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Agribusiness

Promoting sustainable agriculture and agroforestry to replace unproductive land-use in Fiji and Vanuatu

Project Code: ADP/2014/013
Program: Agribusiness
Budget:
A$150,000
Research Program Manager: Audrey Gormley
Project Leader: Saiful Karim - Queensland University of Technology
Duration:
MAY 2014
NOV 2015
Project Status: Concluded
Key partners
Department of Forests
Ministry of Primary Industries
Ministry of Trade, Commerce, Industry and Tourism
Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Southern Cross University
University of Adelaide
University of Queensland
DOCUMENTS

Overview

The many benefits of agroforestry have been widely identified, yet the area under agroforestry in Fiji and Vanuatu has in fact declined in recent decades, for example due to a push for growing export products during the colonial era, and the progressive urbanization of the population. While sugarcane growing and coconut production remain highly important land uses and sources of revenue in Fiji and Vanuatu respectively, there is considerable underutilized land in both countries. There is major scope for expansion of agroforestry, to produce timber as well as fruit and nuts from traditional tree species, with root crops and other vegetable species as intercrops. Expansion of planting could take place on sloping land and with little competition with agricultural production including sugarcane growing.

This SRA was designed to explore the financial, legal, planning and policy issues associated with transitioning to sustainable agroforestry in senile coconut plantations and marginal sugarcane lands in Fiji and Vanuatu. The project sites selected were north-western Viti Levu in Fiji and the island of Efate in Vanuatu. An appraisal of current land-use policies and practices and their limitations was undertaken, with a view to identifying potential strategies to create greater incentives for more profitable and sustainable land-use systems and farming practices in the identified study areas