The recent COVID19’s impact on our island and people’s awareness of our island food insecurity, has strengthen our previous years’ growing awareness of the need to promote subsistence agriculture. The term Victory Garden is being used again to capture this need and feeling. Our WSARE PDP program had been developing curriculum well adapted to this growing awareness and need. So as in the previous year in response to recent findings and events, Guam PDP has will continue to 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. We will continue to explore delivery of programs through online zoom, publications and videos.
Project objectives from proposal:
Objective 1. One project topical focus will be to address island food security through increase in subsistence agriculture producers through the promotion of micro-plot forest gardens (multi-storied interplanted plots) 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 island’s small agriculture land lease holders: poor rocky soils, lack of weed control, sloping land, limited water access 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. This increases the ability of many families to produce on the lands they have, and will stabilize and grow our agricultural subsistence production community. Timeline for this objective will be ongoing throughout the program.
Objective 2. Increase WSARE grant submissions from Guam. Through the WSARE Subsistence Farming trainings we will promote the WSARE programs. These efforts 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 island.
Objective 3. Guam PDP will continue to develop collaborations between farmers and chefs and the wholesale markets on our island to continue efforts to facilitate joint Farmer-Chef program events on our island and continue efforts to engage the large wholesale companies. This objective will be ongoing throughout the program.