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By Theresa Goodwin

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The International Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) have partnered to assist six small scale farmers with the setting up of individual irrigation systems to further boost their production capacity.

Approximately US$12,000 has been set aside to fund this aspect of the two-part project.

National specialist for IICA, Craig Thomas, said the funds were provided through a special campaign launched by the international organisation in September to promote projects aimed at strengthening food security in Haiti and Antigua and Barbuda amid the coronavirus.

Thomas said the #IAmJoiningIICAChallenge also aims to help farmers with their basic needs as it relates to crop production.

“After the Covid-19 virus struck in March we decided, through our offices in Spain, to set up a crowdfunding/micro financing campaign for the first time. Antigua and Barbuda and Haiti were selected to draft two projects and submit them,” Thomas said.

The overall cost of the project – to include the procurement of seeds and other materials, and a seedling nursery and humidity bin in Barbuda – is US$25,000.

“We have already purchased the materials out of Jamaica and have worked with the Agriculture Extension Division to identify the farmers who are ready to resume production,” Thomas added.