Sharing Climate change knowledge with the local community
Last Friday, scientists from DAPA visited the municipality of Candelaria and had a very pleasant meeting with the local community. A diverse audience was waiting for us at the community center. Local farmers, teachers, youth people, representatives from environmental associations and from the local government were there; all curious and eager to learn about Climate Change and its impacts on Colombian agriculture. During a couple of hours we shared with them the work that is being undertaken in the program. We provide them with some examples of the tools we are developing and how we expect them to provide helpful and solid science based information to policy and decision makers.
After presenting the broader picture we addressed a more local level initiative, extremely relevant to them. Daniel presented the site specific agriculture project currently been carried out in Colombia which focuses on four fruits crops (citrus, avocado, mango and plantain). He explained who we plan to engage with farmers all across the country to share their experiences and to support them in the decision making process about suitable conditions to grow so that they can increase and expand on farm production.
Small farmers from the area growth citrus fruits, maize, millet, cacao and cotton among others but they have expressed worries about the dominance of the sugar cane, the future availability of water and suitability changes observed on some crops. They have also identified some opportunities namely the positive changes in growing suitability for cassava. Many farmers highlighted the wish of getting access to new/improved varieties that may provide new options to face climate threats.
The feedback received from the community was very positive. It also showed us how relevant is the research we are working for and much there is still to do! Many thanks to the community and to the Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo Económico de la Alcaldia de Candelaria who made possible this fruitful exchange.