IICA Launches Smart Essay Competition

Kingstown SVG: March 30th, 2016 – The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture- IICA has partnered with the United Nations Development Programme and the  Ministries of Agriculture in the Eastern Caribbean States to launch an essay competition entitled “Climate Smart Agriculture-CSA: Stories from Farmers in the Eastern Caribbean States”.

The regional competition was launched here this morning at the Ministry of Agriculture Conference Room. It aims at identifying successful cases of innovative and replicable agricultural technologies or practices that contributes to farmers’ resilience and adaptation to climate change, making the agricultural sector more climate smart in the Eastern Caribbean States.

The objective of the competition is to document and disseminate successful stories on the implementation of technologies and practices that are contributing to climate smart agriculture, then raise awareness and promote these technologies and practices in the Caribbean.

National Specialist- IICA to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Michael Dalton said the competition is open to any public, private, or civil society organisation working to improve the adaptation of agriculture to climate change. He said entries should focus on the resilience aspect of the story while indicating benefits for the productivity and contributions to mitigation when applicable should be documented as well.

Dalton said the contest is open to any of the Eastern Caribbean States; Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. He said it is also open to any organized group working in agriculture in the Eastern Caribbean States however Government Ministries of Agriculture, international organisations and their employees are not eligible to participate in the competition. However, he noted that the organisations that they support can submit applications.

The IICA representative noted that the technical areas to be focused on are on farm technologies and practices that respond directly to risks resulting from climate change. He said practices further along in the value change like processing or commercialization will not be considered.

Dalton noted that as of this morning participants can start submitting their stories up to May 30th at noon.  He added that organized groups can submit more than one story and each story must be written in English and submitted using the online form designed by IICA. He said entries received after the deadline will not be considered.

Applicants will receive an email confirming the receipt of their submission. All entry forms must be submitted online and it is strongly recommended that applicants first complete the application in word, then copy and paste answers in the entry form provided online as the online form does not permit applicants to save answers as they go. All fields of entry form must be filled out with concise and verifiable information written in simple language, as if telling a story. Pictures, graphs and tables can be included in the document.

Dalton said participants must agree to abide by the rules and conditions stipulated   and acknowledged the right of IICA and its partners to promote and publicize the practice or technology in any appropriate manner, with due credit to parties involved. He said the entries will be evaluated by a four member judging panel composed of a representative of IICA, a member of the Caribbean Forum on Climate- Smart Agriculture and two independent international experts.

To be eligible to participate in the competition the story should clearly identify the climate risk that the technology and/or practices address. Stories that fail to identify the climate risk will be disqualified. Once it has been determined that the entry responds to a climate risk, the stories will be evaluated according to the following criteria.

  1. The implementation of the technology or practice has contributed to agriculture adaptation to climate change by reducing climate risk. (30 points)
  2. The implementation of the technology or practice has demonstrated that it improves or stabilizes agricultural productivity. (10 points)
  3. The implementation of the technology or practice has contributed to generate and or increase income and food security (10points)
  4. The implementation of the technology or practice has helped to reduce emissions (5points)
  5. The implementation of the technology or practice has potential to be replicated or scaled up. (10 points)
  6. The initiative is sustainable (socially, environmentally, economically) (10points)
  7. Co-benefits (water use efficiency, supports women and youth, etc.) (5points)
  8. Effective lessons learned and advice for the other farmers (15 points)
  9. Completion of full entry form (5 points)

A winner and one or two runner ups will be selected. The winners of the competition will be notified by email within one month after the competition closes. The winners of the competition will also be announced on national radio and television stations and posted on the IICA and Ministry of Agriculture Websites. The Winner and the runner up will each receive a professional documentary about their story, a four page publication about their story, press exposure, recognition during an awards ceremony in the capital of their hometown and twill get to travel to the regional awards ceremony in St. Lucia.

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