UA-27956762-2

Pacific Region Breadfruit Initiative

UHawaii-Breadfruit-Winner

Award Category: Research and Analysis
Project Site: Pacific Region Breadfruit Initiative
Submitted By: University of Hawaii Manoa
Contact: Failautusi Avegalio
808.741.2494

Abstract

The Pacific Business Center Program, UH partnered with the Breadfruit Institute, to promote breadfruit in the Pacific to address the lack of food security in the Pacific. To create an economic incentive for Pacific Island Countries to grow breadfruit trees, the PBCP organized a Breadfruit Summit in American Samoa to introduce a new technology for producing breadfruit trees and to highlight the potential for breadfruit flour as a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour in the gluten-free market in the US. The Two Samoas Breadfruit Summit requested the PBCP to determine the feasibility of developing a breadfruit flour industry in Samoa. Both Samoas increased their orders for breadfruit plantlets. In 2013, the PBCP introduced breadfruit plantlet technology at the 19th Micronesia Chief Executives Summit (MCES). MCES endorsed the PBCP’s proposal for a feasibility study for creating a breadfruit flour industry in Micronesia. Palau, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas ordered breadfruit plantlets. In April, 2014: The PBCP was awarded a grant from OIA, U.S. Department of Interior to determine the feasibility developing a breadfruit based, gluten-free flour industry in Micronesia; The State of Hawaii passed a bill in support of developing a breadfruit flour industry in Hawaii;USAID requested that the PBCP organize a Summit on breadfruit for the Melanesian states of the southwest Pacific to be held in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea sometime in the late fall of 2014. This third breadfruit summit will effectively make breadfruit propagation a Pacific-wide effort.

Case Study

Problem/Background

From Indigenous Science to Modern Scientific Research and Applications:

Polynesians, Micronesians and Melanesians are the people of Oceania who come from an ancient sea faring tradition that discovered and settled every island group in the Pacific, thousands of miles from each other and in the open sea.  On the surface, these vast island groups of the Pacific appear distant and independent, yet they are all connected in the deep. In those days, a certain tree in particular became the mainstay of commonality they all shared as the basis of their seafaring over the millenniums. That certain tree provided the primary and preferred wood used to construct the open ocean navigating canoes of Oceania. It was, and continues to be, the superior wood source for that purpose of any organic material for maritime construction known, with the exception of metal; primarily because it is marine worm resistant. The sap from the tree was used for the caulking of timbers lashed together to construct massive double hulled voyaging canoes with a capacity to carry up to 300 people at a time when capital ships of Europe seldom were large enough to carry a crew of 60 (much less sail beyond the sight of land). The sap is 100% latex.  The flower, which drops and dries on the ground by the hundreds during fruiting, was used for burning to keep mosquitos and other flying insects from being bothersome. The tree was highly valued in tropical island jungle environments. Its fruit was used for nourishment and in times of plenty, buried under ground for years and dug up during famine or times of want. Such food security food caches have been known to last over ten years and are vital to survival during difficult times. This extraordinary tree is the breadfruit, or Ulu, as it is known in Polynesia.

PBCP Develops Capacity by Providing and Linking Indigenous Science and Wisdom with Modern Science and Knowledge.

This project highlights the multiple gifts of the breadfruit as a result of research and scientific initiatives led by Dr. Diane Ragone and Dr. Susan Murch of the National Tropical Botanical Garden Breadfruit Institute in Hawaii.  Their work, among other things, validated the key traditional uses of breadfruit by Pacific Islands cultures that PBCP linked immediately to U.S. market demands, including value added by-products to be used for modern applications and commercial purposes. The connecting of Breadfruit Research and Science with the University of Hawaii PBCP University Center engendered amazing opportunities for economic development in Hawaii, U.S. Territories in the Pacific, Caribbean, the Pacific region in general, the nation and beyond.  The PBCP scale of impact is huge, covering an area larger then the 48 contiguous States of the Union.  Science and research has enabled the propagation of breadfruit plantlets from protoplasm cells into the tens of thousands monthly for commercial planting and project support throughout Hawaii and the Pacific.  Coupled with a plant-to-harvest time frame of two and half to three years, as opposed to the traditional seven plus years, the propagation capacity through science and research takes the commercialization of breadfruit and its by-products to an entirely new level of potential; the least of which is providing a means to feed the hungry of the world (i.e., Haiti, Nigeria, Ghana, Myanmar, etc.) by exporting trees to plant vs. shipping containers of food that are not sustainable nor grow back after use.

