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Existing and new agroforestry plots to be enhanced and established as educational resources in Guam, Majuro, and Pohnpei
The demand for locally grown agricultural products continues to rise and the need for food security is a given in the Micronesian region. Majority of agricultural producers in the region lack the knowledge of the development and management of sustainable agroforestry farming. Isolated islands of the Western Pacific including Guam, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), contain fragile and limited natural resources, particularly water and soil. These natural resources need to be protected, enhanced and sustained to ensure long-term viability for agroecosystems. It is important to understand the parameters of developing and sustaining such agroforestry systems. The expected outcome of this proposed project is to educate, increase skills and knowledge of agricultural professionals and producers on developing and managing sustainable agroforestry systems. This project aims to: (1) Enhance and maintain an existing model agroforest system at the University of Guam and develop new model agroforest systems in three neighboring Micronesian islands. (2) Conduct on-site workshops on each site focusing on the development and management of the integrated small-scale sustainable agroforest system at each respective island site. The model of the existing agroforest system, along with the sustainable agricultural concepts/practices, will expand to the other participating islands emphasizing on practicality and feasibility, and focusing on ready-available resources of each island.
Project objectives from proposal:
- The primary objective of this proposed project is to build agriculture professionals’, producers’, and the general public’s skills and knowledge of developing and managing a sustainable small-scale agroforestry system. Participants will understand the importance of growing food to enhance food security. They will learn traditional and modern agroforestry concepts and conservation practices that aim to optimize plant production in small, manageable areas while sustaining and enhancing natural resources, particularly soil and water.
- The second objective is to further educate agriculture professionals, producers, and the general public of the potential of the profitability of small-scale agroforest systems. A highly productive agroforest system can result in surplus food that can turn into monetary profits for growers thus improving livelihoods of producers and meet some of the demands of locally produced foods, leading to an increase in local economies.
- The third objective is to continue to promote and emphasize the importance of sustainable agriculture throughout the region and how consuming locally grown produce leads to healthier lifestyles, maintain traditional cultivation knowledge and adopt modern cultivation methods that sustain soil and water quality for current and future generations.