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EVIDENCE FROM THE FIELD
LESSONS FROM JAMAICA’S
ORGANIC FARMS
Dorienne Rowan-Campbell
THE FAO CITES ORGANIC
PRODUCTION AS BEING
EFFECTIVE
• Prevention
• Mitigation
• and Assisting with adaptation to Climate
Change
WHAT HAS BEEN JAMAICA’S
EXPERIENCE?
CONTRIBUTING FARMS
FARM PARISH PRACTICES
DURGA ST ANN Water conservation,
natural bldgs,
permaculture, solar toilets,
ponds
JEFFERY TOWN
FARMERS
GROUP
ST MARY Check dams, terracing,
greenhouse, communal
water sourcing
FARMS Continued
ROWAN’S
ROYALE
PORTLAND Permaculture,
terracing, water
harvesting, Shade
promotion
SOURCE
FARM
ST THOMAS Permaculture,
natural bldgs,
water harvesting
WOODFORD
MARKET
GARDEN
ST
ANDREW
Protected ag, water
harvesting,
terracing
JEFFERY TOWN FARMERS
ASSOCIATION
BACKGROUND
• 4 farmers cultivating 12 acres ( two have lost their
leases and are re-organizing)
• Mostly hillside farmers 1 greenhouse
• Soil type bonny gate clay
• Products
strawberries in the greenhouse
fruit trees, bananas, pineapples breadfruit
dasheen
mixed fruit various vegetables, carrots
Issues
• Rain-fed
• Get severe flooding in community and on
farms
Actions Taken - Flooding
• Built check dams with head trench to force
water to soak through rather than rush over
fields.
• Terracing
Water Access
• 1 spring. Use catchments at spring head and
solar pumps to lift water. Priority
community use but some use for farming
• 1 pond. Negotiated with pond owner for use
of pond to entrap water to irrigate green
house.
• Water harvesting on farms
ADAPTATIONS
• Changing patterns of production
– Focus on strawberries in greenhouse
– More emphasis on fruit trees
– Seasonal emphasis on root crops rather than
green vegetables
Observations
• More continuously sustainable and
profitable harvests
• Report a marked difference with
neighboring farmers who have are still
losing crops to flooding and drought
ROWAN’S ROYALE FARM
CERTIFIED ORGANIC SINCE 2002
Background Rowan’s Royale
• 6 acre farm 4000 feet Blue Mountains
• Geologically, part of the band identified as
Newcastle volcanic, full of fissures and
fault lines and the Wag Water enrichment
formation The soil itself varies but much of
it is shale; non calcareous and conglomerate
shales.
• pH acidic.
Background cont
Some Products
Coffee
Asparagus
Bananas, plantains
Mulberries, lemons
Mixed greens, peas,
beans
Turmeric, ginger, coco,
sweet potato
Issues
• Entirely rain-fed
• Are in increasing rain
shadow in summer
• Increased wind
• Shortening period of
mist/fog –less
moisture
• Increased heat and sun
Actions
• Employing Permaculture techniques
• Building berms and swales to trap moisture
• Water harvesting
• Planting trees for shade
• Planting under shade
• Canopy use
• Changing production patterns
• Soil improvements ( top soil inc. organic
inspectors reports)
MOISTURE IS CRITICAL FOR
QUALITY COFFEE
• Lining out the berms
and swales for the
capture of more
moisture for the coffee
Our own brand of water
harvesting
• Trap water from farm
buildings
• many 60 gal drums
spread out so plants
can be easily watered.
• .permaculture
mulching on terraces
• Mosquito prevention
Some adaptations
• 2013-14 planted 150
shade trees
• Moving back to shade
coffee (trees lost after
hurricanes)
• Planting vegetables
under shade
• Experimenting with
drought resistance
crops
• Assists with water and
moisture retention
• Use canopy for chocho
and black pepper and
beans
RR and CIB data
• Float consistently av.
<3% (since 2002)
• 2015 after drought
Higher than normal
float percentage, start
of the crop was about
35 to 40 percent.
Average losses in
yield 15 to 20 percent
Observations
corroborated by UTECH study on Coffee and
Climate Change - Expresso
• Neighbouring farmers
report
• Smaller beans
• Lesser yield overall
• RR heavier yield,
large beans beans
• Loss of seedlings. RR
lost 6
FAO Environment and Natural
Resources Series # 4 2008
Organically Managed soils have a
higher potential to counter soil
degradation as they are more
resilient to water stress and
nutrient loss than conventionally
managed soils
CORROBORATION FROM
FARMS
FAO finding is reflected in other organic systems but
is so far under-reported and researched in
Jamaica.
As soil management is at the core of organic
processes, maintaining soil health ensures a
protection against crop loss in times of flooding
and drought.
Organic soils use less water..
