Cuba to mitigate effects of climate change on agriculture

Pilar M. A. Cuba to mitigate effects of climate change on agriculture

Prensa Latina, September 6, 2013 , Pinar del Rio, Cuba .

Climate change adaptation in the agricultural sector of Cuba with sustainable practices and other strategies , promotes actions in search of efficient use of natural resources like water and soil , as well as the optimization of irrigation and drainage systems in accordance with the agro -meteorological conditions , the rotation of the lands and crops , diversification of agricultural production , the introduction of more resistant varieties to the characteristics of each site and the growth biostimulator . Another priority is to strengthen the production of bio-fertilizers , the use of biological control , integrated pest management and residues , together with the operation of mini – industries within the productive chains .

With a funding of about $ 13 million for a period of five years, the project Basal is aimed to support adaptation to climate change in Cuban agriculture  with sustainable practices and other strategies , experts confirmed today . Started in 2013 , the program Environmental Sustainability Bases Local Alimentaría ( Basal) , promotes actions in search of efficient use of natural resources like water and soil , told Prensa Latina Sandra Diaz , one of the specialists involved in this initiative.

Another priority is to strengthen the production of bio-fertilizers , the use of biological control as well as the integrated pest management and residues , join with the operation of mini – industries within the supply chain. The rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage systems and it optimization , according to agro -meteorological conditions , the rotation of the lands and crops, diversification of agricultural production , introduction of resistant varieties to the characteristics of each site and the biostimulator growth , stand out among the measures , she said.

Backed by the European Union and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation , the program has echoes in several municipalities in the Caribbean country .The plan shall also promote the exchange of information and knowledge between scientists , producers and other  specialists, both local and national , to face the challenges posed by climate change , with that object will be created or refined systems designed to collect , coordinate and disseminate the best results. Implemented by the United Nations Program for Development, Basal sponsor the use of successful experiences in the agricultural sector in the Caribbean and the European Union , she added. According to Diaz , as part of the overall strategy will be developed crop forecasting and modeling , ie , projections of climate change impacts in this area , the availability of water, soil condition and the presence of pests.

The municipality of Los Palacios , belonging to this western province is one of the beneficiaries of the project. That territory , among the largest producers of rice in Cuba , suffers damage from drought , soil degradation (erosion, salinization , low organic matter content ) and damage to coastal ecosystems , among other scourges .

Agriculture is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change , a phenomenon that may jeopardize food security in different regions so accommodate variations is a need for the country men . Only sea level rise is considered a lethal threat to agricultural areas near the coast , particularly in small islands the low lands . The increase of the severe weather events such as heavy rains and extreme droughts , is another danger .

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