Insights into Community and Regional Economic Development

Expanding breadfruit agro forests will produce major regional economic opportunities, health, food security, environmental stability and community resilience wrapped up in one tree from the Pacific that will benefit the region and the world.  Working with Dr. Diane Ragone, Director of the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, PBCP has been able to bring the traditional culture and wisdom, modern science and knowledge, business development and commercial side to compliment research on the breadfruit that translates to meaningful applications with a focus on regional and community based economic development and local capacity building.  Regional stability is also an unexpected potential when Micronesia, Polynesia and Melanesian government entities collaborate together on the development of a breadfruit based industry linked to a high demand market in the US that will provide economic development, local job opportunities, health improvement, food security and a significant measure of self reliance.

Key higher education and research organizations collaborating on the breadfruit initiative are the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources-Department of Human Nutrition and Animal Science; Kansas State University International Grains Program-Department of Food science, technology engineering, product development; University of British Columbia Okanagan-Natural Products Chemistry Department; Scientific Research Organization of Samoa-Food Science Technology and Process development; and the land grant programs of the Northern Marianas College (Saipan), Palau Community College (Palau), College of Micronesia (Phonpei, Federated States of Micronesia) and the American Samoa Community College. A complete list of the breadfruit team and collaborating organizations in Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia are listed towards the end of this report.

Linking Breadfruit with the Demands of the U.S. Market to Create a Regional Breadfruit Industry

Focusing primarily upon the breadfruit’s gluten free nature within the context of the U.S. Market and demand for gluten free products, PBCP saw an opportunity for significant Hawaii and Pacific island economic development opportunities in the areas of local capacity building, job creation, product abundance generation for both local use and export, health improvement, disaster preparedness, food security, and related by product industry development for an organic insect repellent, latex processing and special termite and marine worm resistant wood product.  The PBCP has effectively initiated and engaged regional, national and local leaders, experts and support launching the most far-reaching agricultural regional collaboration for economic development of Oceania to date.

U.S. Gluten Free Market

  • A major source of nutrition and health for Pacific Islanders, the breadfruit, is also gluten free.  The linking of breadfruit to the high demand for gluten free (GF) products became the central focus of PBCP for economic development in the Pacific. In 2008, the projected demand for gluten- free (GF) food and beverages in the US market was an estimated $3.31 billion for 2012  (Gluten Free Foods and Beverages Market: Trends and Developments in the U.S. 4thed, www. packagedfacts.comwww. The 2013 actual sales for gluten free products was 10.5 billion with the GF market projected to grow at an even faster rate of 48% (from 44% in 2013), with predicted sales revenue of $15.6 billion in 2016. (Mintel Group Ltd, an international marketing research firm).

Organic Insect Repellent

  • Based on observations and reports of Pacific Islanders using the breadfruit flower as a means to repel insects, subsequent research resulted in affirming its capacity to do so and opened opportunities to commercialization as a by product of the breadfruit. Additionally, the University of Mississippi National Center for Products Research, USDA Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Defense-Deployed War Fighter Research Program and the National Tropical Botanical Gardens Breadfruit Institute have confirmed that the flower of the breadfruit contains compounds more potent than DEET which is the leading commercial mosquito repellent on the market.  The potential commercial application of an organic insect repellent for disease-bearing insects made from the Ulu flower is compelling given the number of trees needed for a viable regional gluten free flour industry.  High demand is driven by the military, medical, disease control, post disaster response and health organizations in the U.S.

Organic Latex

  • The sap of the ULu is 100% latex that, when processed, currently commands over a $1000 (U.S.) a gallon on the commodities market listings. Organic latex and plastic is not only a high demand commodity that is biodegradable in the medial/health fields but also has the potential to replace the use of non-biodegradable plastics used in food packaging and carrying bags that plague the global oceans and land environments worldwide.

With the existing hundreds of thousands of trees on all populated tropical islands in Oceania, supplemented with propagated breadfruit to expand production capacity, the initial supply for flour, latex, insect repellent and wood are sufficient to support initial market penetration for product market testing, but will be inadequate once market testing proves successful and demand increases at the national level.

