Breadfruit Workshop to Highlight Benefits of Regenerative Agroforestry

February 22, 2018, 11:09 AM HST · Updated February 22, 11:11 AM
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Dr. Diane Ragone describing different breadfruit varieties. Photo by Craig Elevitch.

A one-day workshop on regenerating Hawai‘i’s agricultural lands with breadfruit agroforestry will be offered on Saturday, March 3, at the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens in Kahului.

The Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden will host the workshop entitled, “Breadfruit Agroforestry: Regenerating abundant, resilient, and profitable landscapes.” The workshop will highlight the major effort by the Breadfruit Institute to promote cultivation of breadfruit that can regenerate degraded agricultural lands while supporting local growers and businesses.

“Breadfruit trees have always been grown together with other crops in the Pacific Islands, until very recently,” says Breadfruit Institute director Dr. Diane Ragone. “We are now focused on teaching prospective and current growers not only about the great value of breadfruit for human health, but also about the benefits of integrating breadfruit with other crops for better overall environmental health.”

Breadfruit is recognized as a part of a healthy local diet, replacing imported starches such as potato and grains. Growers, processors, sellers, chefs/restaurateurs, consumers, educators, policymakers, and others interested in regenerating breadfruit are encouraged to attend.

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“We’re at a crossroads in agriculture where we are addressing several challenges at the same time: growing more food locally with less dependency on outside inputs in ways that are adapted to increasing weather extremes,” says Craig Elevitch, director of Agroforestry Net. “Combining traditional Pacific and modern agroforestry techniques and a rich crop selection makes breadfruit-based agroforestry an attractive approach for innovative growers who are ready for the challenges and benefits of a diverse crop portfolio.”

Workshop topics include Regenerative Organic Agroforestry, breadfruit varieties, companion crops for agroforestry, crop spacing and management, breadfruit tree care, nutritional benefits of breadfruit, products and commercial markets, and economic planning.

Workshop presenters will include Dr. Diane Ragone of Breadfruit Institute, Craig Elevitch of Agroforestry Net, Hōkūao Pellegrino of Nohoʻana Farm, Heidi Bornhorst of Pruning for Productivity, Gerry Ross of Kupa‘a Farms, and John Cadman of Maui Breadfruit Company.

The registration fee is $35 per person and includes workshop materials, refreshments, and an ‘ulu-themed lunch.

Advance registration is required, and organizers say space is limited. Click here for more information and the link for registration.


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