Local solutions increase agricultural resilience in FSM

REPORT from US Agency for International Development Published on 31 Dec 2019

In the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), communities in Yap State’s inhabited atolls and islands are often at risk of experiencing drought, as well as sudden onset disasters including earthquakes, flooding, tsunamis, and typhoons.

With support from USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the College of Micronesia–FSM established the “Adaptive Community Transformation (ACT) on Yap” project to strengthen community resilience to natural disasters. In addition to bolstering disaster risk management policy and water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure, the “ACT on Yap” program introduced a disaster-resilient agricultural technique developed locally by the College of Micronesia–FSM’s Cooperative Research and Extension (CRE).

CRS and CRE worked with 345 farmers in Yap to create and use cocopith, an organic potting soil made from shredded coconut husks, promoting a locally available and appropriate solution to encourage healthy crop growth.

Developed and used by CRE since 2006, cocopith retains water and nutrients especially well and promotes good air circulation for the development of strong, healthy root systems. Cocopith’s organic components are also more readily available and less expensive in FSM than commercially imported peat moss and other soil additives.

Using CRE’s portable, 10-horsepower husk shredders and innovative methods, CRS provided on-site training and technical support to the farmers to make cocopith, resulting in the growth of robust vegetables and trees. CRS also distributed cash vouchers worth $160 for each farmer to purchase accompanying supplies, including garden rakes, seeds, trellising nets, and watering cans.

Since coconut husks—including partially decomposed husks—are already widely available throughout FSM’s islands, farmers involved with the “ACT on Yap” program reported satisfaction with adding cocopith to their planting regimen, expressing interest in using it more often.



  • Picture vegetables being grown in the coconut trees. Every coconut frond that naturally falls to the ground come with vegetables, e.g. spinach, kale, cabbage, etc. Eveybody can enjoy Ceasar's salad after a typhoon.
  • Micros who struggle to grow healthy food are not amused by your sarcasm, z.

    Either you did not read the article.....or you did not understand it.

    Your childish comments make you sound like a Trump supporter.
  • edited January 2
    ha ha ha ha!

    Mcronesians have been cultivating foods on these islands long before such unsustainable machines and methods were introduced. What ever happened to your Green New Deal anyway? Do you really want to burn petroleum in these pristine atolls?...what will AOC say?
  • You and Trump - not AOC - are the ones who want to burn petroleum to increase global warming, instead of sensibly using clean sources of energy to save our planet

    Come into the 21st century, my friend.

    Be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. You will be much happier than you are now.
  • ahahah. true that!
  • We should process coconut husks with your mouths rather than the portable 10 horse power shredder machine then, since you oppose petroleum use on those atolls. Trump, bad....Green New Deal, good. XOXOXOXO
  • Yes, your inane comments once again demonstrate that you are a part of the problem, not a part of the solution, Mr. Zero.
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