Find Agriculture expertise in Nauru
In 2010 agriculture, forestry and fisheries contributed 6% of Nauru’s GDP. Extensive phosphorous mining has left only 20% of the land suitable for agricultural use. Nauru also suffers from frequent droughts and a loss of native agricultural knowledge and practices. Nauru has a very limited agricultural industry; there is no formal commercial agriculture and limited subsistence farming. Food crops, primarily coconuts, are generally restricted to individual gardens and the area surrounding the small inland lake, Buada Lagoon. The Division of Agriculture in Nauru is also under-funded and has little formal training.
Given the high cost of importing nearly all of Nauru’s food products and the significant downturn in Nauru’s economy since 2000, agriculture has been highlighted as an important area of development by the government. Developed in 2007 with help from the FAO, Nauru’s Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development of Agriculture (SPSDAg) intends to strengthen agricultural development, self-sufficiency and food-security in the country. However, major agricultural growth and development is limited by the lack of fertile land on the island; according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), only four square kilometres of Nauru’s 21 square kilometres are arable and much of this is currently used for residential housing (2007).
The Department of Commerce and Industry views the Household Food Garden Development Project as an important initial step in developing food security and independence in Nauru. The scheme focuses on encouraging school children, young people and willing individuals to start small scale horticulture which will give their families a variety of food crops. It is hoped that this will set an example to others and help to combat rising obesity and high-cholesterol levels amongst the population. The International Cooperation and Development Fund has set up the Livestock Project (Nauru) which, in partnership with the government, will promote healthier diets for the people and reduce imports by producing livestock and meat domestically. The project will establish a pig and hen breeding farm and scheme, run workshops and demonstrations, and provide training for staff at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Environment.