In response to recent findings and events, Guam PDP will work with existing and new advisory committee members to identify and address issues impacting island food security. This period’s topics include but not limited to: subsistence and commercial production systems, soil and water conservation practices, farm planning and development, wholesale and retail market channel entry, permaculture, agroforestry, home, school, and community gardening, food security issues, promotion of government programs, and development and submission of WSARE grants. This project period will see Guam leading efforts to develop a communication networking (using Zoom) of sustainable agricultural professionals, across the American affiliated Western Pacific.
Project objectives from proposal:
Objective 1. One project topical focus will be to address island food security through the promotion of micro-plot forest gardens to reduce spending on food and providing 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. Timeline for this objective will be ongoing throughout the program. Monthly trainings will be held with the WSARE Pacific Island liaisons to address this objective.
Objective 2. Increase WSARE grant submissions by 2020 double 2018’s submissions from Guam, CNMI, and COM. Through the WSARE Pacific Island liaisons network trainings will be conducted throughout the region to increase promotion of WSARE programs. The project will increase the participants’ awareness of the regional, economic, social, and environmental implications of adopting sustainable agriculture practices and systems. It will also have a direct economic impact on the islands’ WSARE education/outreach by increasing the amount of WSARE grants submitted from the region. During this period, grant proposals will have been prepared and reviewed for upcoming 2019 submission. Annual grant writing workshops will be held on Guam in Summer 2019.
Objective 3. Guam PDP will explore the potential of new collaborations between farmers and chefs on other islands to continue efforts and transfer knowledge of the Farmer-Chef program to the region. This objective will be ongoing throughout the program.