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Agroforestry Guides for Pacific Islands

agroforestry guide pacific islandsAn essential user-friendly resource for conserving and expanding the use of trees

by Craig R. Elevitch and Kim M. Wilkinson (Editors)

Agroforestry is a traditional Pacific Island practice of integrating trees with crops and/or animals. Agroforestry is gaining increasing recognition as a way to combine sustained agricultural production and economic development with ecological conservation and land improvement.

This publication contains a set of eight Agroforestry Guides that provide practical, user-friendly planning information for a variety of agroforestry practices in Pacific Islands. Written for landowners, farmers, and agricultural extension workers, each guide introduces key planning issues for the agroforestry practice covered. Useful species tables provide information on hundreds of Pacific Island species. Illustrations and extensive resource lists for further reading, including internet sources, support each guide.

  • Great information for growers!
  • Over 300 Polynesian plants featured
  • Real-world examples from Pacific Islands

Price: $24.95 (plus shipping)
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The eight guides cover the following topics:

  1. Information Resources for Pacific Island Agroforestry
    Provides an introduction to agroforestry, followed by descriptions and contact information for books, guides, periodicals, organizations, and web sites useful to practitioners of agroforestry in Pacific Islands.

  2. Multipurpose Trees for Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands
    Introduces traditional Pacific Island agroforestry systems and species. Provides a species table with over 130 multipurpose trees used in Pacific Island agroforestry, detailing information on uses (food, fodder, timber, etc.) and tree characteristics such as height, growth rates, and habitat requirements.

  3. Nontimber Forest Products for Pacific Islands: An Introductory Guide for Producers
    Discusses the environmental, economic, and cultural role of nontimber forest products. Provides planning suggestions for those starting a nontimber product enterprise. Includes a species table of over 70 traditional Pacific Island nontimber forest products.

  4. Integrating Understory Crops with Tree Crops: An Introductory Guide for Pacific Islands
    Introduces planning considerations for planting crops with forestry, orchard, or other tree-based systems. Examples of understory intercropping systems in the tropics are included, as well as a species list of over 75 trees, shrubs, and vines used as understory crops in the region.

  5. Introduction to Integrating Trees into Pacific Island Farm Systems
    Presents eight Pacific Island agroforestry practices that integrate trees into farm systems. Includes silvopasture (trees and livestock), windbreaks, contour hedgerows, live fences, improved fallow, woodlots, sequential cropping systems, and understory cropping.

  6. Choosing Timber Species for Pacific Island Agroforestry
    Discusses seven steps for choosing timber species that meet the project goals, product requirements, and environmental conditions for a farm forestry or agroforestry project. Includes a species table of over 50 Pacific Island agroforestry species that provide quality wood products, detailing environmental tolerances and multiple uses.

  7. Economics of Farm Forestry: Financial Evaluation for Landowners
    Introduces strategies for determining the financial returns of small-scale forestry and farm forestry projects. Includes a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of investing in farm forestry, and the steps in determining the costs involved, estimating returns, and comparing farm forestry with other land uses. Also explores the potential of improving economic picture through value-added strategies or agroforestry practices.

  8. Multipurpose Windbreaks: Design and Species for Pacific Islands
    Covers information on windbreak design, followed by a discussion of planning considerations for multiple-use windbreaks for timber, fruit/nut production, mulch/fodder, or wildlife habitat. Includes species table of over 90 windbreak species for Pacific Islands, detailing environmental requirements and uses/products.


Information Resources for Pacific Island Agroforestry
Multipurpose Trees for Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands
Nontimber Forest Products for Pacific Islands: An Introductory Guide for Producers
Integrating Understory Crops with Tree Crops
Introduction to Integrating Trees into Pacific Island Farm Systems
Choosing Timber Species for Pacific Island Agroforestry
Economics of Farm Forestry: Financial Evaluation For Landowners
Multipurpose Windbreaks: Design and Species for Pacific Islands
General Index
Index of Botanical Names


Recent comments about Agroforestry Guides for Pacific Islands:

Agroforestry Guides for Pacific Islands represents the first real effort to organize historical, cultural and technical information on agroforestry trees and system design and construction for the Pacific Basin. The guide provides a wealth of information...pertinent to our unique conditions and requirements.
—Steve Skipper, District Conservationist
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
Kealakekua, Hawaii

This new agroforestry publication provides excellent guidance to Pacific Island natural resource professionals and landowners in the practical planning and application of a variety of agroforestry practices. Since many of the principles described also have application throughout the tropical regions of the world as well as the temperate zones, I recommend the guide to anyone interested in agroforestry. The editors and their collaborators have assembled a wealth of agroforestry information into a concise format that is also supported with strong listings of direct references, sources for further reading, pertinent internet sites, and resource professionals who can provide additional guidance. I encourage natural resource professionals in the Pacific Islands who work with private landowners to read this new publication and add it to their reference library.
—Bruce C. Wight, Agroforester
Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA National Agroforestry Center
Lincoln, Nebraska

