Source: COLLEGE OF MICRONESIA submitted to
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Accession No.
Grant No.
Project No.
Proposal No.
Multistate No.
Program Code
Project Start Date
Jul 1, 2002
Project End Date
Jun 30, 2006
Grant Year
Project Director
Murukesan, V. K.
Recipient Organization
PO BOX 1179
Performing Department
Non Technical Summary
Vegetable production in Yap State is limited to a range factors that include poor soil conditions, pest infestations among others. Simplified Hydroponics project will introduce, develop and promote low-cost vegetable production technique among Yapese community.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
Goals / Objectives
1. Develop, test and standardize a suitable protocol for growing vegetables using simplified hydroponic technology. 2. Train interested participants of the community in establishing simplified hydroponic gardens. 3. Educate the public about the nutritional value of vegetables and motivate them to participate in creative pursuits like simplified hydroponics at the family and community level
Project Methods
The project will have essentially three phases namely, Pilot phase (Phase I) where the investigators set up the simplified hydroponics garden at the research facility, develop, test and standardize suitable techniques for selected crops (tomato and bell pepper) to suit the local conditions. Replication phase (Phase II): will introduce and replicate the successful pilot activities at a larger scale at our research facility and on other locations. This includes the development of a profitable model for large-scale production. Success of phase II will transfer to the communities during phase III (Outreach/Dissemination phase) to encourage them to initiate similar activities. This involves training interested participants and awareness campaigns on the nutritional value of vegetables among the community.

Progress 07/01/02 to 06/30/06

Project activities tailored in three phases such as inception phase, pilot phase and replication/outreach phase to achieve the best outcome. Activities undertaken in this project resulted in the standardization of several low-cost vegetable cultivation methods. Altogether, low-cost vegetable cultivations methods standardized for five crops that involved nine field trials. Results of this research indicate that vegetable production utilizing micro-garden concept is feasible in tropical islands and has great potential. One of field trials involving fifteen sweet pepper plants produced fruits worth $734.00 in the local market. Another research on beta-carotene rich cherry tomatoes was successful in introducing an ideal salad vegetable with very high beta-carotene content for the vitamin A deficient island population. Each plant on an average produced up to 300 fruits that contain about 7070 micrograms/100 g of beta-carotene. Protocols of standardized low-cost vegetable cultivation methods of tomato, sweet pepper, okra, lettuce and red vegetable amaranth disseminated to twenty-one homeowners and backyard gardeners during the outreach phase of the project. Seeds and seedlings of various crops distributed to individuals on a continued basis. Besides workshops, distributed handouts helped to attract the attention of backyard gardeners to these gardening systems. Additionally, local radio and internet served as means to reach information to a wider audience. Followed by the success of this project, USDA approved a follow up mission under Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Competitive Grant Program to establish a simplified micro-garden for the displaced neighboring island community at Gargey settlement in Yap.

This research standardized low-cost production methods of five vegetables of high demand on the island and we are providing the technical assistance to interested individuals on a continued basis. Success with this project facilitated USDA to approve a grant to establish micro-gardens utilizing simplified hydroponics techniques to enhance the livelihood of neighboring island community at Gargey settlement in Yap.


  • Murukesan, V.K. 2006. Enhanced vegetable production in small islands utilizing simplified hydroponics. In: Proceedings of the 91st Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Memphis, Tennessee.

Progress 01/01/05 to 12/31/05

The objectives of this project are to develop, test and standardize suitable protocols for growing vegetables using, as far as possible, local resources incorporating simplified hydroponics technology and to train interested community members in establishing home hydroponic gardens. Objectives are designed to carryout activities in different phases namely inception phase, pilot phase and replication or outreach phase. Over the past one year, trials have been carried out to standardize the protocols for the low cost production of vegetables. Three trials have been successfully completed, currently two trials are underway. Preliminary results were presented during the agricultural technology workshop in Kosrae and Ecological Society of America Meeting in Montreal. Three follow up proposals have been submitted. Based on the results, Experimental Station is receiving several expressions of interests and all of them will be considered during the outreach phase of this project.

Low cost methods for the production of red vegetable amaranth and lettuce using wooden growers are standardized. Each 4x2 ft. size wooden grower yields about 14 pounds of vegetable amaranth whereas up to 15 lettuce heads could be harvested from one grower. Economics of this production technique shows this system as a viable alternative for the production of leafy vegetables in those places where unfavorable soil conditions prevail for farming. A method for the production of tomatoes is also standardized using shredded coconut husk media in pots. On an average, each pot yielded about 20 pounds of ripe tomatoes. Upon completion of the first tomato trials, two hotel owners are planning to establish similar systems to cater their clientele, and four individuals including a staff from the Cooperative Extension Service of University of Guam sought technical assistance. Necessary support will be provided during the outreach phase of the project.


  • Murukesan Krishnapillai. 2005. Simplified hydroponics as a proven technology for vegetable production in a challenging island environment. In: Case study book published under the aegis of Secretariat of the Pacific Community (in press).
  • Murukesan, V.K. 2005. Simplified hydroponics as a means to grow vegetables in island environment. In: Proceedings of the 90th Annual Meeting of Ecological Society of America, Montreal, Canada.

Progress 01/01/04 to 12/31/04

The objectives of this project are to develop, test and standardize a suitable protocol for growing vegetables using simplified hydroponic technology and to train interested participants of the community in establishing simplified hydroponic gardens. Research design is based on activities in three phases namely, inception phase, pilot phase and replication or outreach phase. During the inception phase, a low-cost polyhouse was erected to harbor wooden growers and pots. Pilot phase is currently underway. In an experimental set up, three wooden growers were used to grow red vegetable amaranth using coco pith as media. In another experiment, used tires were used as containers to grow vegetable amaranth using a mixture of beach sand and compost as medium. In yet another experiment, two varieties of tomato (Master No. 2 from Takii seeds Co. and Kewalo 90020-991A from CTAHR, Hawaii) are currently being grown in pots using coco pith media. Accomplishments: A simple method to grow red vegetable amaranth (rich in calcium, iron, vitamins A and C) is standardized. Each of the 4X2 size wooden grower produced around 14 pounds of vegetable amaranth in 27 days. Those plants grown in a medium of compost and beach sand showed vigorous growth and were ready for harvest in 24 days. One workshop on simplified hydroponics was conducted for extension agents, agriculture personnel, farmers and high school students in Kosrae. So far, eight pounds of tomatoes harvested. Constraints: Research single-handedly carried out the work; local government has not provided the match funds.

The accomplishments will help to formulate a standardized procedure for the production of selected vegetables using simplified hydroponic techniques.


  • No publications reported this period

Progress 01/01/03 to 12/31/03

A technical collaboration is established with International Institute of Simplified Hydroponics. Two water samples tested for its chemical constituents in order to formulate a right nutrient solution for the hydroponic experiments. Several growth substrates tested for media based experiment. Coconut fiber, which is available locally, selected for further experimental trials.

No impact


  • No publications reported this period