Food Security and Climate Change

  • Today, threats to food security have intensified in the Pacific with increasing populations, exacerbated by major demographic shifts away from resilient agro-ecosystems of traditional villages towards urban areas. The projections for climate change add a further threat by increasing the vulnerability of food production systems both within the region and beyond.  Breadfruit is one of the most climate resilient food crops with high salinity tolerance and expected to be far less adversely impacted by rising tides and climate change than more traditional crops of taro, banana, yam, rice and vegetables.  Breadfruit is able to grow in coral sands and saline soils. Hence a unique food source without which, food will have to be transported in. This has major significance for countries where much of the agricultural production, such as rice in Asia, is at sea level. Myanmar, for example, has a population of 42 million where over 60% of rice grown in the country to support its population is grown at or near sea level. Sea level rise will cause massive challenges for many such countries in the tropic zone,.

Regional/National challenges

  • Food Imports (Food Security) Worldwide, rice is the most important food staple.  The State of Hawaii and all of the U.S. affiliated islands of the U.S. territories are heavily dependent upon food imports, with Hawaii importing over 90% of its food. U.S. Territories average over 80% of food imports. In Oceania, rice has become a major staple supplanting preference for traditional fruits and staples, particularly among the younger generations. Hawaii with a significant population of Asian and Pacific Islander ancestry uses rice as the main staple. Climate change is expected to decrease rice yields and overall rice production in tropical locations where it is grown in Southeast Asia.  With less than 10 per cent of rice produced traded internationally, there is increasing pressure on the supply available for international trade to be retained to meet domestic market needs.  Such a scenario would severely threaten food security in the Hawaii and the Pacific region, which are dependent on rice grain imports.

Regional Health  (Food based disease rampant)

  • Health related issues due to the plethora of imported processed foods high in sugar, fat and salt that have become integrated into local diets to the point they are considered local delicacies (corn beef, turkey tails, lamb flaps and high fat kegged beef imported from countries that produce but do not eat it in particular). Breadfruit, with its gluten free, high Vitamin A, protein and fiber content, is ideal in the prevention of food diseases that are rampant in the islands caused by the consumption of imported processed foods.

Pacific Regional Tuna Industry in Crisis  (Asian, particularly Chinese, subsidized entry in the Pacific overwhelming island fishing industries)

  • Tuna is the only regional industry in the Pacific today. It has suffered severe setbacks with the incursion of Chinese fishing fleets. The Pacific tuna industry is in crisis, with years of unregulated overfishing in the Southwest Pacific leading to hundreds of job losses, and a loss of millions of dollars each year. This is not to mention the Fukushima plume of radiation that has spread with the ocean currents and have reached, according to NOAA maps, the South Pacific.  Millions of square miles of open ocean, where pelagic Tuna feed, spawn and are fished, create serious food issues with such catches being commercially processed and sold on the market. Non-signatory from Asia and European countries regarding conservation and catch policies, are literally vacuuming schools regardless of maturity using mother ships for onsite processing. Such countries are not subject to the regulatory requirements of regional and U.S. fishing organizations with little to no regard to conservation. This terrible condition continues unabated, adversely impacting tuna commercialization in the U.S. Territories of American Samoa in Polynesia, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands, where tuna processing is a major source of employment in those areas. Among independent south Pacific Islands, Fiji’s (Melanesia) $300 million tuna industry was described as  “gasping for breath” according to the Samoa News. 12 tuna companies in Fiji are struggling for survival and the main problem is “state-subsidized foreign vessels from Asia” flooding the international market with fish and over fishing the eastern the central pacific areas.  Island fishing organizations see the only long-term solution is for the region to work together to place their concerns on the agenda of international tuna meetings. Canneries in these island locations are among the highest employers in American Samoa and in Micronesia due to the shutdowns and reduction in force as a consequence of  foreign fisheries incursions.
  • The development of a Breadfruit industry provides a viable and compelling alternative. Particularly, in the area of growing fish in the open ocean nets farms, where breadfruit by-products such as the peeled skin and core of the breadfruit, can be ground as fish food in addition to being an effective binder with other fish food products that dissolve without such a binder.

Regional Challenges:

There is a general need for economic development throughout the American Affiliated Pacific Islands and Hawaii. The 50th State continues to seek relief from the closure of its two major agriculturally based industries of sugar cane and pineapple.  Economic Development is also a continuous vision pursued by the other American affiliated Pacific islands that are heavily dependent upon federal assistance and support authorized by Congress with infrastructure and economic development primarily from the U.S. Department of Commerce-Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the Department of the Interior Office of Insular Affairs (OIA). The effective development of a local industry that is more sustainable, healthy and builds upon the natural knowledge and experience of local people to be the primary labor force (vs. importing labor with requisite skill sets requiring certifications and credentials not available locally) is compelling. Such an industry centered around the breadfruit and its multiple benefits more effectively utilizes federal assistance for research/development and start up purposes vs. federal assistance to support unanticipated consequences, such as sustained dependence. One builds upon the natural seafaring boldness and entrepreneurial culture of a people, the other supplants it with a culture of dependence and perennial need for solutions by reaching out rather than following the ways of the ancestors by reaching within.