Wow! It is like having a agroforestry library and librarian at your finger tips. The book is well researched and organized and the individual self-contained chapters will be of great value for extension and education.
—James R. Hollyer
Project Manager, Agricultural Development in the American Pacific (ADAP) Project
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Honolulu, Hawaii

Each chapter of this well-written book is a useful guide to some practical aspect of agroforestry. Chapters get right to the point of the most important factors that need to be understood in order to implement or improve the system being considered. Most chapters include rather extensive tables of species suitable for the subject of the chapter, including the primary uses of those species. The sections for further reading in each chapter include books, magazines and web sites. Where appropriate, generous drawings illustrate the systems being discussed. This will be a helpful resource for development workers trying to identify opportunities for improving small tropical farms by introducing or improving agroforestry systems, as well as to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the systems that may be in use around them.
—Martin Price, Ph.D.
Executive Director, Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO)
North Fort Myers, Florida

Agroforestry Guides for Pacific Islands are particularly useful as sources of ideas on what trees and crops to plant and what new systems might prove useful in the Pacific. They are well researched, clear, and nicely illustrated. Their availability on the world wide web should make them accessible to a wide audience.
—J. B. Friday, Ph. D.
Extension Specialist in Forestry
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Hilo, Hawaii

Agroforestry Guides for Pacific Islands will be of immense use as reference material to our faculty and students in agronomy, horticulture, and forestry. These guides provide a comprehensive, analytical account of the principles as well as the practical implications of agroforestry in the Pacific Islands. The possibilities of using agroforestry systems to increase the productivity and sustainability of tropical lands will be of increasing importance in the next century and these guides provide a useful starting point for one to begin further explorations. The eight individual guides are well-written with numerous citations and web links for further reference. An excellent listing of the local and international organizations involved in agroforestry activities is also provided. The illustrations and tables are readily understood and easy to read.
—Bruce W. Mathews, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Agronomy and Soils, University of Hawaii
Hilo, Hawaii

Author Comments

We created these guides to help meet the needs of landowners, farmers, and extension workers for practical, user-friendly, locally appropriate agroforestry information. The project arose out of numerous discussions with agricultural extension workers in American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Northern Mariana Islands, and with farmers during the course of our agroforestry work over the past decade.

The Pacific Islands have a rich tradition of agroforestry practice, building diverse and highly productive agricultural systems with a variety of strategies and species. This books draws on both time-tested, traditional agroforestry strategies and modern research. Our primary concern was to share useful information in a concise, easy-to-read format. We hope these guides will support efforts to understand existing agroforestry systems, and to facilitate the planting of more trees in the agricultural landscapes of the 21st Century.

Author Biographies

Craig Elevitch has worked in agroforestry design, management, and education since 1991. His projects focus on multipurpose trees that have economic, environmental, and cultural significance. He also directs Agroforestry Net, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to empowering people in agroforestry and ecological resource management. The organization's internationally recognized publications have guided thousands of readers in developing agroforestry systems, ecological restoration, and reforestation on farms, ranches, homegardens, and conservation areas. Publications include Agroforestry Guides for Pacific Islands  (2000), Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands: Their Culture, Environment, and Use (2006), Pathways to Abundant Gardens: A Pictorial Guide to Successful Organic Growing (2007), and Specialty Crops for Pacific Islands (2011).

Kim Wilkinson was co-editor of The Overstory, an international electronic agroforestry journal with subscribers in over 185 countries. For ten years she operated a reforestation nursery on Hawai'i Island that produced tens of thousands of koa trees annually. She has B.A. degrees in Anthropology and Ecology from Emory University, and is a Certified Permaculture Consultant (Tyalgum, Australia) and Master Gardener (University of Hawaii).

Randy Thaman, Ph.D, is Professor of Pacific Island Biogeography at the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. He also serves as chairman of the Fiji National Food and Nutrition Committee. Thaman is the author of several important books, including Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability. His research includes Pacific Island agriculture, agroforestry, food systems, and ethnobotany.

Christi A. Sobel is a freelance scientific illustrator and artist who has been published by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (ECHO). She holds a graduate degree in Scientific Illustration from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Additional Information

Paperback: 240 pages, illustrated, fully indexed
Release date: September 2000
Publisher: Permanent Agriculture Resources
ISBN: 0970254407

Quantity price/copy discount

10–19 copies $16.20 (35% off)
20–49 copies $14.75 (40% off)
50–99 copies $12.45 (50% off)
100+ copies $9.75 (60% off)

Shipping by postal service, FedEx, or common carrier (large quantities) at reasonable rates.
Please use email below to arrange for large quantity purchases and shipping.

Also available in Hawaii bookstores, or from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.
For other inquiries:
Agroforestry Net, Inc.
P.O. Box 428
Holualoa, HI 96725 USA
Email: email@agroforestry.net