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With Dr Craig Elevitch, Permanent Agricultural Resources (PAR)
Agricultural subsistence activities based around small-scale, traditional family farms make up the majority of local food production in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).
Breadfruit, coconuts, mango, banana, and taro can be found growing in the fertile high islands of Chuuk. Coupled with fish, traditional agriculture has supported a subsistence lifestyle for the Chuukese for generations.
The large majority of Chuuk’s population lives in rural and remote areas, and many efforts have been made, and are ongoing, to promote agriculture and rural development as a means of improving livelihoods and the health of the state’s residents. Local food production has helped improve economic stability and health outcomes, including malnutrition among children.
Leading farmer organizations
COM-FSM Chuuk Campus, Cooperative Research and Extension
COM-FSM Chuuk Campus/Cooperative Research and Extension is an affiliated office of the college.
CRE’s main mandate is to conduct research and extension in agriculture. At present, CRE’s programs are focused in five areas: food security; climate change; food safety; childhood obesity; and families, youth, and communities.
CRE’s food security and farmer assistance are concentrated on traditional production systems, conservation and development of natural resources, and techniques that incorporate traditional practices into contemporary approaches.
In all of its efforts, CRE aims to increase the production and utilisation of local foods.
Coconut 4 Life initiative (C4Life), Vital Energy Corporation
In 2014, the Coconut Tree Act was passed by the FSM government, dissolving the Coconut Development Authority.
The act also mandated the FSM Petroleum Corporation (Vital Energy Corporation) with the task of reviving and developing the coconut industry in FSM by increasing trade in coconut tree products, as well as the processing, manufacturing, distribution and export of high value products.
How will farmers, communities and the nation as a whole benefit?
“Farmers will benefit by having a stable and continuous market for their resource. If they want to sell a coconut, Vital will buy that coconut, every day of the week, 365 days a year.” – Vital Company Website
In response, Vital Energy Corporation created the Coconut for Life (C4L) program with the aim of enhancing the capacity for the buying, selling, exporting, manufacturing, processing, and distribution of copra and other products from coconut trees in the FSM.