Compact funding in the FSM and RMI has been reduced without offsetting private sector development causing increased out-migration to Hawaii and the U.S. Mainland. American Samoa’s economy continues to struggle under the combined effects of the Chicken of the Sea cannery closure and the September 2009 tsunami that did millions of dollars of damage to island infrastructure. Palau is the beneficiary of rising numbers of tourists (recently topping 100,000 tourists) due to charters from Taiwan. However, the economic benefit to Palauans is limited and Palau has no other industries generating a significant export income for the country. Only Guam is experiencing what could be called an economic expansion, but this is due to the billions of U.S. defense dollars being spent there to station 20,000 Marines on the island. Guam’s tourism industry remains at 1.1 to 1.3 million visitors per year with little growth. There is no local industry and very little local agriculture production and income.

Solution

Pacific Islands Encouraged to Explore Agriculture independently but not Regionally. PBCP is Advocate and Facilitator for Regional Approach to Development.

 All of these island states have been encouraged to explore the potential of value added agriculture as a source of export and to address the need for greater food security. With the demand for gluten free products and the commercialization opportunities for gluten free products, the research and science done by the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden provides a natural marriage of Research/Science with Business Development. To facilitate matters, breadfruit grows on all Pacific Islands in the tropic zone and is as ubiquitous in the local diet as potatoes are to the U.S. mainlander.  A regional strategy that can maximize development with limited financial resources, but unlimited natural resources, is the driving force behind PBCP’s Pacific Regional Breadfruit Initiative.

There is a need for greater communication and collaboration among the key players for a value added agriculture industry in the Pacific. With PBCP’s focused strategy of building regional capacity through ancient traditional and historical ties, higher educational institutions, research organizations and colleagues; interregional initiatives move more rapidly and effectively than going through conventional offices of foreign affairs, government ministries or departments of commerce and industry, government officials and elected politicians. They will follow once their local experts working with PBCP become advocates with demonstrated results. Time delays due to political and government protocols are reduced substantially as progress and effectiveness increase proportionally.

In the last ten years the demand for gluten-free products has grown rapidly in the U.S. and research has shown breadfruit to be a nutritious source of gluten-free flour. The largest part of this market is baked goods and snacks that substitute gluten-free flour for wheat flour.  Although breadfruit is gluten-free and has been successfully dehydrated and processed into flour in Samoa, the Philippines and Tahiti, the major distributors of gluten-free products in the U.S. know almost nothing about breadfruit and its potential. Likewise, those developing breadfruit flour in the Pacific have yet to connect with the distribution network for gluten-free food products in the U.S.

Breadfruit has never been commercialized on a significant scale because the breadfruit tree, unlike the coconut tree, has proven difficult to mass-produce. In the last five years, however, Dr. Susan Murch at the University of British Columbia, working collaboratively with Dr. Diane Ragone of the National Tropical Botanical Garden Breadfruit Institute in Hawaii, has developed a technique to mass produce breadfruit plantlets from breadfruit plant tissue from the Ma’afala, a species of breadfruit that is indigenous to Samoa and is common throughout the AAPIs. As a result of Dr. Murch’s research, thousands of breadfruit plantlets can be produced in the lab and shipped to farmers anywhere in the world where breadfruit can be grown.  Dr. Murch is currently doing this in partnership with the Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai and Global Breadfruit based in San Diego. Dr. Murch’s work is virtually unknown to the distributors of gluten free products.

Regional Breadfruit Initiative Launched in 2012 in American Samoa

The Pacific Business Center Program, University of Hawai’i was able to launch the Pacific Regional Breadfruit Initiative in 2012 in American Samoa supported by Ulu Pono of Hawaii.  Ulu Pono is a Hawai‘i-focused impact investing firm that uses for-profit and non-profit investments to improve the quality of life for island residents in three areas of 
locally produced food; clean, renewable energy; and waste reduction.

The Two Samoas Summit in December 2012 brought together all of the pieces that are essential to developing a breadfruit flour industry – market demand; distribution networks; manufacturing expertise; export infrastructure; agricultural technology; agricultural land base – so they could see their collective potential and begin to create the partnerships necessary for establishing a Pacific breadfruit flour industry. Unfortunately, time and resources did not allow the Summit organizers to invite representatives from the AAPIs so that they could also be briefed on what is happening to breadfruit and the market for gluten-free flour.

