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Planting breadfruit orchards as a climate change adaptation strategy for the Pacific islands

McGregor A., Tora L.D., Lebot V.. 2016. In : Gracie A. (ed.), Taguchi M. (ed.), Rogers C. (ed.). Proceedings of the international symposium on horticulture in developing countries and world food production. Leuven : ISHS, p. 55-66. (ISHS Acta horticulturae, 1128). International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014): International Symposium on Horticulture in Developing Countries and World Food Production. 29, 2014-08-17/2014-08-22, Brisbane (Australie).

DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1128.8

Worldwide, rice is the most important food staple. Climate change is expected to affect rice yields and overall rice production in tropical locations. With less than 10% of rice produced traded internationally, there will be increasing pressure on the rice supply available for international trade to be retained to meet domestic market needs. Such a scenario would severely threaten food security in the Pacific islands, which are increasingly dependent on grain imports. The production of breadfruit and most other traditional crops is expected to be far less adversely impacted by climate change. Breadfruit is a high-yielding tree crop, the fruit of which can be converted to high-quality gluten-free flour and starch. However, breadfruit is not yet cultivated as an orchard crop, which is necessary to achieve high-volume and low-cost production. For this reason, one of the key objectives of the Pacific Breadfruit Project is to establish breadfruit as a smallholder-based orchard crop. This paper reports on the progress being made in developing breadfruit orchards in Fiji and discusses their sustainability.

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