Western Pacific Sustainable Agriculture Participatory Training Network: Eight islands, twelve trainings.

Project Overview

WESP19-003
Project Type: Enhanced State Grants
Funds awarded in 2019: $48,890.00
Projected End Date: 03/31/2022
Host Institution Award ID: G330-20-W7505
Grant Recipient: University of Guam Cooperative Extension Service
Region: Western
State: Guam
Principal Investigator:
Dr. L. Robert (Bob) Barber, Jr.
University of Guam Cooperative Extension Service
Co-Investigators:
Mark Acosta
University of Guam, Cooperative Extension
Lawrence Duponcheel
Northern Marianas College
Jackson Phillip
College of Micronesia

Commodities

  • Fruits: avocados, bananas, citrus, figs, papaya, breadfruit, soursop, pomegranate, mulberry, mango, Spanish plum, dragonfruit
  • Vegetables: beans, cabbages, cucurbits, eggplant, greens (leafy), greens (lettuces), okra, peppers, sweet potatoes, taro, tomatoes
  • Additional Plants: ginger, herbs, trees, Nitrogen fixing trees and groundcovers, moringa, lemongrass, chaya
  • Animals: fish, poultry, swine
  • Animal Products: eggs, meat

Practices

  • Animal Production: animal protection and health, aquaculture, feed/forage, feed management, manure management, watering systems
  • Crop Production: agroforestry, alley cropping, conservation tillage, continuous cropping, contour farming, cover crops, cropping systems, crop rotation, fertilizers, food processing, forest farming, intercropping, irrigation, multiple cropping, municipal wastes, no-till, nurseries, nutrient cycling, nutrient management, organic fertilizers, seed saving, water management, water storage, windbreaks
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, mentoring, networking, study circle, technical assistance, workshop, online extension and outreach, agriculture networking, Pacific Islands
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, cooperatives, farm-to-restaurant, farmers' markets/farm stands, grant making, marketing management, new enterprise development, value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: carbon sequestration, hedgerows, soil stabilization
  • Pest Management: biological control, biorational pesticides, botanical pesticides, chemical control, cultural control, mulches - general, mulches - living, mulching - vegetative, prevention
  • Production Systems: aquaponics, integrated crop and livestock systems, organic agriculture, permaculture, transitioning to organic, agroforestry, food forest, forest gardens
  • Soil Management: composting, green manures, organic matter
  • Sustainable Communities: social networks, urban agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    The U.S. Land Grant System reaches the three island nations (Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Palau, and Republic of the Marshall Islands) served by the College of Micronesia (COM) with the three islands of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) (Saipan, Rota, and Tinian) served by The Northern Marianas College (NMC) and Guam served by the University of Guam (UOG). These are geographically isolated islands spread over a large area of the Pacific Ocean. There are significant barriers to promoting and coordinating SARE activities and trainings in these islands. Technical expertise is spread thin across these three institutions. Transportation costs have been a significant barrier to conducting sustainable agriculture and other trainings. In the most recent multi-state PDP enhanced state program grant, six WSARE island liaisons were trained (weekly 1-2 hour trainings) across these islands using the Zoom platform successfully on cellular phones, laptops, and desktop computers. This project will build on this effort by installing the needed equipment in a conference/class room to effectively deliver sustainable agriculture distance education trainings to groups of agriculture professionals and farmers on each island, simultaneously. This project will pilot using our regional expertise base to deliver multiple trainings across the islands travel-free. The project will equip a conference room with a smart screen, multi-directional microphone, and speakers to deliver a series of 12 sustainable agriculture trainings. Training topics are based on training needs identified in focus groups conducted during the previous year. 

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Quarter 1
    1. Set up of an orientation on eight island WSARE distance education conference centers. Orient the coordinators and educators on the expected participant recruitment levels, use of the WSARE distance education conference facility at their site, set the 12 month training schedule and sign needed MOU's for funds transfer.
    2. Purchase all required materials and supplies and contract needed training expertise.
    3. Set up distance education conference centers and conduct distance education training.
     
    Quarter 2 through 5
    4. Adapt or develop curriculum materials and conduct 12 monthly trainings and evaluations. Submit training curriculum materials and post workshop evaluations to the University of Guam.
     
    Quarter 5
    5. Conduct educator and coordinator focus group to assess what worked and what could be improved for future efforts and jointly develop final report to WSARE. Conduct a distance/online focus group/brainstorming session on next steps for collaborative grant application with each site's WSARE advisory members present.  A first for the Western Pacific.
    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.