Savor the Flavors of Palau! Crop – Enterprise Diversification

Project Overview

OW13-138
Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2013: $8,047.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2015
Region: Western
State: Federated States of Micronesia
Principal Investigator:
Dr. L. Robert (Bob) Barber, Jr.
University of Guam Cooperative Extension Service

Annual Reports

Information Products

Commodities

  • Fruits: melons, avocados, bananas, citrus, pineapples
  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, cabbages, cucurbits, eggplant, greens (leafy), peppers, radishes (culinary), sweet corn
  • Additional Plants: herbs, native plants
  • Animals: poultry, goats

Practices

  • Crop Production: food product quality/safety
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, networking, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, workshop, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, new enterprise development, marketing management, feasibility study, market study, risk management, value added, agritourism
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, hedgerows
  • Pest Management: botanical pesticides, cultural control
  • Production Systems: permaculture
  • Soil Management: composting
  • Sustainable Communities: ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, leadership development, local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, employment opportunities, social capital, social networks

    Proposal abstract:

    This project will build upon current activities and findings of the Western SARE funded project: Island to Island, Farmer to Chef: An Agricultural Marketing Proposal, and it addresses needs identified in the Western SARE Subregional Conference in Guam, namely “buy fresh, buy local.” Potential customers, agricultural professionals, producers, farmer associations and caterers and producers have expressed a desire for “Palauan signature products,” “suitcase exports” and value-added products which impart the ‘flavors of Palau’.

    The project seeks to satisfy these expressed desires by developing a line of value-added enhanced products on the theme of “Savor the Flavors of Palau” from existing crops from our farm and neighboring farms. This project is distinctive and creative in that it will be the first attempt by any producer to systematically address these expressed desires. This project is important as it will demonstrate an avenue to increase the viability and sustainability of family-owned farms. Customer driven processing/packaging will be trialed and refined based on current purchasing habits of potential customers: Palauans living overseas, tourists and restaurants. This may entail drying, pulverizing, fermentating, infusing, vacuum packing, bottling, fruit-shape packaging, etc. These changes will enhance the products’ value by fulfilling the expressed needs/wants of the customers and by extending the shelf life of the products. The project fits well into the existing operation. Lessons learned through the project will be used to increase the sustainability of areas already under cultivation. The wider array of produce that we will be able to offer will improve the farms’vitality. Below is the list of potential raw agricultural produce that may be used as the input for the project. The list will be narrowed down through marketing research and testing the compatibility of the produce to our equipment, techniques and supplies.

    Spices: turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, etc.

    Flavorings: Spondias sp., etc.

    Jams/jellies/vinegar: various fruits

    Cho’coco’nut – chocolate made with cocoa and coconut milk

    Citrus zest/leaves/powder

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. By the end of project month one, a marketing plan will have been developed for the value-added products. Performance of the first draft of the plan will be evaluated by University of Hawaii’s Community Economic Development Specialist. Based on this evaluation, the plan will be revised. Performance of revised plan will be evaluated on a) the existence of plan and b) adherence to the plan during the project though initial, interim and final progress reports.

    2. By the end of the project, total quantity of production of value-added products will have increased by 50% through utilization of energy and labor efficient equipment, techniques and materials. Performance will be evaluated based on production records at beginning, second quarter, third quarter and ending of the project.

    3. By the end of the project, profits will have increased by 15% through improved customer orientated packaging and labeling, plus extending the shelf-life of the products. Performance will be evaluated based on profit records at beginning, second quarter, third quarter and ending of the project.

    4. By the end of the project, a line of “Savor the Flavors of Palau” products will have been developed, pre-tested and refined. Performance will be evaluated based on a) he existence of the products, b)pre-test results, c) photos of products before and after refinement and d) marketing records.

    5. By the end of the project, outreach materials on the marketing of ‘niche’ products will have been developed, pre-tested, refined and distributed. Performance will be evaluated based on a) copies of the materials, b) distribution vehicles, c) distribution logs and d) mention in local media, farmers associations’ minutes of meetings and e) use in trainings of producers, agricultural professionals and affiliated professionals.

    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.