Farming pioneer awarded


LAKE EPPALOCK farmer Darren Doherty has been commended by the Hawaiian Government for his leadership in ecological agriculture systems around the world.

Regenerative agriculture I would describe as ‘beyond sustainable’ agriculture. – Darren Doherty

Mr Doherty, who runs a global “regenerative agriculture” business with wife Lisa Heenan, was recognised by the Hawaiian Senate after he delivered a series of talks in the Hawaiian Islands two weeks ago.

Mr Doherty spoke to large landholders in Hawaii about how they could make their farms more sustainable by changing grazing and cropping practices, value-adding and integrating forestry.

The talks were well-received, Mr Doherty said, but he was taken aback when Senator Mike Gabbard officially commended him for his work.

“As a rural Australian I am pretty bashful about that sort of thing, but on reflection I guess what we are on about is starting to come of age,” the fifth-generation Bendigo farmer said yesterday.

HeenanDoherty Pty Ltd’s mission is to “maintain creative, intergenerational family and community lives built around regenerative and profitable production, management and educational systems”.

For 20 years Mr Doherty has run talks and designed more than 1600 mostly broadacre projects in 45 countries, and is regarded as a pioneer in the regenerative retrofit of broadacre landscapes.

It’s not just about sustainability, he says.

“Simply sustaining something is lacking in ambition.

“Regenerative agriculture I would describe as ‘beyond sustainable’ agriculture.

“Sustainability is energy-in, energy-out, whereas regenerative agriculture is, ‘things are getting better as a result of what you are doing.’”

Hawaii Agriculture Research Center plans to build Oahu solar farm – Pacific Business News

The nonprofit Hawaii Agriculture Research Center in Kunia on Oahu plans to build a 500-kilowatt solar photovoltaic facility on two acres of land owned by the center and Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., according to a City and County of Honolulu Planning Commission public hearing notice.

Solar Hub Utilities LLC and the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center are named as the applicants.

In June 2012, SPI Solar said it acquired the rights from Solar Hub Utilities to co-develop and build almost 70 solar energy facilities in Hawaii.

The facilities, which will be no more than 500 kilowatts each, are located on Oahu, Maui and the Kona side of the Big Island, and are mostly ground-based with some rooftop and shade structures, SPI Solar previously said.

The solar facilities are expected to feed energy into the power grids operated by Hawaiian Electric Co., Maui Electric Co. and Hawaii Electric Light Co. through the utilities’ feed-in tariff programs.

Hawaii regulators are re-examining the FIT program, which is designed to encourage the addition of more renewable energy projects in the state.

The hearing on the project is scheduled for Sept. 18 at 1:30 p.m. at the Mission Memorial Building located at 550 S. King St. in Honolulu.

Hawaii Agriculture Research Center plans to build Oahu solar farm – Pacific Business News

Vanuatu nut specialist to lead Melanesian stakeholders meeting on indigenous nuts


Papua New Guinea’s National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI), which is PNG’s leading organisation in conducting and fostering applied and development oriented research in agriculture and rural development has earmarked Vanuatu’s specialist on nuts, Mr Charles Long Wah to lead the upcoming high profile Melanesian stakeholders’ meeting on indigenous nuts in PNG.

Dr Sim Sar- Director of NARI, Dr Moxon and Dr Tio Naveni from PNG’S Kerevat Nangae Centre, Mrs Helen Tsatsia, the Acting Director of Agriculture in Solomon Islands, Mrs Lily Sar of PNG’s University of Technology Communication and Development Studies, the Custom Garden, two female presidents of Papuan Women and Solomon women in Agriculture, representing over 200,000 women are part of this important stakeholders’ meeting.

All are delighted and excited Vanuatu’s Mr Long Wah has accepted to lead the Melanesian Stakeholders workshop on indigenous nuts in Kerevat, New Britain, PNG commencing September 22, 2013.

The training will cover several workshops on value adding, solar crop dryer on fruits, vegetables, spices and nuts and will be immediately followed by a value adding workshop in Solomon Islands the next month.

Hundreds of representatives are expected to convene in Kerevat- from the PNG Government, Universities, Business houses, Research Institutes, potential nut growers, experts and foreign scientists.

NARI has confirmed securing major PNG Government, EU and AusAID funding to assure Mr Long Wah can conduct the training.

Rewriting the production of Pacific High value crops


The Kava store has embarked and completed a research on how the use of solar food dryer rewrite Tamarind production in Lelepa and Havana area and Nangae nut on Nguna, much to the surprise of many Pacific scientists.

The realization and utilisation of the solar food dryer could now provide for thousands farmers, under the trees to maximize profit and taking control to semi value product.

It was developed and modified by Charles Longwah and engineers Miss Telia Curtic, Dr Richard Corkish, head of the school of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering.

The project which was co supervised by professor Robert Fuller, renowned solar dryer expert from Deakin University and Charles Longwah completed value addition and preservation on every Agriculture crop in Vanuatu on how to preserve the produce in two years.

Last month with Miss Electra, a scientist at the Sunshine Coast University of, research work on all analytic, national, humidity of Vanuatu Tamarind. The findings will be release soon this year.

Nangae nut is one most dedicate nuts in the world, when cracked for three it cannot be value added.

