As if COVID19 IS NOT ENOUGH! We are currently experiencing a devastating drought for the past 10 weeks which has significantly affected our agricultural production.
“We are experiencing low numbers of crop production because of the drought, doubled with the fear that with some of our business while be adversely affected, our partners may close its operations or be very slow in payments."
According to officials, the full impact of the global pandemic has yet to hit our base of operations in St. Vincent & the Grenadines and the Caribbean.
The uncertainty of the loss of our distribution channels has left our farmers without an income and our customers without access to our products and products.
Social distancing has also affected important communications amongst farmers and producers, especially with fear of contracting and spreading COVID-19. This is evident particularly where the workforce is concerned with regards to production, care and harvesting.
Despite the challenges, and adherence to the safety measures advised by our Ministry of Health; with the support of our partners and stakeholders, we are hoping to kickstart our revised marketing strategy with our first export overseas by the end of May, 2020.
ECTAD is determined to:
“Keep our communication lines remain open for producers, we’re keeping them updated with the situation"'.
“Encourage our producers to practice handwashing at the village level to maintain quality standards in their productions in adhering to measures put in place by the Ministry of Health.”
“We’re also working on ways of ensuring that our farmers are paid upfront for product purchase to ease the dire financial crises amongst them".
"Call on the support of governments and development partners".
"Bring about change our eating habits, to encourage organic farming, increase the consumption of fresh local produce and invest in food security.”
“We need to plant more local food and return to the basics of organic farming,”
The finances raised through this project will be used to:
-Safety and protective gears for farmers including face masks, gloves and additional sanitary equipment facilities.
-Supplies of planting materials, seeds fertilizers, organic manure, tools and equipment, to be distributed to farmers in need.
-Because most of ECTAD groups are encouraged to coordinate their own marketing we are also looking at marketing buffer fund - support to pay farmers within a few days of selling products especially for markets overseas.
In the medium to long term, we seek to support and build, strengthen implementation of our key projects
Strengthen climate-smart production and marketing of healthy nutritious foods for local. regional and overseas markets by small farmers/small farm families
Encourage the general population in household backyard production. with the distribution of seeds seedlings and organic manure, and crop production guides.
Finances will be also be used to support and provide resources for an expert marketing strategy and advertising campaign.