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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Breadfruit initiative kicks off with free 2-day workshop

Gov. Eloy S. Inos and Lt. Gov. Jude U. Hofschneider are inviting farmers, land owners, and anyone interested in economic development to a two-day, free and open to the public workshop on breadfruit on Nov. 26–27, at the Northern Marianas College - CREES. The workshop intends to illustrate new developments in planting, growing, and exploiting breadfruit trees.

At the workshop, participants will learn how to acquire and grow breadfruit trees from breadfruit tissue culture. As part of the workshop, participants will be introduced to breadfruit plantlets: how they are produced; where they come from; how you can order them; and how to take care of them. The participants will learn the characteristics of the Ma’afala breadfruit, a variety of breadfruit known for its excellent eating qualities, compact tree form, and high protein making the Ma’afala ideal for flour production. Participants will also transplant 144 plugs (plantlets) into one-gallon pots. The workshop will also address several important questions:

How will the next generation of breadfruit trees be planted and grown? Will single crop plantations continue, or will we plant for optimizing total yield, environmental services, subsistence and cultural values? This part of the workshop will cover various planting configurations for breadfruit, emphasizing multiple cropping for increased yields for local consumption, advantages and disadvantages of intercrops, and cost of production estimation.

How much breadfruit is currently available on Saipan? Which varieties are present? How accessible are the trees? These questions need to be answered in order to initiate a breadfruit enterprise from existing production before new plantings begin producing fruit. This part of the workshop will cover the basics of developing an estimate of current production on Saipan. The information will be used to estimate current yields and potential value of the crop.

How can breadfruit form the foundation for local food systems, community-based economic development, and disaster preparedness? This interactive session will help participant’s visualize and plan for improved community resiliency through the lens of the breadfruit project and beyond.

Who is invited, and where/when: Invitation is open to anyone interested in breadfruit, local agriculture, and community-based economic development. The two-day free workshop will address recent developments in breadfruit propagation and show how breadfruit can become an important part of our economic development.

The two-day workshop will be held at the Northern Marianas College-CREES Conference Room. The first day of the workshop will be on Nov. 26, from 1pm to 5pm. The second will be on Nov. 27 (the next day) from 8am to 12pm and 1pm to 5pm.
For more information or details, contact Ivan A. Blanco, Office of Grants Management, at telephone number 664-2237 / 285-8768 or email ivan.blanco@gov.mp.

The workshop is made possible through a memorandum of understanding between the CNMI and the Pacific Business Center Program at the University of Hawaii, “Development of Community Based Food Industry Utilizing Breadfruit as a Gluten Free Product for U.S. Market” aka “CNMI Breadfruit Initiative.” The event is organized by Dr. CL Cheshire of PBCP in collaboration with the key agencies identified by the Office of the Governor: Office of Grants Management, Department of Commerce, Department of Land and Natural Resources-Division of Agriculture, and NMC-CREES. (Office of the Governor)

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