News Date: June 21 2016
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack visited the Caribbean Climate Hub in Puerto Rico earlier this month to lead a roundtable discussions with local agricultural officials, farmers and ranchers, USDA agency leaders, economic investors, and scientists, and to view first-hand the Hub’s pioneering work in climate change research, education and outreach.
“Adaptation to climate change is a matter of National Security. We need to have a functional food economy to counter food insecurity,” said Secretary Vilsack during the Climate Hub Roundtable held at the El Yunque National Forest. Local USDA agency leaders expressed concern about the increasing incidence of pests and diseases affecting agriculture and forestry in the Caribbean, mostly related to climate change, and the need for more education and support for water and soil conservation measures.
To increase awareness and promote climate adaptation and mitigation, the Caribbean Hub has developed ADAPTA, an innovative outreach project to deliver climate services and provide tools and educational resources for practitioners through videos, factsheets and podcasts. During the Secretary’s visit, the Caribbean Hub released the second video of the ADAPTA series, which features Duamed Colón of AgroTropical, a plantain and vegetable farmer using cover crops, contour farming, intercropping, and plant tissue culture technology to reduce the impacts of drought and increased temperatures on his farm in central Puerto Rico.