- Vegetables: beans, cabbages, cucurbits, eggplant, peppers
- Crop Production: windbreaks
- Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
- Natural Resources/Environment: afforestation
- Pest Management: allelopathy, biological control, botanical pesticides
As many chemicals used for pest control on leafy vegetables are being removed from the market, farmers on the Northern Mariana island of Rota are growing root crops like taro and sweet potato. As a result, roughly 90% of Rota’s vegetables are imported. This Farmer/Rancher project seeks to reverse this trend by exploring the use of neem tree products as alternatives to chemical pest control. Neem is a tropical tree that grows up to 20 feet high. It has been shown that oil extracted from the tree’s seeds can be used to control pests in leafy vegetables. Project coordinator, Francisco Atalig, will grow the trees and test the pest-control products on hot peppers, Chinese cabbage and other crops he grows on his 5-hectare farm. He hopes to produce a cheap, locally available supply of neem oil that can be used by local farmers to solve their individual pest problems.