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Innovative Tool To Assist Breadfruit Agroforestry

May 2021

Improving Soil, Biodiversity & Resilience

Dr Craig Elevitch last Friday (7) emphasised the importance of regenerative agriculture and also delivered an instructional segment on the Agroforestry Design Tool at the Breadfruit People’s Agroforestry Webinar

In the Pacific, breadfruit is included in many traditional agroforestry systems and commonly seen in home gardens where food crops including medicinally and culturally significant plants are cultivated.

For many years Dr Craig Elevitch has been working alongside others to develop complex agroforestry systems in the wake of the destruction of monoculture plantation agriculture.

“When we started working on breadfruit about 10 years ago here in Hawaii, we promoted breadfruit and agroforestry first and foremost, but in my naivete I didn’t realise that people are going to immediately put it into monocultures.”

“And as we all know, monocultures have a number of problems.”

“We have great loss of soil and nutrients through erosion, we have loss of water through erosion and also due to evaporation from the soil surface.”

“We have a degradation of soil, so this is a system which is in a state of degradation you might say, and so we compensate for the deficiencies that we ourselves are creating.”

Dr Craig Elevitch was recently addressing more than four hundred participants at the Breadfruit People’s Agroforestry  Webinar last Friday (7/5) where he emphasised the importance of  regenerative agriculture and also led an instructional segment on the Agroforestry Design Tool designed to assist growers and planners.

“It’s the new mantra that we need to be following, we know now and particularly in our degraded landscapes that we need to regenerate.”

“Everything we do needs to improve the status of soil, the status of biodiversity and the status of resilience.”  

“I want to acknowledge that the real masters of agroforestry are those very quiet and humble people of the Pacific who have been doing agroforestry for 1000s of years, this is knowledge that is passed on generationally, it’s passed on through experience.”

The Agroforestry Design Tool is an online platform for the Pacific and is available to the general public for use.

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