A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands



This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.

The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.

SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).




PAPGREN coordination and support

  • CTA
  • SPC
  • CEPaCT

     genebank locations
    Click on the thumbnail to see a map of the locations of Pacific genebanks. Click here to download a regional directory of genebanks in the Pacific, including information on their location, contact details and holdings.

    PAPGREN partners

    Mr William Wigmore
    Director of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture
    Department of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 96
    Cook Islands
    Tel: (682) 28711-29720
    Fax: (682) 21881
    Email: cimoa@oyster.net.ck

    Mr Adelino S. Lorens
    Agriculture Pohnpei
    Office of Economic Affairs
    P.O. Box 1028
    Pohnpei 96941
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Tel: (691) 3202400
    Fax: (691) 3202127
    Email: pniagriculture@mail.fm

    Dr Lois Englberger
    Island Food Community of Pohnpei
    Research Advisor
    P.O. Box 2299
    Pohnpei 96941
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Email: nutrition@mail.fm

    Mr Apisai Ucuboi
    Director of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forest
    Koronivia Research Station
    P.O. Box 77
    Fiji Islands
    Tel: (679) 3477044
    Fax: (679) 3477546-400262
    Email: apisainu@yahoo.com

    Dr Maurice Wong
    Service du Developpement Rural
    B.P. 100
    Tahiti 98713
    French Polynesia
    Tel: (689) 42 81 44
    Fax: (689) 42 08 31
    Email: maurice.wong@rural.gov.pf

    Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
    Head, Research Section
    Division of Agriculture
    Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development
    P.O. Box 267
    Tel: (686) 28096-28108-28080
    Fax: (686) 28121
    Email : agriculture@tskl.net.ki; Beenna_ti@yahoo.com

    Mr Frederick Muller
    Ministry of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 1727
    Majuro 96960
    Marshall Islands
    Tel: (692) 6253206
    Fax: (692) 6257471
    Email: rndsec@ntamar.net

    Mr Herman Francisco
    Bureau of Agriculture
    Ministry of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 460
    Koror 96940
    Tel: (680) 4881517
    Fax: (680) 4881725
    Email: bnrd@pnccwg.palaunet.com

    Ms Rosa Kambuou
    Principal Scientist PGR
    NARI Dry Lowlands Programme
    Laloki Agricultural Research Station
    P.O. Box 1828
    National Capital District
    Papua New Guinea
    Tel: (675) 3235511
    Fax: (675) 3234733
    Email: kambuou@global.net.pg

    Ms Laisene Samuelu
    Principal Crop Development Officer
    Crops Division
    Ministry of Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries & Meteorology
    P.O. Box 1874
    Tel: (685) 23416-20605
    Fax: (685) 20607-23996
    Email: lsamuelu@lesamoa.net

    Mr Jimi Saelea
    Director of Research
    Department of Agriculture and Livestock
    P.O. Box G13
    Solomon Islands
    Tel: (677) 27987

    Mr Tony Jansen
    Planting Materials Network
    Kastom Gaden Association
    Burns Creek, Honiara
    P.O. Box 742
    Solomon Islands
    Tel: (677) 39551
    Email: kastomgaden@solomon.com.sb

    Mr Finao Pole
    Head of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture & Forests
    P.O. Box 14
    Tel: (676) 23038
    Fax: (676) 24271
    Email: thaangana@hotmail.com

    Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
    Head of Research
    Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
    Private Mail Bag 040
    Port Vila
    Tel: (678) 22525
    Fax: (678) 25265
    Email: flehi@hotmail.com

    Other links

    Other CROP agencies
    Forum Secretariat
    University of the South Pacific

    Pacific biodiversity
    Biodiversity hotspots
    Breadfruit Institute
    Hawaiian native plants
    Intellectual property rights
    Nature Conservancy
    WWF South Pacific Program

    Other Pacific organizations
    Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific
    Micronesian Seminar
    Te Puna web directory

    Pacific news
    Cafe Pacific
    CocoNET Wireless
    Island Directory
    Pacific Islands News
    Pacific Islands Report
    Pacific Islands Travel
    Pacific Time
    South Pacific travel
    Time Pacific

    Interested in GIS?



    Thursday, August 14, 2003

    Banana diversity in the Solomon Islands

    This from the Permaculture International website.

    PacificEdge MEDIA RELEASE
    Issue date: 26.11.02
    Contact: Russ Grayson pacedge@magna.com.au
    Phone/fax (61) 2 9588 6931 PO Box 446 Kogarah NSW 2217 Australia.

    Plant researchers in the Solomon Islands have discovered an unexpected diversity of banana varieties on the island of Makira. A total of 81 different varieties have been collected and planted in a large garden which functions as a field gene bank at a rural training centre. When the collection is further developed a 'banana diversity fair' may be held in 2003. The diversity fair may receive support from European Union Micro Projects, an aid funding body. During the fair, farmers will visit the training centre and take part in a 'festival of bananas' to share varieties, recipes, stories and knowledge about growing and using bananas.

