Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 3:00 PM

Challenges Facing Agriculture Experiment Station on Guam.

Greg Wiecko, Univ. of Guam, CNAS, AES, Univ. of Guam CNAS,WPTRC, UOG Station, Mangilao, 96923

The components of agriculture related research on Guam match the importance of the various sections of island’s agriculture. Over the past decades staple food production has nearly disappeared and a few crops such as taro, yams and sweet potato are cultivated because of their importance to the indigenous culture. Some other crops such as tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers and watermelons are being produced in limited quantities. The shortage of agricultural labor combined with the very high price of land and a poorly developed marketing system are the major factors limiting profitable agricultural production. On the other hand, tourism, hotel industry, and development of residential neighborhoods has created a demand for improvement in agricultural research addressing landscapes, turf industry, and ornamental plant production. There is a shortage of interest groups supporting local funding for research and their sporadic attempts are usually limited and uncoordinated. As a result, almost the entire operation of Agriculture Experiment Station depends upon US federal formula funds. Operational challenges of Guam’s Agriculture Experiment Station in relation to financial constrains will be addressed especially in the context of possible reduction or reallocation of formula funds.