|Specialty Crops for Pacific Island Agroforestry 2007-12
Specialty crops provide a rapidly growing economic opportunity for farmers and gardeners who are interested in diversifying their crops and who are willing to innovate their production methods, post-harvest processing, and marketing. This project promotes high quality food, fiber, and healthcare crops grown in diverse agroforestry systems to provide family farms both subsistence and commercial opportunities.
Farm and Forest Production and Marketing (FFPM) profiles for 32 crops detail essential information for crop development: horticulture and botany; the roles for each crop in mixed-species agroforestry; nutrition and food security; commercial products, product quality standards; location and size of markets; post-harvest processing; opportunities for local value-added processing; and the potential for genetic improvement. The completed FFPM profiles are available for download in PDF format below.
The project supports:
Project outcomes include increased adoption of specialty crops, micro-enterprise development, local food production, and sustainable multi-crop agroforestry systems, thereby supporting economic and ecological viability of our communities.
With hardcover and stitch-sewn binding for durability, the book includes a foreword by R.R. Thaman, high resolution images, and complete 45-page index.
Coffee is an example of a high value crop that can be processed on small family farms and sold in a wide variety of value-added markets such as regionally grown (Kona, Ka'u, etc.), organic, bird friendly, fair trade, and so on.
Based on a survey of 103 experts with knowledge of Pacific island plants, horticulture, and economic crops, and the availability of authors, the following crops were selected to be covered by the project.
With hardcover and stitch-sewn binding for durability, the book includes a Foreword by R.R. Thaman, high resolution images, and complete 45-page index.
Dr. J. B. Friday, UH Extension Specialist in Forestry, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, CTAHR, University of Hawai'i, Hilo. He works with landowners, tree farmers, and professional foresters throughout the state on management of both native forests and tree farms. His particular interests are in restoration of native forests, silviculture of koa, agroforestry, and management of high value plantation timber species.
John H. (Bart) Lawrence is Asst. Director for Operations, Pacific Islands-West with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Guam office. He provides support and assistance to Pacific Basin NRCS Field Offices regarding natural resource-related issues and conservation projects. His responsibilities also include providing Conservation Technical leadership and direction in developing conservation technical materials for the U.S.-affiliated NRCS Field Office Technical Guides.
Dr. Roger Leakey is Professor of Agroecology and Director of the Agroforestry and Novel Crops Unit, School of Tropical Biology, James Cook University in the wet tropics of Queensland, Australia. Between 1993-97 he was Director of Research at ICRAF (formerly the World Agroforestry Centre). He has undertaken studies on tree domestication, genetic improvement of tropical trees, agroforestry in dry and moist tropics, soil microbiology, vegetative propagation, with research projects in Kenya, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. Since 1982, he has undertaken consultancies for ODA, World Bank, European Development Fund, FAO and ACIAR, in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Japan, Philippines, India, Bolivia, Costa Rica, ten countries of West Africa, and Australia.
Dr. Diane Ragone is Director of the Breadfruit Institute at the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kaua‘i. Her research interests include documenting the history and status of economic plant introductions and crop plant collections in the Pacific islands. Dr. Ragone has worked extensively throughout Oceania for more than 20 years to collect cultivars of important crops and document their traditional uses and related cultural practices. She is developing the Breadfruit Institute as an international center to conserve breadfruit diversity and traditional knowledge and to promote its use for nutrition, income, and environmental protection.
Rogerene (Kali) Arce is an extension agent with the University of Hawai'i at Manoa Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences, Moloka‘i Extension Office. She has worked extensively with farmers to improve on-farm income generation, particularly with Hawaiian Homesteaders.
Nicklos (Nick) Dudley is Forester at Hawai'i Agriculture Research Center (HARC) in Aiea, O‘ahu. He specializes in silviculture, selection and breeding, and seed production.
Kelly Lange is Educational Program Director and Certification Coordinator for the Hawai'i Organic Farmers Association in Hilo, Hawai‘i. She works directly with the 200+ certified organic farms in Hawai‘i and coordinates workshops.
Ken Love is a specialist in tropical fruit cultivation and marketing, in Kona, Hawai‘i. He currently promotes farm product diversification programs based on seasonality in order to spread the need for labor.
Dr. Mari Marutani is Professor of Horticulture, University of Guam. She specializes in germplasm improvement, conservation of native species, and agroecology.
Dr. Scot C. Nelson is a plant pathologist with the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, based in Hilo, Hawai‘i. Scot works with diseases of tropical crops and fruits as well as a wide variety of native plants.
Dr. William Raynor is Director of the The Nature Conservancy (TNC) Micronesia Program, based in Pohnpei. He oversees the TNC conservation programs in five Pacific island nations.
Dr. Francis Zee is Supervisory Research Horticulturist at the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Hilo, Hawai‘i. His responsibilities are to collect, identify, evaluate, maintain, utilize, preserve, and distribute important clonal germplasm for designated tropical fruit, nut, beverage, and ornamental crops.
Craig Elevitch is Director of Permanent Agriculture Resources and Project Coordinator, responsible for all aspects of planning, coordination, and logistics. Since 1989, he has worked in agroforestry design, management, and education. His projects focus on multipurpose trees that have economic, environmental, and cultural significance. He also directs Agroforestry Net, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to empowering people in agroforestry and ecological resource management. The organization's internationally recognized publications have guided thousands of readers in developing agroforestry systems, ecological restoration, and reforestation on farms, ranches, homegardens, and conservation areas. Publications include Agroforestry Guides for Pacific Islands (2000), Growing Koa: A Hawaiian Legacy Tree (2003), Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands: Their Culture, Environment, and Use (2006), Noni: The Complete Guide for Consumers and Growers (2006), and Pathways to Abundant Gardens: A Pictorial Guide to Successful Organic Growing (2007).
High-value crops such as tea may capture unique markets by being grown in pristine Pacific island environments. Eva Lee displays a bottle of tea syrup, one of many specialty products that extend tea products into new markets.
Many traditional Pacific island crops such as taro provide food for local consumption as well as potentially high-value commercial products. Above, taro in Hanalei Valley.
Specialty Crops for Pacific Island Agroforestry is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE) Program. The County of Hawai‘i Department of Research and Development in partnership with the Big Island Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council co-sponsored publication of the cacao, coffee, tea, and vanilla profiles. Matching contributions came from the project collaborators’ respective organizations. Opportunities for co-sponsors are still available.