PRESS RELEASE: July 17, 2018. Kingston, Jamaica. Professor Gerrit Hoogenboom, Preeminent Scholar from the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems, University of Florida and Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, will be a special lecturer in an advanced crop modelling training which takes place July 23-27, 2018 at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.
Professor Hoogenboom will be in the island as part of the UWI’s efforts to support the agricultural sector in the Caribbean to adapt to climate change. Caribbean lecturers will include Professor Michael Taylor from the Department of Physics and the Climate Studies Group, Mona and livestock specialist and senior lecturer at UWI, St Augstine, Mr Cicero Lallo.
The advanced training is one of two workshops being organised by UWI’s Department of Physics (Mona) and the Department of Life Sciences (Mona and St. Augustine campuses) over the period July 16-27. Both workshops are supported by the Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR)/Climate Investment Funds (CIF) through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Climate change (with its longer dry seasons and droughts, intense storms and generally more extreme weather events), along with variations in climate, have significantly altered the environment in which crops grow and in which livestock develop. Crop and livestock impact modelling use technology to develop and test multiple climate and weather scenarios, validate them using field data and then explore expected impacts and possible options for adaptation in farming.
Crop modelling is relatively new to the Caribbean, and the UWI and the PPCR are working to get more professionals and institutions involved in this field. The workshops’ target audience includes: agronomists, extension officers, farmers, researchers (including graduate students), agro-meteorologists, sectoral impact modellers, and other stakeholders from across the region.
Two PPCR projects – the UWI-implemented PPCR Caribbean’s Regional Track and the GOJ-implemented Adaptation Programme and Financing Mechanisms (AP&FM) project in Jamaica- have provided initial support to a representative of the Climate Studies Group, Mona to pursue training in crop modelling and to train some regional stakeholders, and follow up support to facilitate the participation of Professor Hoogenbooom, other overseas trainers and select local participants in the workshops.