The Executive Director of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) is inviting members of the public to a Consultation on Tuesday July 10 2012 from 10.00 am until 1.00 pm. Venue will be at City View Hotel Conference Room in St John's.
The theme of the meeting is "Climate Change, Water Availability for Agriculture in a Drier Climate?" and an address on this topic will be given by Dr Michael Taylor of the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.
It has now been agreed by most members of the scientific community that we are living in a time of climate change and that global temperatures are rising.
As temperatures continue to rise, perhaps by as much as 4ºC by the end of the 21st Century, there will probably be some severe effects on rainfall patterns. Although nobody can be sure, most computer models predict that the Caribbean will have less rainfall, even as the number of hurricanes and other severe storms increase. This means that we can look forward to more intense dry seasons and long droughts.
These conditions may not be favourable to our agriculture in Antigua and Barbuda. Our dry climate is already a major constraint to agriculture and the threat of even drier conditions is not good news. This is at a time when we are suffering from rising prices of our imported food and the need to increase the amount of food grown locally.
What is likely to happen to our agriculture? One thing is certain: we must continue to reverse the decline in agriculture which has occurred over the past decades.
In the last two years this trend has been reversed and it is imperative that we do not slip back. What about our tourists: should we leave our hotels to rely on imported food at ever increasing prices?
Dr Taylor is well known in the Caribbean as an expert on water management. Dr. Taylor will explain what you can expect in the future and give a few insights to help mitigate the threats. Even people that do not have any space to plant, will learn something about our future climate.
There will be opportunities for all present to ask questions and to make their own contributions to the Consultation. Admission to the Consultation is free of charge. For further details please contact the CARDI Representative Dr. Gregory Robin in Antigua and Barbuda at 788-6988.