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Breadfruit Workshop

A breadfruit workshop was hosted at the Continuing Education (CE) Training Room of Palau Community College (PCC) on May 16, 2014.  The initiative introduced the idea of commercializing breadfruit on an industrial scale in the Pacific for exportation.

Breadfruit is a gluten-free product.  Gluten-free food products are popular in food markets around the world.  By tapping into the trend, the Pacific region can mass produce breadfruit or its by-products (e.g., breadfruit flour or insecticide) profiting from the products’ demand.  In addition to its marketing possibility, the breadfruit production can also be used for food security in case of natural disasters.

Participants also learned about propagation from tissue culture of breadfruit plantlets.  The propagation method was developed through the research of Dr. Susan Murch.  It allows thousands of breadfruit plantlets to be produced in the lab and shipped to farmers anywhere in the world.  In addition, the harvest time cycle of the breadfruit plant is cut in half allowing the plants to bear fruit in two to three years instead of seven years.  An exercise in propagation by air-layer was led by Reverend Souza and Director Elevitch.

Presenters at the workshop included Dr. Failautusi Avegalio (Director of the Pacific Business Center Program and Executive Director of the Honolulu Minority Business Enterprise Center of the Shidler College of Business Administration – University of Hawaii in Manoa), Reverend M. Kalani Souza, Craig Elevitch (Director of the Agroforestry Net, Inc.), Dr. C. L. Chester (Senior Business Development Manager for the Pacific Business Center Program), and Ivan Blanco (Coordinator for the Breadfruit Initiative in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands).