Seven Trees, Seven Practices: Demonstrating Agroforestry in the Western Pacific
In this reporting period, the project manager (Marie Auyong) was offered a faculty position with the University of Guam creating a critical vacancy for this project. This project’s implementation is tied to the wet /dry seasonal cycle. During this period, meetings and site visits were held with the initial farmer cohort. The 2015 wet season was lost for project initiation as a result of losing the project manager.
At the end of the wet season, the initial farmer cohort was called together to discuss the project. Three initial farmers have retired from farming, but they recruited three other farmers to replace them. The meeting took place in December 2015 at the USDA FSA office. Farmers identified feral pigs as a key issue in establishing the micro-plots. Fencing was identified as a key practice in this project’s implementation.
Fruit tree propagation has been ongoing since project initiation. Fruit tree species include; breadfruit, fig, mulberry, jackfruit, soursop, calamansi, key lime, pomegranate, morongai, papaya, and banana. Other plants were propagated for conservation practices such as, sweet potato (groundcover) and lemongrass (vegetative barrier).
Also, it was noted that for training it would be good to have a micro-plot on the UOG campus demonstrating all 7 trees and 7 practices. At this meeting a new timeline was established to begin in July 2016 (beginning of the rain season) and to buy the time of an Agent I as project manager.
Given the above project delay, the objectives/ performance targets are changed as followed:
1 a. On the UOG campus, a cliffline site where feral pigs are a problem was identified as the location for a demonstration micro-plot to be established between January to August 2016. This demonstration will include fencing for protection from feral pigs.
1 b. Create and formalize demonstration farm plans with the five producers in the initial cohort and start plant propagation. During Year 1 Quarter 1 (Q1) (July-September 2016), the PI and Project Manager will conduct a second round of site visits to assess and discuss the potential micro-plot site with each producer. The Project Manager will coordinate planning meetings to discuss overall constraints, plant materials, and conservation practices. Each producer will select tree species, agroforestry, and conservation practices. Finally, all producers will convene to discuss the units’ conservation plans and timelines and finalize site plans. The Project Manager and Nursery/Office Assistant will start plant material propagation as soon as project award is announced.
2. Implement agroforestry demonstration micro-plots with five producers in the initial cohort. For Year 1 Q2 (October- December 2016), UOG will distribute plant materials to initial producers. Initial producers will begin tree planting from the seedlings/cuttings and institute conservation practices. The Project Manager will implement a monitoring process by which all parties can document and learn from successes and challenges of the demonstration plots.
3. Formalize the mentorship relationship between the initial and secondary cohorts. During Year 1 Q3-4 (January – June 2017), the PI and Project Manager will facilitate a mentorship process, coordinating two farm workshops for each quarter targeting the secondary cohort. Initial producers will explain their plot plans, give hands-on practice, and conduct demonstrations.
4. Assist a secondary producer cohort, comprised of three to five farmers or community groups, in the establishment of their own agroforestry micro-plots, leveraging the mentorship and workshop involvement of the primary producers. For Year 2 Q1 (July-September 2016), the secondary cohort will develop micro-plot plans and establish their sites.
5. Develop seven workshops around key agroforestry practices, targeting the general public. The PI already has a curriculum on conservation practices from prior CLTC workshops. The Project Manager will oversee a review process by which initial producers can provide input on revisions; the Project Manager will then finalize it. Additionally, in Year 1 Q3-4 (January-June 2017), the PI, Project Manager, and the initial producer cohort will research, develop, and write, new educational materials about the fast-to-fruit trees. Educational materials will include Power Point presentations, Extension publications, and resource lists. The secondary producer group will provide feedback on the educational materials targeting beginning to intermediate-level farmers.
6. Implement seven workshops around key agroforestry practices. These workshops will occur throughout Year 2 Q1-4 (June 2017-June 2018), with one to two workshops occurring per quarter. The workshop format will include presentations, hands-on practice, and site visits. Participants will be recruited through networks such as the Northern and Southern Soil and Water Conservation District voter rolls, Chamorro Land Trust leaseholder lists, the Cooperative Extension client base, and networks of the secondary producer groups.
Several site assessments were conducted by the PI during the end of 2015 rain season.
Farmer additions were made to the initial cohort. Three farmers chose to retire from active farming and asked to be removed from the program, but prior to leaving they recruited 3 additional farmers (including 1 US military veteran).
Tom Camacho, Linda Reyes, and Angie Mendiola have stepped down and replaced with:
A meeting was held in December 2015 between the PI, Coopereative Extension staff, and the new initial cohort to discuss the new program timeline, issues, farmer prefernces, and parameters of the grant.
Plans were made to buy the time of an Extension Agent I as program manager at the beginning of the rain season in July 2016. The group agreed to start the project activities in July of 2016.
Propagation of both fruit and vegetable seedlings for project initiation is ongoing.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Proposed new timeline developed.
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