Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF), Hon. Floyd Green, says a collective stakeholder approach is needed to mitigate the impact of climate change on Jamaica, particularly in the agricultural sector.“Climate change demands that we bring change and innovation to the sector. We have to work smarter and we have to increase our collaborative efforts so that we [can] use best practices from across the world that have already been proven,” Mr. Green said.He was addressing the 10th annual Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) meeting at the Royalton Negril Resort and Spa in Westmoreland on Tuesday (October 1).Mr. Green noted that the sector is one of the most vulnerable and susceptible sectors to weather-related disasters, citing a cumulative $30 billion in crop losses over the last 15 years.This, he emphasised, necessitates urgent wide-ranging stakeholder action and behavioural change“Agriculture is the bedrock of what we do. In fact, it contributes to some seven per cent of our gross domestic product (GDP). We, therefore, have to continue and accelerate the pace [to] introduce climate-smart farming methods and soil-erosion control techniques in order to increase productivity and improve food security,” Mr. Green argued.Additionally, he said, “we have to continue to introduce our farmers to various water harvesting techniques, including gravity feed and small drip-irrigation systems as well as expanding areas with access to irrigation”.These inputs, the State Minister further posited, must be complemented by timely and efficient delivery of extension services to guide farmers on appropriate cultivation cycles and effective water management.GFRAS, initiated in 2010, provides advocacy and leadership on demand-driven extension and rural advisory services for sustainable development.It seeks to strengthen rural advisory services by providing a platform for learning and exchange for stakeholders in agricultural innovation systems.The four-day meeting, which started on September 30, seeks to explore the role of these services in climate change and disaster risk management.The event, which is co-organised with the Caribbean Agricultural Extension Providers’ Network (CAEPNet), MICAF and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), is being attended by agricultural sector stakeholders from several countries around the world. Story Highlights He was addressing the 10th annual Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) meeting at the Royalton Negril Resort and Spa in Westmoreland on Tuesday (October 1). Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF), Hon. Floyd Green, says a collective stakeholder approach is needed to mitigate the impact of climate change on Jamaica, particularly in the agricultural sector. “Climate change demands that we bring change and innovation to the sector. We have to work smarter and we have to increase our collaborative efforts so that we [can] use best practices from across the world that have already been proven,” Mr. Green said.
The secrets of a teenager’s First World War diary were finally unlocked after his family’s internet appeal to decode the Pitman shorthand.As a teenage boy, growing up in Hull in 1915, a 15-year-old Stanley Hooker used shorthand to document his thoughts and movements in a small pocket diary.However Mr Hooker, who lived in Barmston Street, Hull, was killed aged 18 on November 6th, 1918, having enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers. For over 100 years the diary has remained in the family but was never read, due to the fact no one in his family read shorthand.It was earlier this month when Mr Hooker’s great-great-niece, Amy Abethell, 38, found the diary at her father’s home in Hull that she turned to Twitter for help in order to make sense of the written symbols. In one diary post the author wrote about a job rejection he received for a shorthand typist role at a bank, suggesting why he had chosen to learn the skill, which was typically used by secretaries and journalists. Other diary entries included the everyday mundanities of life. “Another alright day. My cold is not better. Mrs Henderson didn’t come as it was raining,” one read.He also wrote about friends visiting and the state of a cold he was suffering. Amy Abethell took to twitter for help in deciphering her great-great-uncle’s shorthand Credit:WESSEX NEWS AGENCY However Ms Baird, a former shorthand teacher, observed Mr Hooker’s style had been “challenging”.“It doesn’t look like there’s anything secretive in his writing which is quite common but some parts are difficult to read,” she said.Ms Baird has since been sent some more pages of the diary to decipher and aims to transcribe one to two entries a day.She said: “Stanley’s shorthand is particularly challenging. He was only about 15 when he wrote it so I suspect he was learning at the time.”Ms Abethell added that decoding the diary had been like seeing him “coming to life over 100 years later” Calling short hand writers. This is my great great uncles diary. He died 6/11/1918. Any ideas as to what it says? pic.twitter.com/L3uFEOF499— Amy Abethell (@AmyAbethell) February 9, 2019 Ms Abethell, from Nottingham, wrote: “Calling shorthand writers. This is my great great uncle’s diary. He died on 6/11/1918. Any ideas as to what it says? There’s quite a few pages in the book.”After much excitement on Twitter she cautioned that it “might be just a shopping list”.Fortunately 64-year-old pitman expert Kathryn Baird, of Warmington, Northamptonshire, was able to decipher the code for Ms Abethell, which revealed diary entries about having a cold and doing some shopping. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.