Pacific Island Agroforestry Workshops and Field Visits

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2005: $59,777.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Craig Elevitch
Permanent Agriculture Resources

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: sugarcane
  • Fruits: avocados, bananas, figs, citrus, pineapples, general tree fruits
  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, beans, greens (leafy)
  • Additional Plants: herbs, native plants, ornamentals, trees
  • Animals: bees, bovine, poultry, goats, sheep, swine


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, free-range
  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: technical assistance, demonstration, display, extension, networking
  • Farm Business Management: value added, whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: afforestation, biodiversity, hedgerows, riparian buffers, soil stabilization, wildlife
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, holistic management
  • Soil Management: organic matter, soil analysis, nutrient mineralization, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: urban agriculture, urban/rural integration, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    Interest in Pacific island agroforestry has been increasing over the past several years as a means of providing environmental services such as shade, erosion control, weed management, etc., and to supplement income by adding to farm product diversity. Most cooperative extension agents and NRCS soil conservationists are familiar with the term “agroforestry” but rarely encounter working farms that successfully employ agroforestry techniques.
    This project will present two 4-day workshops, one in Kona, Hawai‘i (primarily for Hawai‘i participants) and one taking place in both Guam and Palau (primarily for Pacific Basin participants). Each workshop consists of presentations (35%) and field visits (65%). Resource professionals will present topics such as “agroforestry-friendly” NRCS standards, soil quality considerations with agroforestry, tree-crop competition, new perspectives in windbreak design, conserving traditional varieties and native species, and value-added and direct marketing strategies. A wide range of field visits have been arranged with farmers, including nontimber forest products grown within privately owned native forest, shade-grown organic coffee with geese and sheep for weed control, processing and direct sales of produce from an agroforest, traditional Polynesian and Micronesian agroforestry, multistory agroforestry combined with wetland taro, contour hedgerows for organic matter production and erosion control, a silvopastoral system integrating Acacia koa, and several others. The project will produce an agroforestry resource book for participants and a photo guide from the field visits, both of which will be made freely available on the Internet.
    The workshops have been planned in close collaboration with NRCS (through the Tropical Technology specialist for Hawai‘i and the Pac Basin, and the Pac Basin technical staff) and the University of Hawai‘i (through the extension forester). NRCS personnel, university cooperative extension, Pacific Island NGOs, and agricultural planners will attend the workshops. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural producers will be accommodated as participants on a space-available basis. A minimum combined attendance of 100 is expected for the two workshops. The workshops are tentatively scheduled for October 2005 and March 2006. The precise timing will be coordinated with NRCS and university cooperative extension early in 2005 in order to maximize participation from these organizations.
    The four project Principle Investigators are actively involved in agroforestry education for the project’s target audience. The Project Coordinator has coordinated numerous workshops and field days for Pacific Island agroforestry, with over 700 farmers and resource professionals participating since 1993. He coordinated the WSARE PDP-funded publication Agroforestry Guides for Pacific Islands (2000), which provides planning information for a number of agroforestry practices, and is currently completing Species Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry, a comprehensive guide to the region’s native and traditional agroforestry trees.
    This project will give NRCS personnel, cooperative extension agents, and other agricultural professionals firsthand experience of real-world agroforestry systems, up-to-date presentations from experts, and a resource book for Pacific Island agroforestry, thereby furthering the introduction of agroforestry throughout the region.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1) Audience

    Based on consultations with NRCS staff in Hawaii and Guam, and UH cooperative extension staff in Hawaii, the following numbers of participants are expected:

    NRCS personnel: 30–40 (15–20 each workshop)
    Cooperative extension: 10–15 (5–8 each workshop)
    Other extension professionals (ethnobotanists, ag consultants, NGOs, etc.): 20–40 (10–20 each workshop)
    Farmers, ranchers, nurserymen, etc.: 20–40 (10–20 each workshop)

    The minimum expected at each workshop is 40, with a minimum total number of 100.

    2) Activities and methods

    Workshops will consist of three half-day classroom presentations followed by half-day field visits, and one full day of field visits. Classroom presentations will be scheduled to illustrate the day’s field tours as best as possible.

    3) Products

    An agroforestry resource list for Pacific islands will be produced. Each presenter (both speakers and farmers) will be asked to recommend agroforestry resources, including books, periodicals, Internet sites, and organizations. The resource list will be given to workshop participants in hardcopy form, and posted at (and made available for posting to other web sites). Also, a photographic record of the field visits will be made consisting of photos taken by the project coordinator and photo contributions from participants. The photos will be compiled with captions into a virtual tour of the field visits and posted for free viewing at The resource guide and virtual tour will be distributed on CD to 100 NRCS, cooperative extension and other ag offices throughout the American-affiliated Pacific.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.