Transfer of Research Based Knowledge in Agriculture in the American Pacific
Numerous SARE grants and studies have been awarded and conducted in different island sites in the American Pacific region. Many of the grants have valuable information that can provide beneficial solutions to agriculture production across the region.
However, the dissemination of the results of these studies, research, and demonstrations conducted around American Pacific has been limited to the local site where the grant has been conducted. Because the islands are all scattered in the vast Pacific Ocean, the transfer of knowledge and information is lacking and limited.
The knowledge and information from these grants can be distributed through local and regional workshops. Results of these grants can be published in fact sheet format that is easy to read and understand by agriculture producers.
The main objective aims to expand the transfer of research based knowledge and information in agriculture that developed from the region. Culturally, new ideas and discoveries that evolved in the region are readily accepted and adapted by extension agents and producers. The other objective is to foster collaboration of agriculture programs of these Pacific Land Grant Institutions through workshops/conferences and producing a compilation of fact sheets that is easy to read and understood by extension agents and farmers.
Eighteen participants (3 extension agents, 10 producers, 2 NRCS conservationist, a research scientist, and consultants (FAO and SPC) from the American Pacific region (Rota, Saipan, Tinian, Kosrae, Yap, Palau, Fiji and Pohnpei) attended the two-day regional workshop conducted last October 15-16, 2007 at the University of Guam. The Guam participants included University Extension professionals, Guam Department of Agriculture staff and local producers. Major activities of the workshop were oral and poster presentations of selected grants conducted in the region, site visits to existing SARE grants/ demonstration farms and grant writing session for Farmer Rancher proposals. Principal investigators and Farmer / Rancher grant recipients made presentations of their grants.
This workshop coincided with the two-day WSARE sub regional conference. The participants had the opportunity to interact and participate in the conference activities. Ron Daines and Bob Newhall made 20 posters (4’ x 8’) of selected grants from the Pacific region. These were displayed at the WSARE sub regional conference. After the conference, the posters will be displayed at the university library and at various agricultural fairs and events on Guam. (University Charter Day, Farmer’s Week, etc.)
A workshop was also conducted in the island of Yap on an invitation from the Yap State Division of Agriculture on Nov. 5-9, 2007. Thirty farmers attended the workshop. This was also an opportunity to disseminate the results of SARE grants conducted in the region and taught farmers on how to apply for SARE grants.
Ten fact sheets of grants are being reviewed. Powerpoint presentations are on file. Both fact sheets and powerpoint files are to be placed in a web site.
Electronic-learning room will be added on to the Department of Agriculture Facility at Dededo. Internet access will be available for farmers and ranchers. Majority of farmers and ranchers on Guam don’t have personal computers at their homes or have no computer skills at all. This e-learning room will teach ranchers and farmers on how to get information and access web sites on sustainable agriculture. Extension Service and university web sites on agriculture may not be as useful if the intended audience like ranchers and farmers don’t have access to them.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
a. The knowledge, information and technology gathered by the participants generated from the workshop sessions and field trips cannot be quantified or measured. All the workshops evaluations and personal feedbacks were indicative of positive learning experience.
b. The presentation of Farmer Rancher grant recipients made a very positive impact to the rest of the participants, especially to the other farmers and extension agents. Ranchers felt the need and advantage to foster closer collaborations and “a working together” attitude with the Extension Service, WSARE and other agriculture agencies.
c. All participants agreed that regional workshops on SARE grants be a regular function. Future proposals should cover travel funds for the principal investigators to participate in these regional workshops. The opportunity of attending and participating on these workshops serves as an incentive for agricultural professionals and ranchers to submit as many grant proposals as they can.
d. Mr. Manglona, a poultry producer in Rota saw the demonstration of layers raised in container vans during the October 2006 workshop. He adopted the practice in his farm in Rota. He presented his adaptations during the 2007 workshop.
e. Expect an increase in the number of SARE grants proposals from the region as a result of the regional workshops and WSARE sub regional conference.