January 2013, New Territorial Governor and administration elected. Priorities were on reorganization of the new government not new or proposed developments such as the breadfruit initiative. Follow on from the 2012 Breadfruit Summit stalled.

March 2013, PBCP partnered with the UH National Disaster Preparedness Training Center a FEMA supported Center under the auspices of Homeland Security and the UH Department of Urban and Regional Planning regarding village capacity and coastal village resilience with breadfruit a central food source for food security.

April 2013, PBCP piggy banked advocating and seeking support for the breadfruit initiative on other projects in Hawaii and the Pacific region.

May 2013, Meetings in Washington DC, with the National Science Foundation, US Department of the Interior Office of Insular Affairs and US Department of Commerce-EDA continued to secure funding support.

June 2013, Meetings held with Hawaii Legilature to generate interest and support for a viable breadfruit industry. Legislation was prepared and moved through the process but stalled in committee.  Senators that initiated the legislative process were not re-elected in the 2014 primaries.

In October 2013, PBCP presented the Regional Breadfruit Initiative to the Pacific Post Secondary Education Council (PPEC) regional meeting hosted by the College of Micronesia, Phonpei Island State, Federated States of Micronesia. PPEC is composed of all the post secondary education institutions of higher education in the American Affiliated Pacific Islands (AAPI’s) including the State of Hawaii. PBCP sought partnerships and regional support for collaboration through its land grant programs. Palau Community College was the first to commit.

December 03, PBCP hosted the 2013 Stars of Oceania honoring extraordinary women leaders from the Pacific Islands and Hawaii from Polynesia (including Hawaii), Melanesia and Micronesia. It also provided a platform for breadfruit awareness and appreciation essential to advocacy for local island development. 12 inch tall young breadfruit trees served as center pieces for the sold out event. Breadfruit’s resilience, capacity to adapt, value to health, proven multiple capacities, unique substance, cultured (propagated) breeding and refined qualities were also the parallel characterization of the human female counterparts selected as Stars of Oceania.

December 06, 2013, the Micronesian Chief Executives Summit (composed of the government heads of all the Micronesian governments), held in Saipan (CNMI), endorsed the Breadfruit Initiative with plantlet shipments sent to Guam and Saipan by May with breadfruit workshop trainings in Palau, Guam and Saipan. Schedules for the Federated States of Micronesian (Phonpei, Kosrae, Chuuk and Yap) are set for October and November of 2014.

In February 2014, the talks between American Samoa and Samoa regarding economic development and regional collaboration included the Breadfruit Regional Initiative with collaborative formally engaged through the Scientific Research Organization of Samoa identified as the point of contact.

In June 2014, the Breadfruit Team (See list) met in Kona, Hawaii to plan and strategize on next actions.  Given expert assessments from team members, the decision to focus on a gluten free flour bread mix was decided with Kansas State’s Professor of Food Science, Fadi Aramouni, and University of Hawaii Food Science professor, Alvin Huang, taking the lead. Professor Gwirtz was to visit Samoa to evaluate the breadfruit milling capacity and processing to replicate and modify as needed a mill model that can fit into a shipping container for transfer to islands identified as hub sites. Each hub site will serve as the center of a spoke as part of the regional transshipment network for breadfruit flour.

In July 2014, meetings were held with CH Robinson, a national and global food distributor that specializes in global supply chains, worldwide transportation services, produce sourcing, and payment services. CH Robinson generates over $10.3 billion in total annual revenue since 2012 and employs 8,350 employees in over 230 offices, conducting business in 25 countries.  CH Robinson will market test the gluten free breadfruit flour mix product, once it is ready, to high profile clients such as Whole Foods, Subway, Trader Joes, Costco, etc.  Anticipated time frame for the product development to be completed by Kansas State and University of Hawaii is early 2015.

September 2014, advance team from the Pacific Regional Breadfruit Initiative representing Micronesia and Polynesia will be on-site in Fiji to meet on a collaborative proposal to support breadfruit Research & Development initiatives that integrates work on breadfruit regionally for the benefit of the regional breadfruit initiative.

