The Cario Farming Game took a trip across Jamaica in November to educate youth about climate change and climate smart decisions and actions, with the ultimate goal of creating lasting behavioural change by participating in various career days. The game was recently developed under the UNDP’s Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership project and handed over to Jamaica 4H Club.
Its first stop was Linstead in the parish of St Catherine where hundreds of students visited booths erected by a variety of organisations. Jamaica 4H Clubs and UNDP shared booth space and students who visited were encouraged to explore careers in agriculture and were provided with educational material, for their perusal. Students were then directed to the Centre’s computer laboratory where the virtual farming game was featured. During the sessions on this day, students queued to await their turn playing the game and gathering climate change information.
At the Rural Agricultural Development Authority’s (RADA) office in the parish of St. James, the site of another career day, students eagerly played the game and then re-joined the queue to play again, once their allotted time was up. In some sessions, students teamed up to compete against each other to see who ended with the game with the highest income. Having played and won her round, Amoy Clarke, student at the Muschett High School, remarked that “It was really awesome. We learnt from it…it’s a really fun game and it’s educational.” Amoy also encouraged others to play as well.
Students who played the game had the opportunity review its applicability, educational features and the likelihood of the game influencing behaviour change. Sixty two percent of students who responded indicated that the climate change related information they learned while playing the game has influenced them to change their behaviour, while an overwhelming 92% said the game was useful in their studies and/or training on agriculture. Likewise, 92% of students said that there was a link to between climate change and farming and it was readily identifiable during the game.
The Cario Farm Game was produced following the results of a knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP/B) study, undertaken in 2016. Following the report, a communications plan was produced, which outlined two primary communication activities for the country: farmers’ markets and a virtual farming game targeting youth.