Organic is an holistic system thus all
aspects relate to water management:
• Soil management e.g.Composting adds
nutrient and organic matter ( imp. To keep
water in and soil structure intact)
• Provision of shade trees
• Terracing
• Permaculture
• Mulching
• Cover crops

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Evidence from the Field: Lessons from Jamaica's Organic Farms

  • 1. EVIDENCE FROM THE FIELD LESSONS FROM JAMAICA’S ORGANIC FARMS Dorienne Rowan-Campbell
  • 2. THE FAO CITES ORGANIC PRODUCTION AS BEING EFFECTIVE • Prevention • Mitigation • and Assisting with adaptation to Climate Change WHAT HAS BEEN JAMAICA’S EXPERIENCE?
  • 3. CONTRIBUTING FARMS FARM PARISH PRACTICES DURGA ST ANN Water conservation, natural bldgs, permaculture, solar toilets, ponds JEFFERY TOWN FARMERS GROUP ST MARY Check dams, terracing, greenhouse, communal water sourcing
  • 4. FARMS Continued ROWAN’S ROYALE PORTLAND Permaculture, terracing, water harvesting, Shade promotion SOURCE FARM ST THOMAS Permaculture, natural bldgs, water harvesting WOODFORD MARKET GARDEN ST ANDREW Protected ag, water harvesting, terracing
  • 6. BACKGROUND • 4 farmers cultivating 12 acres ( two have lost their leases and are re-organizing) • Mostly hillside farmers 1 greenhouse • Soil type bonny gate clay • Products strawberries in the greenhouse fruit trees, bananas, pineapples breadfruit dasheen mixed fruit various vegetables, carrots
  • 7. Issues • Rain-fed • Get severe flooding in community and on farms
  • 8. Actions Taken - Flooding • Built check dams with head trench to force water to soak through rather than rush over fields. • Terracing
  • 9. Water Access • 1 spring. Use catchments at spring head and solar pumps to lift water. Priority community use but some use for farming • 1 pond. Negotiated with pond owner for use of pond to entrap water to irrigate green house. • Water harvesting on farms
  • 10. ADAPTATIONS • Changing patterns of production – Focus on strawberries in greenhouse – More emphasis on fruit trees – Seasonal emphasis on root crops rather than green vegetables
  • 11. Observations • More continuously sustainable and profitable harvests • Report a marked difference with neighboring farmers who have are still losing crops to flooding and drought
  • 12. ROWAN’S ROYALE FARM CERTIFIED ORGANIC SINCE 2002
  • 13.
  • 14. Background Rowan’s Royale • 6 acre farm 4000 feet Blue Mountains • Geologically, part of the band identified as Newcastle volcanic, full of fissures and fault lines and the Wag Water enrichment formation The soil itself varies but much of it is shale; non calcareous and conglomerate shales. • pH acidic.
  • 15. Background cont Some Products Coffee Asparagus Bananas, plantains Mulberries, lemons Mixed greens, peas, beans Turmeric, ginger, coco, sweet potato Issues • Entirely rain-fed • Are in increasing rain shadow in summer • Increased wind • Shortening period of mist/fog –less moisture • Increased heat and sun
  • 16. Actions • Employing Permaculture techniques • Building berms and swales to trap moisture • Water harvesting • Planting trees for shade • Planting under shade • Canopy use • Changing production patterns • Soil improvements ( top soil inc. organic inspectors reports)
  • 17. MOISTURE IS CRITICAL FOR QUALITY COFFEE • Lining out the berms and swales for the capture of more moisture for the coffee
  • 18.
  • 19.
  • 20. Our own brand of water harvesting • Trap water from farm buildings • many 60 gal drums spread out so plants can be easily watered. • .permaculture mulching on terraces • Mosquito prevention
  • 21. Some adaptations • 2013-14 planted 150 shade trees • Moving back to shade coffee (trees lost after hurricanes) • Planting vegetables under shade • Experimenting with drought resistance crops • Assists with water and moisture retention • Use canopy for chocho and black pepper and beans
  • 22. RR and CIB data • Float consistently av. <3% (since 2002) • 2015 after drought Higher than normal float percentage, start of the crop was about 35 to 40 percent. Average losses in yield 15 to 20 percent
  • 23. Observations corroborated by UTECH study on Coffee and Climate Change - Expresso • Neighbouring farmers report • Smaller beans • Lesser yield overall • RR heavier yield, large beans beans • Loss of seedlings. RR lost 6
  • 24. FAO Environment and Natural Resources Series # 4 2008 Organically Managed soils have a higher potential to counter soil degradation as they are more resilient to water stress and nutrient loss than conventionally managed soils
  • 25. CORROBORATION FROM FARMS FAO finding is reflected in other organic systems but is so far under-reported and researched in Jamaica. As soil management is at the core of organic processes, maintaining soil health ensures a protection against crop loss in times of flooding and drought. Organic soils use less water..
  • 26. Organic is an holistic system thus all aspects relate to water management: • Soil management e.g.Composting adds nutrient and organic matter ( imp. To keep water in and soil structure intact) • Provision of shade trees • Terracing • Permaculture • Mulching • Cover crops