- Vegetables: cabbages
- Animals: poultry
- Animal Production: housing, animal protection and health, free-range, manure management
- Crop Production: organic fertilizers
- Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, participatory research
- Production Systems: holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems
Head cabbage production is very challenging on the island of Rota. Although they can be grown on the island, it is much cheaper to import them than to produce them locally. The high cost of pesticides, fertilizer and labor make growing head cabbage uneconomical. This project focused on finding alternative ways to produce the crop effectively without the use of high cost resources. It explored the use of modern technology and other farm practices that help produce chemical-free vegetables and cut production costs. This project also aimed at producing other healthy protein food sources.
The agricultural industry on Rota under the Trust Territory government was very productive. The farmers produced a variety of vegetables, including head cabbage and supplied the island of Guam, including the U.S. military bases there.
In 1978, the island of Rota became a Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas under the United States. Many government jobs were created, and the people slowly moved away from farming. USDA Food Assistance programs also came and many citizens became eligible. Imported foods became a way of life for the people.
Today, the economy of the Northern Marianas is not good. The people are returning to the land for their livelihood. But many older farmers have passed, and the younger generation does not have the will to do serious farming activity. Besides, prices of farm supplies have increased tremendously, making farming unthinkable, not to mention the pests and expensive labor challenges farmers face today.
This project aimed at producing head cabbages inexpensively, which is one of the highly imported produce to the island.
The objective of the project is to utilize different proven environmentally friendly agricultural practices to raise head cabbages inexpensively. After the success of the project, it will help decrease the importation of head cabbage and encourage the farmers to raise the crop locally.