The Unemployement Relief Programme (URP) in Tobago continues to expand through specialised training in agriculture.
URP remains a partner with the USAID John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program, Purdue University and the University of the West Indies (UWI).
In the latest series, the programme focused on introducing URP participants and local farmers to climate-smart technology. A drip irrigation system was built and installed. It is purposed to preserve crops by capitalising on rainwater sources.
Trainees were also taught basic plumbing techniques and constructing a drip irrigation system utilising low-cost materials.
The Division of Infrastcuture, Quarries and Urban Development hailed the importance of the partnership.
It said, "The tug-of-war between earth and climate change continues unabated. We are constantly affected by the adverse weather conditions and temperature changes, both of which can have deleterious effects on crop yield and the availability of a consistent supply of water. Being climate-smart is not a choice…it’s a must."
It said that prior to the start of the programme, participants fashioned a pond at the Roxborough compound to capture and store rainwater. From this, the irrigation system made of PVC, irrigation tubes and a pump would draw water. It is anticipated that farmers and URP participants can now implement this technology on other farms and transfer the knowledge to other teams.
"It is partnerships such as this one that makes the sustainable development goals more achievable," the division said.