Belize's most complete independent agricultural publication

Climate Change Impact on Agriculture

in Issue 32 by

Adaptation measures to climate change and variability were the focus of a forum in February when the stakeholders of the agriculture sector and livestock producers met with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forest, Fisheries, the Environment and Sustainable Development (MAFFESD); Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA); and National Climate Change Office (NCCO). The participants developed specific recommended adaptation measures for both direct effects (changes in rainfall and temperature) and indirect effects (changes in pests, diseases and soil fertility) on agriculture crops and livestock.

The measures recommended for excessive rainfall and flooding unclude:

  • Drainage infrastructure, systems and mechanisms
  • Well-designed and drained road infrastructure
  • Available rainfall forecasts
  • Relocation of animals and annual crops

The measures recommended for drought include:

  • Irrigation, including drip irrigation
  • Use of renewable energy sources
  • Watershed management
  • Water harvesting

The measures recommended for climate variability include:

  • Seasonal production
  • Timely, specific, and localized weather forecasts

The measures recommended for temperature increase include:

  • Selection of heat-tolerant crops, pasture varieties and livestock breeds with emphasis on indigenous genetic diversity
  • Irrigation to alleviate heat stress on plants
  • Silvopastoral systems
  • Heat alleviating infrastructure or appropriately ventilated housing designs for poultry, pigs, sheep and goats

Measures recommended for adapting to changes in climate and environment for aquaculture include:

  • Improved brood stock

  • Access to clean water sources

  • Adequate water storage

  • Use of renewable and alternative sources of energy

  • Information and technology transfer from expert sources

  • Improvement in regulatory services

The agriculture sector is in a good position to implement the proposed adaptation measures in terms of technical capacity, institutional and policy environment and stakeholder attitude.

Dottie’s masters degree in math doesn’t directly apply to editing the BAR but her years of experience designing data bases, managing projects, writing technical manuals, product descriptions, reports, contracts and proposals do.

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