Building Small Scale Farmers’ Capacity to Implement Sustainable Farming Practices in Trinidad’s Northern Range
Building Small Scale Farmers’ Capacity to Implement Sustainable Farming Practices in Trinidad’s Northern Range
This project is designed to address the issue of land degradation which is considered a focal area within the context of the UNDP Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP). The project is developed as part of a larger initiative being implemented by The Cropper Foundation and its partners that seeks to build capacity of small-scale subsistence farmers within the Northern Range to implement sustainable farming practices (SFPs), explore opportunities for improving livelihoods and food security, and reduce the negative environmental impacts of unsustainable hillside farming.
The project will draw on lessons and experiences of a recently-concluded project in the Maracas and Caura watersheds of the Northern Range (titled ‘Implementing Sustainable Farming Practices in Trinidad’s Northern Range Communities - EcoAgriCulture’) and will seek to:
1. Undertake a baseline assessment of farming conditions in three Northern Range watersheds1 (Santa Cruz, Lopinot and Aripo Valleys)
2. Design a strategy (intervention strategy) for engaging farmers, building capacity and providing technical support for the implementation of SFPs in the selected watersheds
3. Design and implement a pilot approach for enhancing community governance arrangements in the selected watersheds
4. Implement SFPs in one of the selected watersheds.
In meeting its objectives, the project will address the following environmental issues in the use of unsustainable land clearing practices by farming communities on hillsides, such as slash and burn, which can increase soil erosion and water runoff, thereby exacerbating flooding in low-lying areas at the foothills of the Northern Range:
• The lack of soil stabilization techniques in farming practices which result in soil erosion and nutrient depletion
• The unregulated input of inorganic chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides), which affects water quality in key watersheds in the Northern Range
• The reduction of biodiversity on farms due to pesticides and mono cropping techniques
• Need for better information on linkages between agricultural activities and the environment in order to support decision and policy-making at the local and national levels
The main activities of the project are:
1. A Baseline Assessment of farming conditions in the three target farming communities;
2. Participatory design of strategies for implementing sustainable farming practices in the farming communities;
3. Capacity development in community governance in the farming communities; and4. Implementation of SFPs in one of the selected watersheds.
The progress of these activities will be tracked against the achievement of milestones, and success of the project will be assessed using a set of targets and indictors that have been developed along the lines of the UNDP GEF OP5 project level indicators. The targets include:
• At least 20% of farming community in each of the watersheds implementing sustainable farming practices2 (SFPs). Farmers will be introduced to a range of SFPs, and will be encouraged to select a set of SFPs that they want to implement. It is expected that farmers may not be able to implement all of the desired SFPs at once, and therefore a phased approach for implementation of SFPs will be designed.
• At least 20% of farming community made aware of participatory decision making processes
• At least 20% of the farming community trained in participatory processes
• At least 20% of farmers agreeing to contribute to a Revolving Fund. A revolving Fund will be established to provide resource support to farmers for long-term implementation and mainstreaming of SFPs.
The project was designed and will be executed by The Cropper Foundation (TCF) in collaboration with a number of institutional partners – the Ministry of Food Production, UWI, FAO, IICA, CARDI and the Trust for Sustainable Livelihoods; these institutions will be invited to be a part of a steering committee for the project. A technical team will also be established for the project which would comprise the Technical Coordinator at TCF, members of the steering committee, and the consultants hired for various aspects of the project. The sustainability of the project is bolstered by TCF’s established track record in working with agricultural communities in the Northern Range for the past eight years, as well as the Foundation’s strategic partnerships, developed with a number of key agricultural stakeholders.
The project’s activities are designed to be implemented over a period of 18 months, and a total budget of US $216,968.94 has been determined for the project, of which US $138,684.78 is being requested from the GEF SGP; US $52,430.12 will be provided as a counterpart cash (64%) and in-kind (36%) contribution from The Cropper Foundation and its partners; an estimated US $25,854.04 will be provided as a counterpart in-kind contribution from the farming communities.
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Project Snapshot

The Cropper Foundation
Trinidad and tobago
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 119,326.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 33,796.58
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 44,487.58
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
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SGP Country office contact

Ms. Sharda Mahabir


c/o UNDP, United Nations House, 3A Chancery Lane
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