The project's aim was to build and sustain the capacity to develop integrated crop management strategies to support the sustainable intensification of high-value crop production for export and domestic markets in the Pacific Islands.
The development of high-value crops for domestic consumption and export is considered a priority for economic development and improved livelihoods in many Pacific island countries. However, attempts to intensify production of such crops, in response to economic incentives but without adequate attention to research-and-development (R&D) to underpin this intensification (especially to identify well-adapted varieties and develop locally relevant sustainable production technologies), has led to any gains being limited and short-lived. There have also been serious threats to health and the environment, through inappropriate application of pesticides which are hazardous to human health and the often fragile environments of Pacific Island countries, improper use of other inputs and degradation of the natural resource base.
This proposal aimed to initiate the development of a longer-term program to sustain the development of high-value crops by focusing on building regional and national R&D capacity, working with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and its national partners.
The project’s broad objective was to build and sustain capacity to develop integrated crop management (ICM) strategies for the sustainable intensification of high-value crop production for export and domestic markets. This was done through improved information sharing:
- by the regular convening of meetings of the project advisory group (PAG) to review project progress and to provide advice on future directions for research and extension activities,
- field days with farmers (especially in Fiji and Solomon Islands) where new technologies/ crop varieties were demonstrated and
- the development of a pilot Plant Health Clinic (PHC) program in the Solomon Islands.