From the ocean to the mountain: Agroforestry in Micronesia

Micronesian farmer, Mark Kostka, explains how principles of agroforestry are both supplying the island with healthy foods and working to preserve the soil and environment for decades to come.

Micah Seidel

Related Topics:
Agriculture, Biodiversity, Food, Storyfest 2024, Sustainability

“Agroforestry is how people farm without clearing the forest,” says Mark Kostka, traditional chief and farmer on the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. For thousands of years, the people of Pohnpei island have sustainably harvested and cultivated a diversity of food crops in their island’s tropical rainforests where exceptionally high rainfall, rich soil, and numerous endemic plants are excellent resources for traditional agroforestry farming.

However, after decades of imported food, the diets of Micronesians today includes many foreign foods and local farming is on the decline. The majority of food in local supermarkets is imported, processed food brought in on cargo ships. “It is postcolonial damage,” says Senator Jayson Walter of Pohnpei State, “the problem with our farming right now, it’s not consistent, and we need to establish that consistency.”

In this short documentary, discover how traditional agroforestry practices in the Federated States of Micronesia integrate farming into the forest, preserving the land and supplying healthy food to those who live there.

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