Irrigation Training Moves Caribbean Growers Toward Self-Sufficiency
The Irrigation Association went to Jamaica to teach efficient irrigation techniques to extension agents who will help Caribbean farmers grow vegetables and attain greater self-sufficiency.
Irrigation Association education director Dennis McKernan and regional authorized instructor Ron Sneed taught the Agricultural Irrigation Specialist course to extension agents from several Caribbean territories as part of a United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization program.
"Water management as far as the FAO is concerned is a major strategy towards achieving the objectives of food security and poverty alleviation," Jamaica's FAO representative Dunstan Campbell said at the opening of the five-day workshop, which also included presentations from each of the 14 participating countries and field visits to a dam and farms that use small-scale irrigation on vegetables.
McKernan said the event provided a quality educational experience for everyone involved. "You can really see the success that these small-scale irrigation systems are having on vegetable production and personal empowerment for rural Jamaican farmers," McKernan said.
The Agricultural Irrigation Specialist course is designed for managers of on-farm irrigation systems. It covers surface irrigation methods, furrow and pressurized systems, including segments on evapotranspiration, scheduling techniques and how efficiency and uniformity influence irrigation scheduling.
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