The Kava store technique in 2013, “results in a perfect Nangae nut without oxidation and rancid,” says Kava Store entrepreneur Longwah.

Lots of interest being shown in Maui waste plant

WAILUKU >> Some of the nation’s biggest names in waste-conversion technologies are interested in building a plant on Maui.

Maui County’s call for a developer to build the plant is getting a lot of bites.

The county last month began seeking bids to convert the island’s solid waste into energy in an effort to cut down on the amount of trash that ends up in the central landfill in Puunene.

As of last week, the Maui News reports that the Department of Environmental Management had received 111 prospective bidders. Those include industry leaders Jacoby Energy, Zero Waste Energy, Novi Energy and Novo Energy. Officials say on the list are numerous companies or individuals listing Hawaii addresses.

Maui generates between 450 tons and 500 tons of waste a day.

Lots of interest being shown in Maui waste plant – Hawaii News – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

See HGP at our booth at the MALP 17th Annual Lawn and Garden Fair

CLICK HERE for complete MALP 2012 Land Garden Fair information

Please Contact Susi Mastroianni if you would like to place a business card ad. Cost is $175.00 and will appear in the Maui News the Sunday before the Lawn and Garden Fair. Contact her at email address with your business card email: CLICK HERE for a sample on how the ad is done–from the Maui Contractors Association ad.

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The sixth extinction menaces the very foundations of culture

In a cave in south-west France an extinct animal materialises out of the dark. Drawn in vigorous black lines by an artist in the ice age, a woolly mammoth shakes hairs that hide its face and vaunts slender tusks that reach almost to the ground.

Those tusks were not dangerous enough to save it. As human hunters advanced on its icy haunts, mammoths faced extinction between 4,000 and 10,000 years ago. The end of the ice age did for these shaggy cold-lovers, but humans helped: entire huts built from mammoth tusks and bones have been found.

We didn’t mean to help make the mammoth extinct. The wonderful portrait of a mammoth in Pech Merle cave reveals that early homo sapiens was fascinated by these marvellous creatures. This masterpiece of cave art is as acute as any modern work of naturalist observation. The hunters who painted in caves showed the same passion for the natural world as their descendants do. Their culture must have been bereft when the mammoth vanished – even as they helped it on its way.

In the 21st century the same paradox endures. Human activity endangers entire species, yet human culture is profoundly rooted in nature. The loss of a species is also a loss of the images, stories, symbols and wonders that we live by – to call it a cultural loss may sound too cerebral: what we lose when we lose animals is the very meaning of life. Those first artists in ancient caves portrayed animals far more than they portrayed people. It was in the wild herds around them that the power of the cosmos and the mystery of existence seemed to be located.

Hunger Games: The price of feeding the world – Inside Story

The World Development Movement, a UK-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), has accused Barclays Bank of profiting from world hunger by betting on food crises and helping to push food prices up.

“The real problem is not that food is becoming more expensive, it’s that money is losing value. Central banks all around the world are simply printing too much money and so you need more money to buy food. It’s not the weather, it’s not speculation, it’s the inflation that central banks around the world are creating.”
– Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital

The NGO said Barclays had reportedly made more than $800m over the past two years from speculating on food markets and that investors were using the food market as a “playground”.

It said this has contributed to hunger and poverty not only for millions in poor countries, but also in developed nations.

The allegations come on the back of a World Bank global hunger warning. According to a report by the bank released this week, global food prices have hit record highs. In July alone, its global food index increased by 10 per cent.

And the price of specific commodities has risen even faster. Corn and soybeans have reached record prices in recent days.

The World Bank lays the blame for price rises largely on the weather: drought in the US has been exacerbated by a dry summer in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

“There are other issues that are driving prices higher: There are many of us – seven billion … we are eating much more .… You have to be completely backward not to see that we have toasted this planet.”

Preservation and value adding training for the people of Santo


Around 60 participants from Santo rural and surrounding Luganville will attend a ten days preservation and Value adding training on local crops starting Monday next week Funded by TVET and World Vision it will be conducted by Kava’s store Charles Long Wah at the Agriculture College with the aim to boost the income earning capacity of rural farmers and improve food security (in off seasons) and processing at the village level.

“My techniques of value adding of natural produce is unique, whether to the most remote village or town with only a saucepan and spoon, now with a solar food dryer,” said Long Wah, after conducting similar workshops for 20 years all over north and south Pacific to hundreds of Pacific islanders. “These ten days training will upscale productivity and pass on lifetime skills of value adding a product in syrup, pastes, flavoring in tamarind, preserved mango, pineapple, pawpaw, nandau, naus, soursop, chutney, chilly and tamarind and candy (coconut).

“Equipped with four solar dryers we will be able to make over 100 semi and value added agricultural crops with no costs and obtain much safe food security with abundant in fruits, spices, indigenous nuts, root crops and bread fruits going to waste each year in the rural areas.

This, he said, will significantly decline in the coming months, in particular aggregated crops such as root crops, nut in shells, low value vegetables, fresh kava, fruits to town, ships and high costs of transportation.

“The Vanuatu market has not change much in the past 60 years, it is based mainly in low value crops with miserable profits, eventually creating more conflicts between farmers having the same agriculture crops generating mass exodus to urban drift and more poverty.

“We must produce the volume of agricultural crops in rural areas before we can talk about export.”