Thursday, 15 July 2010

Agriculture in the Pacific

Agriculture in developing countries is an area where a lot of international assistance and aid money goes. A lot of hard work, interesting information and useful resources are the fruits of these activities. Unfortunately though, this information can get easily lost in the morass of information that is the internet. The following is my humble attempt to promote a few of the sites I know that are relevant to Agriculture in the South Pacific, in addition to the ACIAR and SPC Forestry pamphlets I've talked about before.

Terracircle is an NGO that works primarily in Melanesia promoting sustainable agriculture through technical training, publications, consultancy and the provision of small grants for communities.

Working in close association with Terracircle is the Kastom Gaden Association (another website is under construction here) and the Planting Material Network, both based in the Solomon Islands. Both these organisations operate much more on the grass-roots level, connecting farmers within the Solomons to each other and encouraging communication at that level.

The Melanesian Farmer First Network is broader in scope than the two above, supporting farmers throughout PNG, the Solomons and Vanuatu. I liked the Innovations page on their site, though unfortunately it is only very infrequently updated.

OISAT (or the "Online Information Service for Non-Chemical Pest Management in the Tropics" in full) aims to detail control methods for tropical crops and pests. It seems to have more of a focus on Asia, but the information that is here will be of worth in most places with these crops and pests. It is currently fairly incomplete, with few of the insects in the Pest Management strategy having any information beyond a picture. However, there was a note saying the page had been updated in some form a day ago, so there is hope that this will change in the future.

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