Climate smart agriculture technologies as an opportunity for increasing community sustainability
Climate smart agriculture technologies as an opportunity for increasing community sustainability
The Cashew Gardens Community has for many years actively been engaged in community led activities that increase the sustainability of the community. While several of these activities were successful, Cashew Gardens recognized that one of these initiatives, a community garden producing vegetables for external sale, has not met the needs of the community in providing sustainable livelihoods or signi?cant income for feeding other community led programmes. Due to the existing relationship between Habitat Trinidad-Tobago and the Cashew Gardens Village Council, Habitat proposed to the community to bring some of its technical partners to o?er support.

The project is a pilot programme to show that committed local community groups and other interested parties can collaborate to establish community development strategies that enhances the community’s sustainability. The project will implement a climate smart agriculture product on the community’s communal garden land. The University of the West Indies and the “Adopt a River” as a main project partners bring the knowledge transfer programme to build the community capacity in the establishment of a solar harvesting greenhouse; the Agrisol Greenhouse. The community will grow short term crops using hydroponics in the ?rst instance, incorporating rainwater use via rainwater harvesting technology and recycle nutrients by compositing agricultural and household food waste. The Agrisol Greenhouse rooftop will harvest solar energy to create renewable electricity to run the greenhouse. The latter is important due to the high cooling costs associated with tropical greenhouses. In general, hydroponic cultivation methods have been globally proven to dramatically increased crop yields while mitigating against the risks associated with the conventional soil based farming, e.g. pest control and environmental stress associated with climate change. An add on bene?t is that realized increased agricultural yields over the baseline will not require the excessive demand for manual labor due to the partial automation features of the greenhouse and the quality of the harvested crop is also improved. The rainwater harvesting and compositing help to close the loop while potentially increasing the pro?tability. The advantage of the inclusion of the renewable energy component is critical not only for the cost reduction component but the spill o? e?ect of generating reusable pro?t margins to ensure sustainability of this community based agriculture programme.

The expected outcome is the fostering of a greater sense of community spirit and camaraderie between the community members, increased opportunities for the community members to harvest and sell their produce through their already established markets and increase earning capacities.

This small scale community based project will demonstrate scalable capacities, and will convincingly showcase that several needs can be simultaneously addressed in an economically viable and environmentally friendly synergistic way through climate smart agriculture approaches.

The Agrisol greenhouse demonstration will then be used to spur interest in other local communities and other external communities and stakeholders will be encouraged follow suit to create their own climate smart agricultural systems, thus causing widespread interest in utilising derelict spaces in the communities for sustainable, adaptable and livelihood enhancing opportunities to foster greater community development and resilience.

Project Snapshot

Habitat for Humanity
Trinidad and tobago
Area Of Work:
Climate Change Mitigation
Grant Amount:
US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 36,728.99
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed

Grantee Contact

Ms. Jennifer Massiah


Chootoo Rd and El Socorro Extension South,
San Juan ,

SGP Country office contact

Ms. Sharda Mahabir


c/o UNDP, United Nations House, 3A Chancery Lane