Securing Food Resources in the Federated States of Micronesia

Damorne Allen  813005207

The Federated States of Micronesia have a lot of implications on their food system similar to the Caribbean islands. Therefore, I am in agreement with what the article speaks to in terms of the island’s implications on its food systems and their measures for adapting to the changes. Food insecurity is a huge problem faced by FSM and SIDS which have increased due climate change. The factors affecting Micronesia’s agricultural production and the adaptation strategies to treat with the issues are relevant to the Caribbean region. In some instances similar measures implemented in Micronesia have been implemented in the Caribbean geared towards achieving food security as well. The topography of Micronesia and population growth led to an increase in urbanization, reducing the availability of arable land. A similar scenario is occurring in Trinidad where its best agricultural soils (Class 1) have been used for infrastructure. The land use should be prioritized because you can build all the houses that are being demanded but how will their nutritional needs be met. Revamping the sector is of utmost importance to achieve food security and sovereignty.  Investments into the FSM’s agriculture was a huge challenge. This seem to be a common occurrence on SIDS like the FSM because Trinidad and Tobago’s allocation to the agriculture sector decreased from $1.328 billion in 2015 to $831 million in 2016. Focus should be placed on local food production because in the event of a worldwide conflict many SIDS will not be able to withstand the pressure of such a scenario. There is a stigma placed upon farmers and as a result young persons refuse to join this profession. This has caused a reduction in the availability of labour and trained persons to increase productivity, improve quality and decrease loss. Climate variability has caused an increase in temperatures causing drought like conditions. New drought tolerant species that can withstand this change have to be sourced and developed as a means of adapting to the challenges. Salt water intrusion and coastal erosion are issues currently faced by FSM and SIDS throughout the world. The lateral movement of the saltwater contaminates aquifers but drip irrigation can be used to apply water at a rate that will provide the plant with water and move the excess salts away from the root ball preventing osmotic drought. With drought conditions and saltwater intrusion occurring the trial plots to determine the best possible species to produce on the island is a step in the right direction. The planting of coconut trees in coastal areas can help reduce the erosion issue. These types of trees have fibrous rooting systems which will help hold the soil in place.

All what has been stated is just a matter of planning without full fledge execution. In order for these issues to be dealt with accordingly a number of aspects must function cohesively to get the best possible result. The human, social, natural and economic resources of the FSM must focus on its interdependencies on each other to be able to get their food system to generate the result they desire given the implications in doing so. As per usual vulnerability assessments and the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the adaptation measures must be determined before deciding on a way forward. In all this the use of educational programmes and extension officers in the various communities of the FSM are of importance when talking about the interdependencies of the different resources that are required. Once all these aspects are existing in a cohesive manner the sustainable development goals can be achieved. In this case these goals are zero hunger by being food secure, good health and well-being from growth of the FSM own food based on nutritional needs, quality education through extension services, reduced inequalities, responsible consumption and production and partnerships for the goals that were previously mentioned to provide the linkages between each one of them.

Reference

Harper, Annie Harper and Malcolm. 3.1 The sustainable livelihoods framework and the asset pentagon. Accessed April 11, 2017. https://www.soas.ac.uk/cedep-demos/000_P528_RF_K3736-Demo/unit1/page_22.htm.

“Sustainable Development Goals.:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform.” United Nations. Accessed April 11, 2017. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300.

U.S.D.A. Natural Resources Conservation Service National Soil

Survey Handbook, part 622.

Wayow, Sue-Ann. “No taxes for farmers in 2016.” Sunday Express. October 05, 2015. Accessed April 09, 2017. http://www.trinidadexpress.com/20151005/budget/no-taxes-for-farmers-in-2016.

 

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