Outdoor Sustainable Agriculture Classroom and Model Farm for local farmers in St. Mark’s, Grenada
The Cocoa Farming Future Initiative (CFFI) requests support from the Global Environment Facility in the amount of $45,309 to expand our model cocoa farm and develop an educational center.
Grenada’s climate and soil make it an ideal environment for growing cocoa beans of the highest quality. Unfortunately, the business of cultivating cocoa is just barely profitable, and farmers are struggling to make a living. Young people are reluctant to pursue a career in cocoa farming, and farmers are often dependent on chemical inputs or forced to sell their land to developers. CFFI has been working successfully with farmers to find solutions to the many problems they face, including residual hurricane damage, transportation challenges, and limited access to educational opportunities.

Many farmers express an interest in adopting sustainable farming methods, both to protect their land and health and to enhance the value of their crop. However, farmers say they lack access to opportunities for training in sustainable farming methods and a place to meet together and share ideas.

With input from our board of local farmers, CFFI has begun developing a 3-acre model farm where farmers can observe demonstrations of sustainable methods and participate in hands-on training sessions. We already hosted a successful three-day grafting seminar for cocoa growers from across the island and use our composting demonstration site to produce and sell organic fertilizer at a low cost. There is still a lot of work to be done in order to achieve our goal: to establish the farm as a site that demonstrates sustainable practices, offers advanced training to increase farmers’ knowledge, and provides farmers with a place to share and experiment. Our objectives are to:
• Finalize an accessible model farm within the first 2-3 months that demonstrates 4-5 sustainable methodologies
o Including: walking path, outdoor classroom, educational signage, compost site, vermiculture site, grafting site, vegetable and spice gardens
• In consultation with local farmers, offer three hands-on workshops for 25 participants each on such topics as soil management, organic certification, composting, or vermiculture, within the full 8 months of the project.
• Provide follow-up assistance for participants within the 8 months of the project.

The proposed budget for this project is USD$51,650, with CFFI contributing USD$6,304 and requesting an additional $45,309 from the GEF Small Grant Program, as well as in-kind donations from our community partners.

The primary target for our project is the cocoa farming community in St. Mark’s and St. Patrick’s parishes and surrounding areas. We plan to include women and youth both as staff hired for the farm and as workshop participants.

As a secondary goal, we will train our farm staff to bring tourists and visitors on sustainable cocoa farming tours. By providing an educational center that is accessible and welcoming to both farmers and tourists, we can increase respect and understanding of Grenada’s biodiversity, and build an international commitment toward conservation.

Following the workshops, we will follow-up with participants via phone calls and site visits to monitor their interest in sustainability and support their capacity to adopt the demonstrated practices on their own land. In order to maintain a communicative network and encourage farmers to use the space for sharing knowledge, we will establish monthly community meetings with farmers to continue after the completion of the project. We will also use media, training manuals and the support of the Grenada Cocoa Association to disseminate findings from project evaluation and increase interest in future educational offerings.

With financial support from GEF, CFFI can significantly increase our capacity and educational offerings. We will build trusting relationships with the community by creating a reliable educational space and compensating community members for their instrumental support, advice and work. Most importantly, we aim to reposition agriculture as an innovative career with both economic and environmental viability.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee: Cocoa Farming Future Initiative
Country: Grenada
Area Of Work: Biodiversity
Land Degradation
Operational Phase: Phase 5
Grant Amount: US$ 49,935.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
Project Number: GRD/SGP/OP5/Y4/CORE/BD/14/02
Start Date: 4/2015
End Date: 9/2016
Status: Currently under execution
Project Characteristics and Results
Capacity - Building Component
Farmers will be engaged in finalising an accessible model farm that demonstrates 4-5 sustainable methodologies including: walking path, outdoor classroom, educational signage, compost site, vermiculture site, grafting site, vegetable and spice gardens. There will be hands-on workshops for 25 participants each on such topics as soil management, organic certification, composting, or vermiculture and follow-up assistance for participants will be provided.
Policy Impact
High quality and value of Cocoa is high on the Country's agenda since many farmers are engaged in the harvesting of Cocoa for sale on the local and regional market and as value added products.
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Grantee Contact

Mr System Administrator
 

Address

Diamond Street
Victoria , St. Mark's ,

SGP Country office contact

Mrs. Simone Lewis
Email: simonele@unops.org
 

Address

P.O. Box 3486
St. George's