dry grass) among others.
The project was valued at $2.9M and the farmers were given 826 fruit trees and 3000 pineapple suckers were distributed and planted.
To symbolically culminate the project, the farmer beneficiaries proudly participated in a Certification Ceremony on August 19, 2020 at the St. Jude’s Anglican Church, Stony Hill, St. Andrew.
A hearty congratulations to the trainers, sponsors and exemplary participants on a job well done.