2018 College of Micronesia PDP Project

Project Overview

WSP17-009
Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2017: $40,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2019
Grant Recipient: College of Micronesia
Region: Western
State: Federated States of Micronesia
State Coordinator:
Jackson Phillip
College of Micronesia

Commodities

  • Fruits: avocados, bananas, papaya, pineapples,
  • Vegetables: beans, cabbages, cucurbits, eggplant, greens (leafy), greens (lettuces), leeks, okra, peppers, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, taro, tomatoes
  • Additional Plants: tobacco, trees
  • Animals: swine
  • Miscellaneous: Yam, Kava

Practices

  • Animal Production: free-range
  • Crop Production: cover crops, crop improvement and selection, cropping systems, crop rotation
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, technical assistance, workshop, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: farmers' markets/farm stands
  • Pest Management: compost extracts, cultural control, mulches - general, sheet mulching
  • Production Systems: hydroponics
  • Soil Management: composting, green manures, organic matter, soil analysis
  • Sustainable Communities: public participation, public policy, quality of life

    Abstract:

     Micronesia is divided politically into three (3) sovereign island nations comprising of six (6) island groups with eight (8) distinct languages; two of the 8 languages are of Polynesian origin. The three (3) island nations are the Republic of Palau (ROP), the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). All of these island nations have their own political affiliation with the United States. For that purpose, they are referred to as the Freely Associate States (FSA) with the United States of America.  Micronesia islands are spread out from the Western Caroline to Eastern Caroline in the Pacific Ocean and occupied an area larger than the Mainland USA. Travel within the islands is very expensive, due in part to geographical locations, and because only one airline serves the region – Continental since 1970 and now United.
    Communication is also a limiting factor. For effective communication and training, English is the official language. While training materials are often readily available and/or are developed in English the training level of most agriculture extension agents are high school or 2-year college. A significant segment of populations in the islands cannot read and understand English or their own language for that purpose. Consequently achieving planned agriculture education and professional learning and action goals is always a challenge. Last, but not the least, is the issue of funding level.  The Micronesia islands geographically covered an area larger than the United States mainland and are served by one airline and therefore travel cost is between islands is quite expensive.  The issue was brought up by Palau who is located further to the west at the SARE sub-regional meeting in Guam in 2017.  The SARE Admintrave Council adopted the issue of not enough SARE funding for Micronesia, but it was subsequently trashed by lawyers in Washington D.C.  The level SARE PDP funding for Micronesia and Guam is at the same level, however, what it took Bob Barber to accomplish in a day with about $30 for fuel on Guam would take Jackson Philip a couple of weeks with $3000 in Micronesia.

    Project objectives:

    The main objective of the project is for participants to learn science-based knowledge and skills to improve local production and utilization.  In addition to technical aspects of local production, participants increase their awareness of the importance to grow certain vegetables for health benefits and for alternate income opportunities. From the garden demonstration, participants learned traditional knowledge and skills on how to grow and use specific food crops such as yam and taro, and vegetables. From attending the conference participants were exposed to knowledge and concepts and establish linkage with other professionals.  One outcome of attending the conference participant’s learned the concepts from panel discussion, field trips, and the poster session. All participants reported the use of the cover crop for soil fertility, soil moisture, and weed-suppressing was top on their list of knowledge gained.  One participant, he started to use the cover crop on the coral islands in the Marshall Islands.  Another adopted the sheet mulching on a demo garden outside the offie.

    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.