Development of a Sustainable Polyculture and Marketing System for Exotic Tropical Fruits

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2003: $156,800.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $76,200.00
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Richard Bowen
Department of Nat Res and Envir Mngt

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: general tree fruits


  • Crop Production: continuous cropping, cover crops, nutrient cycling, organic fertilizers
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer
  • Farm Business Management: cooperatives, marketing management, value added
  • Pest Management: physical control, mulching - vegetative, weeder geese/poultry
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, employment opportunities


    Twelve exotic tropic fruit species were cultivated organically in a 1-acre demonstration site, which was further developed into an agritourism attraction. Student chefs created and consumer-tested over 100 recipes, which are available in a publication and online. A market for brown turkey figs was successfully developed with chefs as a model for other exotic fruits. “The 12 Trees Project” has accomplished the major planned activities and exceeded them with supplemental grants, fundraising, and substantial donated community time and resources.

    Project objectives:

    1. Identify 12 species of exotic tropical fruits that have a high potential for market acceptance throughout the year.

    2. Develop and demonstrate a prototype polyculture tropical fruit production system based on sustainable production technologies.

    3. Develop direct and wholesale markets for both fresh fruit and processed products.

    4. Assist the Kona Pacific Farmers Cooperative in expanding into new activities, including the long-term marketing of the fruits developed in this project.

    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.