Results

The American Affiliated Pacific Islands  (AAPI’s) and other Pacific island countries have breadfruit trees in abundance and land that could be turned into breadfruit cross cropped orchards that could support a gluten free breadfruit flour industry. These breadfruit trees could also provide food security in the case of natural disaster. But until the advocacy of PBCP, the American Affiliated Pacific Island States and other island countries are, for the most part, ignorant of the work of Dr. Murch in Canada and the rapidly growing demand for gluten-free products in the U.S.

Findings will be shared with countries subject to rising tides and coastal area agriculture for purposes of food security, health, local capacity building employment and economic development. Exporting meaningful knowledge to impact quality of life substantially increases opportunities for peace and stability.

Future Considerations

Sustainability

This project highlights the multiple gifts of the ulu, focusing primarily upon the fruit’s gluten free nature and how it has significantly impacted the islands of the Pacific historically and its growing impact on the economies of the State of Hawaii and other Pacific Islands today.  There is no comparable agricultural based economic initiative of this scale in the U.S. Territories since the copra era in the early 1800’s. Hawaii once had pineapple and sugar cane, but lower labor costs elsewhere caused the industries to shut down in the State with major displacement still being experienced today. Due to the demand for gluten free products, the scale of the breadfruit initiative is national as well as global and maintenance of effort is sustainable into the foreseeable future.

Originality and Impact

An immediate global impact, not just a regional one, will result from the Pacific Regional Breadfruit Initiative once the complete cycle of development is achieved from planting to table by as early as 2017. Expanding breadfruit agro forests will produce major economic opportunities, health, food security, environmental stability and community resilience wrapped up in one tree from the Pacific that will benefit those countries in the tropic zone where breadfruit can grow and thrive.

Working with Dr. Diane Ragone, Director of the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, PBCP has been able to bring the business development and commercial side to compliment research on the breadfruit that translates to meaningful applications with a focus on regional and community based economic development and local capacity building.

Regional stability is also an unexpected potential when Micronesia, Polynesia and Melanesian government entities collaborate together on the development of a breadfruit based industry linked to a high demand market in the U.S. that will provide economic development, local job opportunities, health improvement, food security and a significant measure of self reliance as no such agricultural product has including copra.

Kinship Ties (holistic/Ohana), Respect and Aloha Strategy

PBCP sought out, identified, engaged and effectively wove the requisite multiplicity of expertise and partnerships using a Pacific Islands Ohana, or family style, approach predicated on Aloha, respect and a holistic development strategy focused on community based economic development that incorporates shared responsibility, local capacity building, traditional knowledge, wisdom, spirituality and human dignity.  Other dimensions of importance includes contemporary issues of food security, coastal village and community resiliency, disaster preparedness, response, recovery and survival that balances modern knowledge and science with traditional wisdom and cultural practices.

To achieve meaningful development, a systems perspective and strategy that sees the Pacific Ocean and all within and around it as seamless rather than as an isolate from the natural flow, rhythm and currents of mana (natural and spiritual energy) that man should conform to rather than attempt to control is the only pathway to sustainable solutions. To focus on one organ and ignore the system within which it functions will debilitate the over all system thereby threatening its very survival. Unlike viewing islands on the surface as distant unrelated geographic entities, Pacific Islanders know that in the deep, all islands (and the continents) are connected.

The transmitted history, cultural knowledge and wisdom derived from chants of the breadfruit tree has spanned millenniums testifying to its capacity to sustain the survival and health of sea faring cultures whose knowledge of the tree and its gifts are only now being appreciated by scientists and global experts.

It is PBCP’s belief that nothing is more agriculturally catalytic and capable of achieving large-scale change than breadfruit tree propagation, research and development for a regional food and by product industry in Oceania that includes Hawaii as a key factor. Coupled with the breadfruit industry development is the concurrent pursuit of effective renewable or alternative energy sources to replace carbon based fuel dependency in the region that would drive the processing throughout the region and in particular, remote isolated islands.  With an organic based industry, waste is perceived as part of the cycle of renewal vs. a source of landfill.

The realization of the completed process and cycle from planting to table will be realized by 2017. The benefits will be self-evident and sharing the gift of Ulu to the world is a very Pacific Islander kind of thing.

PBCP continues to grow a 360-breadfruit consortium of collaborating organizations that will carry out this Pacific-wide project with traction creating exciting progress at all levels of the initiative since inception.


Finalist Presentation

UEDA Awards of Excellence Finalists presented at the Annual Summit in Santa Fe on September 29-30, 2014. Summit attendees then voted for the best initiative in each category.

UEDA Annual Summit 2014 – Awards of Excellence – Research and Analysis – Pacific Region Breadfruit Initiative from University Economic Development Association

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