KOSRAE, FSM. Dr. Virendra M. Verma, Researcher/Extension Specialist, Kosrae Agricultural Experiment Station.
The key concept of the project was to implement and demonstrate to small-scale farmers, a successful integrated sustainable agriculture system that is promising in island conditions and is safe for the environment. The project provided adequate opportunities to educate and train farmers and rural communities in on-farm implementation of sustainable agriculture systems through hands-on trainings including PowerPoint presentations.
Project coordinator Dr. Verma, producers and participants maintained a high level of interest for development, implementation and demonstration of multiple integrated activities for cropping systems in a sustainable manner. Demonstration plots developed and used for demonstration of planned outreach activities to encourage establishment of integrated sustainable agriculture systems. At the project sites, vigorously growing crops, harvest of excellent sweet potatoes, bananas, eggplants, soft taro, pineapple, hot peppers, black pepper, watermelons, wax guard, Chinese cabbage and papaya attracted much attention of local communities.
Experiments are showing positive results and farmers are showing increased interest in developing agricultural farms. The extension activities have improved knowledge, created awareness and developed skills of participants in sustainable agriculture systems. Ultimately extension activities have developed positive attitudes, zeal for learning techniques and farming aspects, and have changed the behavior and economic condition of the participants.