Crop Production
Tuesday, 23 February 2010 15:13
Crop Production thematic project is designed to foster sustainable management of integrated forest and agricultural systems through collaborative efforts with relevant stakeholders in the PICTs and working together with other LRD Thematic Groups to address crop production issues.

The Crop Production thematic group have expertise in the fields of plant protection, plant genetic resources, forestry, soil science, and extension and is well resourced to address crop production problems in the region.

The group recognizes the following constraints to crop production in the PICTs and has identified ways to help alleviate the problems:

Poor Farming Skills

To improve farmers’ skills and agricultural knowledge through assessment of training needs, developing training and extension materials, and conducting farmer training.

Poor soil conditions

To improve soil conditions by providing support in the following areas: (i) Strengthening agricultural laboratories in the region; and (ii) developing appropriate soil management technologies.

Drought and lack of water

Technical support to develop relevant water management technologies to help minimize effects of drought and lack of water. In collaboration with Plant Genetic Resources to identify and select drought resistant planting materials especially for atolls.

Salinity in atolls

In collaboration with Plant Genetic Resources to select and identify salinity tolerant varieties for major Pacific crops especially for atoll conditions.

Poor planting materials and irregular supply of seed and genetic erosion of traditional materials

In collaboration with Plant Genetic Resources and addressing these problems to help PICTs:

(i) Establish genebanks and nurseries;
(ii) collect healthy planting materials and identify good seed sources;
(iii) conduct own seed production training; and
(iv) bulking planting materials/seeds for the farming communities.

Incidence of pests, diseases, weeds and invasive species

Crop Production, ICE and Plant Health groups will help PICTs identify the pests, diseases and weeds encountered in the production of major Pacific crops and to find relevant pest management practises. Some of the field trials in the countries will be conducted under the DSAP Project.

Natural disasters

The Crop Production group will contribute to developing effective strategies to respond to natural disasters such as cyclones, pest and disease or invasive weed incursions.

For more information, please contact the Coordinator, Siua Halavatau