Not commodity specific
- Animal Production: feed/forage, pasture fertility, rangeland/pasture management
- Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, workshop
- Farm Business Management: feasibility study, new enterprise development, value added
- Pest Management: biological control
- Production Systems: integrated crop and livestock systems
- Soil Management: organic matter
- Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems, new business opportunities
Food security is integral to human survival. Guam’s economy relies heavily on importation, so its food security is at risk. In fact, just last year Guam did not have imports of produce and animal products for 3 weeks due to dock strikes in California. Guam’s ports also shut down due to typhoons, which are common for Guam as it is located in the infamous typhoon alley. Poultry eggs are a relatively low cost protein source and there are only a very few very small backyard chicken producer currently on island. No one to our knowledge is producing duck eggs at all.
To address this problem, it would be beneficial to teach farmers sustainable methods that they can employ to keep Guam’s food security out of risk by decreasing dependence on imports of produce and animal products while proving that it is also a profitable venture. In this proposal, I will be raising ducks for egg production as well as a pest control agent for snails and slugs because they are of the most common pests found on farms, including my own. I chose ducks because there currently is no one that is raising ducks commercially, the introduction of ducks to my farm will increase biological diversity of my farm and increase livestock diversity and resilience on the island as ducks are a hardier production animal. Hardiness is especially important to consider with Guam’s tropical climate. With duck eggs, I will also be able to produce two new, high return value added items to Guam’s market- salted duck eggs and balut. Balut are duck eggs incubated 18 days, removed from the incubator and boiled. This is a delicacy among southeast Asia. Currently, Guam imports these high value items from the Philippines. At the supermarket, salted eggs cost $5.29 and balut costs $7.59 for packs of 4 eggs. In this project, I will also be adding a new concept to balut production by reducing the incubation time to see if there would be a better demand for this new product. I will hold an annual farm workshop to share my experience with the community.
In this proposal, I will be raising Khaki Campbell and White Layer hybrid ducks that I will have to import from a hatchery. The ducks will be kept within a fenced area along the perimeter of the property. The ducks will also have feeds to supplement their foraging. A survey of the property for snails and slugs will be performed weekly. A few ducks will be separated from the flock for the purpose of obtaining fertile eggs for balut production. Duck manure will be collected to be composted in the garden. Eggs will be collected daily and tallied. Eggs will be sold at the local farmer’s market. To expand my market’s reach, I will also be using Facebook. This project will take place over the course of 2 years.
Project objectives from proposal:
My research questions and outreach objectives include:
1. Determine if ducks are a viable alternative pest control of snails and slugs (as both are serious pests of vegetable crops) on Guam.
2. Demonstrate the benefits of raising ducks for egg production and value added duck egg products.
3. Identify the marketability of new duck products introduced to the market.
4. Through demonstration and workshops, generate interest in farmers to start their own duck flocks.
5. Determine if raising ducks on Guam is a viable venture for commercial production.
6. Identify problems and solutions that arise from raising ducks on the tropical island of Guam and put these findings into a University of Guam Cooperative Extension brochure with the help of my technical advisor, Dr. Diambra Odi.
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.