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(PRESS RELEASE) – The Agricultural Consultations of the Climate Adaptation Financial Facility (CAFF) will take place in Saint Lucia on 3rd and 5th December, 2019 as part of a two-day event to catalyze the project.
The consultations will take place at the Orchids Gardens Conference Room at Union, Castries, on the 3rd December and at the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) conference Room in Vieux Forte, on the 5th December, from 9:00AM to 4:00PM.
Mr. Barrymore Felicien, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Physical Planning, Natural Resources and Co-operatives, Saint Lucia will be the keynote speaker while remarks will be delivered by other stakeholders including: Mr. Vincent Boland, Managing Director of the St. Lucia Development Bank (SLDB); Miss Angella Burnett, Climate Change Coordinator, Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project and Mr. Dunstan Demille, Perishables Manager, Massy group of Companies
The Climate Adaptation Financing Facility (CAFF) falls under Component 3 of the Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project (DVRP). The CAFF is a pilot financing mechanism which provides loans to eligible households and businesses, including Agriculture, for the purpose of financing investments and activities that create strengthen project assets and livelihoods with the goal of ultimately build resilience to adapt to climate-related impacts. The Saint Lucia Development Bank (SLDB) serves as the Executing Agency for the Climate Adaptation Financing Facility.
The overarching objective of the CAFF is to facilitate farmers in accessing the soft loan facility of CAFF for climate adaption intervention that would enhance farm resilience to the impacts of climate change.
This objective has the following intermediate outcomes:
To equip the farmers/fisher folk with the knowledge of the adaptation interventions available to build climate resilience
To facilitate the farmers/fisher folk in taking advantage of the SLDB CAFF
To develop affordable loan packages to assist farmers/fisher folk to implement the adaptation measures that would strengthen their farms
Whiles the CAFF targets householders and small business enterprises, very importantly, farmers don’t often see themselves as captured in the term “small businesses” as a result it was felt necessary to bring a cross section of the Agricultural sector to address the CAFF with an agricultural bias and to educate the agrarian community of the accessibility of the soft loan facility through the CAFF.
The CAFF has been in operation for at least two years, but the interest from the Agricultural Sector is surprising low. The proposed consultation with the sector would provide the opportunity to educate the Farming community on the CAFF and also to obtain first hand from the sector the constraints and factors impeding the Sector in accessing the low interest loan facility. The Agricultural stakeholder consultation is seen as a two way communication channel to promote the CAFF and at the same take obtain vital information for the Agrarian community that can serve as a catalyst in enhance the CAFF to better meet the needs of the farming community.
Two, 1 day Consultations have been planned for the Agricultural Sector on the 3rd and 5th December 2019. The first (3rd December) will be conducted in the North of the island, and will include the Agricultural regions: 1 (Gros Islet), 2 (Babonneau), 3 (Dennery), 7 (Cul-de-Sac) and 8 (Roseau). The other session (5th December) will be held in the South of the Island and will include Agricultural Regions: 4 (Micoud), 5 (Vieux Forte), 6 (Soufriere).
The day’s activities would include an opening ceremony, followed by a number of presentations on the CAFF. The afternoon session would be interactive where stakeholders in each Region will be providing feedback on the CAFF and would conclude with a survey and evaluation of the consultations.
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