Three overlapping programmatic thrusts or threads:
Food security & subsistence agriculture
Linking local production to government procurement and local markets
Promoting sustainable agricultural production practices, both modern and traditional.
The recent impact of COVID-19 on our island and people's increased and personal awareness of island and family food insecurity, has strengthened our previous years' growing awareness of the need to promote subsistence agriculture. In the process we have continued to identify new & non-traditional partners. Our WSARE PDP program has curriculum suitable for adapting to these needs. In response to recent findings and events, Guam PDP will continue to work with existing and new advisory committee members to identify and address issues impacting food security. Given the recent complete island shutdown from a resurgence of COVID-19 due mainland arrivals, this proposal was developed based on a meeting of core group from our advisory committee and one on one discussions with other participants in the agriculture sector. This period's topics include, but are not limited to: subsistence and commercial production systems, soil and water conservation practices, farm planning, government procurement of local ag. products, wholesale and retail market channel entry, permaculture, agroforestry, home, school, and community gardening, food security issues, promotion of government programs, and promotion of WSARE grants. During this period Guam WSARE will support efforts to develop a communication networking ( using Zoom) of sustainable agricultural professionals across the American-affiliated Western Pacific. We will continue to explore delivery of programs through online platforms, publications, and videos.
Project objectives from proposal:
Objective 1. Increase island food security through the promotion of subsistence agriculture, agroforestry, and other sustainable agriculture systems for Guam's limited resource families micro-plot forest gardens should reduce spending on food and provide family food diversity. Selected agroforestry practices and micro-plot utilization directly alleviates many of the most pressing constraints reported by our regions farmers: poor rocky soils, lack of weed control, sloping land, and limited time/labor, equipment, and capital. Agroforestry practices such as mulching, for example, enriches the soil and suppresses weed growth. More importantly, a micro-plot approach addresses time, labor, equipment, and capital limitations by maximizing the productivity of a small plot of land. Increasing the abilities of many families to produce on the lands they have, will stabilize and grow and agricultural production community.
Objective 2. Increase government procurement of local produce in their meal programs. This will be done by linking government procurement to local production and local markets by working with existing and new PDP partners to support Governor’s program to relink government food procurement to local agricultural products. PDP will lead the building of new partnerships and guide the implementation of targeted marketing programs.
Objective 3. Increase capacity of outreach professionals to support farmer implementation of sustainable agriculture practices. PDP will promote sustainable agricultural production practices, both modern and traditional (agroforestry) through curriculum development and by promoting SARE grants through grant writing workshops. Also, will lead collaborations among agriculture professionals to develop curriculum, demonstrations, workshops, and project plans/proposals. Explore online program development activities and workshop delivery for these efforts.