Establishing an organic certification system in the Caribbean, an exchange between Barbados, Jamaica, and Grenada

Establishing an organic certification system in the Caribbean, an exchange between Barbados, Jamaica, and Grenada

Select This

Select solutions you want to learn more about and connect to the appropriate solution provider.

The objective of the exchange between Jamaica and Barbados was to implement a national organic inspection and certification system in Barbados, based on the Jamaica Organic Association Movement (JOAM) experience. JOAM reached out to connect the Barbadian NGO with the International Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA), which provides training to organic inspectors, and promotes consistency and integrity in the organic certification process. JOAM also put Organic Growers and Consumers Association (OGCA) in touch with the Grenada Organic Agriculture Movement (GOAM) which extended the South-South cooperation to Grenada, and members from GOAM were able to participate in the training of future inspectors in Barbados, with support from UNDP's GEF Small Grants Program (SGP).

Good Health and Well-Being , Decent Work and Economic Growth , Responsible Consumption and Production , Life on Land , Partnerships for the Goals

There is a growing organic movement to reduce the use of agrochemicals in Barbados. The movement is bringing increasing public awareness of how industrial agriculture is contributing to pollution in the groundwater supply and in the marine environment. Market surveys have demonstrated that there is a high demand for organic products among tourists, which the local market is not able to meet. Organic food production makes up less than 10% of the national food production. In 2004, the Barbados National Standards Institute (BNSI) adopted organic standards based on the Food and Agriculture Organization’s CODEX Alimentarius guidelines for organic farming. However, no system for the delivery of this standard had been developed, and there was no established methodology for inspecting or certifying these products as organic. The major organic agricultural association in Barbados, the OGCA, had no tangible means to verify that the practices of their growers met the standard and merited recognition. The situation was compounded by the lack of a credible, sufficiently independent entity responsible for conducting inspections and awarding organic certification to existing organic growers and farmers wishing to convert to organic agriculture.

With support from JOAM and the IOIA, OGCA facilitated the training of prospective organic inspectors, educated farmers on organic farming, and developed monitoring and reporting systems for the certification process.  

Organic farmers were trained in data collection and farm recordkeeping using available information technology, and project management tools. As a part of the project activity, the farmers were introduced to and taught how to use an app called Farmlogs to facilitate electronic record-keeping. A training video was developed, including modules on the Principles of organic farming, organic seedling production, the nature and properties of soil, soil fertility management, organic pest and disease management, water management, and organic farm certification.  

To create legitimacy and commercialize the certified organic brand, as well as to encourage more growers to participate in organic farming, organic farm inspection reports were completed and submitted to BNSI.

The involved farmers reported on improved farm management and record keeping and the project now enjoys full support from the government with technical and financial means to operationalize the certification process. OGCA now has a fully operational certification process in place to ensure genuine organic food production for consumer.  

As a result of this exchange, OGCA accepts Barbadian inspectors to conduct inspections in Grenada and vice-versa. Having certified organic inspectors available in the Eastern Caribbean will significantly reduce the cost of certification to the farmers and generate income opportunities to the inspectors. Three Grenadians have been certified as organic inspectors under this project, and it is expected to be replicated in Grenada in the coming years.  

Due to their role in establishing this certification process, OGCA was identified as a key stakeholder to contribute to the revision of the National Physical Development Plan, Barbados’ national sustainable development and growth framework. It is anticipated that in the coming 1st inspection cycle, OGCA will see as many as 5 farms inspected and receive provisional certification in 2017.  

Barbados , Jamaica , Grenada

Jamaica Organic Association Movement , Grenada Organic Agriculture Movement , International Organic Inspectors Association , Barbados Ministry of Agriculture , The Inter American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture , UNDP GEF-Small Grants Programmee

Organic Growers & Consumer Association

Community-driven Micro Hydropower Systems in the Dominican Republic and Haiti

Community-driven Micro Hydropower Systems in the Dominican Republic and Haiti

Select This

Select solutions you want to learn more about and connect to the appropriate solution provider.

Community-driven micro hydropower systems have proven to be a very effective solution in addressing basic needs of vulnerable groups, while contributing to climate change mitigation and environmental protection. The Dominican Republic has experience in installing 46 community micro-hydropower systems. Due to the adaptability and replicability of the model, and based on local empowerment and multi-stakeholder cooperation, the project has great potential to be scaled through South-South cooperation. In fact, this experience has encouraged Haitian communities and institutions to start similar processes in their country.

No Poverty , Zero Hunger , Good Health and Well-Being , Gender Equality , Affordable and Clean Energy , Sustainable Cities and Communities , Climate Action , Expand developing country energy infrastructure, upgrade technology

The Dominican Republic is faced with an insufficient supply of electricity. The country's electrical systems are of low quality and reliability. The situation is particularly critical in rural areas, where lack of electricity constitutes a significant barrier to human development, and specifically impacts vulnerable groups, such as women and young people.

While the Dominican Republic may have scarce availability of electricity, the country is dominated by young mountainous structures, with steep slopes and narrow valleys, where water resources are abundant. In addition, the Government passed a law in 2007 to promote and give facilities to develop renewable energy sources, which together with a growing interest of numerous national and international entities, successfully scaled up the community-driven micro-hydropower systems. In fact, since then, there have been considerable developments in community micro-hydropower systems in the Dominican Republic.

In particular, with the leadership of the GEF Small Grants Programme and Guakía Ambiente, 46 community-owned micro hydropower systems have been in operation, with a capacity of more than 1.3 MW. These micro hydropower systems are benefiting over 4,500 families and 20,000 people in the Dominican Republic.

Among the reasons behind the success of the projects are:

  • The learning by doing approach to teach the skills necessary to install, use and maintain the micro hydropower systems
  • The model’s emphasis on community autonomy with regard to the systems management.
  • The approach focuses on the collaboration of grassroots groups who receive training, and are also driving the process. In the community based-Organization (CBOs), rest the responsibility to manage all aspects of their respective installations, specifically the community is responsible for both the technical and financial administration.
  • This initiative has been recognized as a success story in the promotion of environmental sustainability through community initiatives and local empowerment.

The project has also been recognized as a valuable example of multi-stakeholder participation. In fact, since 2009, a successful partnership was established between the UNDP Smalls Grants Programme (SGP) in Dominican Republic, and National Government, Private Sector, NGOs, CBOs and Guakía Ambiente, aiming to spread the model of community micro Hydro Plants.

Due to its successful project, Guakía Ambiente was awarded the Energy Globe Award 2017 in the Dominican Republic.

Dominican Republic , Haiti

UNDP GEF-Small Grants Programmee , Guakia Ambiente , Inter-American Foundation , Government of the Dominican Republic (Rural and Suburban Electricification Unit)

UNDP GEF-Small Grants Programmee , Guakia Ambiente

Our Partners