Final report for WSP18-009
Professional development for capacity building is very important to the new generation of agriculture extension agents, many of them only have completed a 2-year AS degree without or limited field experience. They should be empowered with knowledge and skills to help farmers and gardeners cope with the unfamiliar effects of climate change, pests and disease, and the adoption of new technologies to local production. Capacity building continues to be the mainstream for state implementation activities in Micronesia. It is timely that we look back and evaluate progress of previous SARE involvement and to identify issues and how realign project activities to meet with current demands in the field and on the household level. To some extend assessment is being done as component of outreach activities, however, the idea and intent of documentation of previous projects was not feasible due to a number of reasons including change in priorities and funding. It was decided to take representatives of the different colleges to accompany the SARE coorinator to 3 workshops and conference meetings: (1) the 30th anniversary of SARE (ATTRA) conference in St. Louis, 3 participants; (2) the annual SARE coordinators meeting in Guam, 2 participants; (3) the Vermiculture workshop in Raleigh, NC; 2 participants. A total of 3 Extension agents, a livestock expert, a researcher, and a administrator were involved. All participants reported they learned a lot from the conference and the SARE Coordinators meeting. All of them indicated they met and have established linkages with professionals from other states and regions.
Participants (Liaisons/Ext. Agents) able to support clients in terms of providing technical assistance and sharing SARE information and published materials. Finally a connection is established between SARE Liaison and SARE State Coordinator. Other outcomes for all participants to include 1 or 2 of those listed below:
- Types of seeds, germination, and management of seedlings in the nursery.
- Some farmers, especially backyard gardeners believe chemical fertilizers reduce soil fertility,
- How to make compost the benefits of using compost in the field.
- Health benefits from eating vegetables
- Opportunity to grow and sell vegetables based on type and volume of import
- Cultural methods of specific vegetable crop
- Most farmers do not know or have the info on the number of days from planting to harvest
- Most farmers sell their products without knowing the cost of production (COP)
- Recognition and how to deal with pests and diseases
- Concepts of preservation and value-added
- Effect of climate change of agriculture in general
The decision to send participants to a conference and a workshop was supported by SARE and approved by COM as participants are expected to learn new information, technologies, and to establish linkage with other professionals and to expose to the relevant concepts in fields of sustainable agriculture. Participants attended and learned during plenary and breakout sessions, posters, and from the displays demonstrations during farm tours. They indicated they will use acquired knowledge and skills in their dealing with specific topics during outreach activities at their respective sites. Although there was no structured interviews and follow-ups made on the subject, subsequent discussions with the participants indicated there are positive impacts of their participantion - increased awareness.
Education & Outreach Initiatives
To understand the concepts and benefits of specific sustainable agriculture practice.
Management of papaya including recognition and how to fully utilize each type. Four different papaya varieties were used in a simple observation to determine the most appropriate method to germinate papaya. The following varieties were used: 1) Solo sunrise 2) Solo sunset 3) Waiminalo low bearing 4) Red Lady. The same number of sees per variety was germinated in individual foam cups with the same planting media. The trial prematurely ended after a storm that upset the arrangements, however, observation showed seeds soaked in water for longer germinated best.
Educational & Outreach Activities
Face of SARE
Participants to the conference in St. Louis and the meeting in Guam, as well as the SARE team visits to different islands following the sARE Coordinators meeting in Guam, impacted participants, other extension agent's and various offices, e.g. Dept of Education, Agriculture offices, and other individuals including businesses who catered (food ad refreshments) during the visits. Many of those who were exposed to the visits learned for the first time what SARE is all about. One important outcome is more discussions the CRE Coordinator, CRE Coordinators, at each site, and relevant offices and NGOs.