    The collection is being carried out by a partnership of the Solomon Islands Planting Material Network and the Manivovo Rural Training Centre on the isolated weather coast of Makira. The Solomon Islands Planting Material Network (PMN) is a national association of farmers, aid and other organisations which produces, processes and distributes the seed of agricultural plants to members. Established in 1996, the PMN works to increase regional self-reliance in seed supply and to contribute to the food security of the Solomon Islands.

    "Manivovo is a vocational training centre for girls run by the Catholic Church. The PMN chose Makira Province to do the banana collection because bananas are very important to food security and many Makira people consider that they have more varieties of banana than other parts of Solomon Islands", said PMN adviser Tony Jansen. "The Makira collection is an important first step in helping farmers to continue to grow, manage and make use of their banana diversity. All too often, people forget the important cultural heritage that different varieties of food plants represent. If people of Makira lose their banana varieties then they are losing an important part of their culture they can never get back again. I hope this collection and the planned sharing of banana varieties through the Manivovo centre will help farmers continue to manage bananas in their own gardens".

    With help from the Manivovo team, PMN field worker Dorothy Tamasia has spent the last six to eight weeks collecting from coastal villages. She plans to extend her search. "I have yet to make a collection from the highlands and will not do that yet because it would be a tiring job to carry all the banana suckers from the mountains to Kirakira and find transport to get them to Manivovo. I plan to collect from the highlands later and plant them somewhere in the highlands", she said.

    Participating in the work of collection is Manirovo Rural Training Centre's Francis Wehi. He says that farmers have shown an interest in the varieties being established in the garden and that the training centre's students are participating in the work. "We have planted them out in careful rows with each one labelled with its accession number (number given to each specimen to enable later identification), the person who gave the banana, its language name and where it came from. Most of the farmers have never seen so many bananas or thought about trying to put so many together in one place they are very excited."

    "The students will compare banana varieties and then take home different banana suckers with them to plant in their home villages. Interested farmers, including members of the PMN, will be able to come and get suckers from the collection. Bananas are a very important source of food for Makira people and we want to make sure we are not losing our different varieties", said Francis.

    A participatory approach and the passing on of skills are key attributes of the approach taken by the PMN and its sister organisation, the Kastom Gaden Association. "Our students are doing all the work. They will learn how to describe the bananas using scientific methods taught to us by the PMN", explained Mr Wehi.

    Speaking from the Solomon Islands capital of Honiara where the PMN has an extensive seed production garden, Tony said that bananas are believed to have been domesticated in Melanesia thousands of years ago. "We should expect, and we know, that there are a lot of varieties all over Solomon Islands. Domestication means that farmers in the past actively selected wild varieties and improved them through selection. We know from looking in markets and talking with farmers that there is a lot of diversity here but we do not really have much idea how many varieties farmers have and how they are looking after those varieties over time.

    "Bananas are important to nutrition and food security. Varieties used for cooking can provide food for up to 20 years if they are well maintained. They are nutritious and people like eating them. They have a lot of traditional ways of cooking them. "We should encourage people to plant more bananas as they are a more intensive way of using land than growing only sweet potato. This is important in areas where there is shortage of land for agriculture. Bananas are not damaged by wild or domestic pigs and grow well in wet weather when root crops fail".

    "Next year we will use morphological descriptors developed by the International Network for the Improvement of Bananas and Plaintains to describe the physical features of the bananas and their fruit at Manivovo. This will be done by Manivovo students with help from the PMN and will demonstrate to students how practical scientific knowledge can be used to validate traditional knowledge and the understanding of banana varieties, their growing needs and uses", said Tony.

    "Hopefully, it will also teach them to respect the plant breeding and selection skills of their ancestors", he added. Farmers contributing to the banana collection receive free membership of the PMN and some seeds. The membership makes possible participation in PMN activities, the sharing of seeds with other farmers and obtaining further supplies of seed. "The farmers have been very willing to share the banana suckers we collected. We will give those farmers a chance to get new banana varieites from the collection in Manivovo later on", said Dorothy. The collection of bananas is supported by a small grant from the Seed Savers Network, an Australian non-government organisation.

    The PMN earlier participated in TaroGen, a taro (taro is a staple root crop of the Pacific Islands and South East Asia) collection project which identified a surprisingly large number of varieties and displayed them at a 'taro diversity fair'.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment


    October 2002

    November 2002

    December 2002

    January 2003

    February 2003

    March 2003

    April 2003

    May 2003

    June 2003

    July 2003

    August 2003

    September 2003

    October 2003

    November 2003

    December 2003

    January 2004

    February 2004

    March 2004

    April 2004

    May 2004

    June 2004

    July 2004

    August 2004

    September 2004

    October 2004

    November 2004

    December 2004

    January 2005

    February 2005

    March 2005

    April 2005

    May 2005

    June 2005

    July 2005

    August 2005

    September 2005

    October 2005

    November 2005

    December 2005

    January 2006

    February 2006

    March 2006

    April 2006

    May 2006

    June 2006

    July 2006

    August 2006

    September 2006

    October 2006

    November 2006

    December 2006

    January 2007

    February 2007

    March 2007

    April 2007

    May 2007

    June 2007

    July 2007

    August 2007

    September 2007

    October 2007

    November 2007

    December 2007

    January 2008

    February 2008

    March 2008

    April 2008

    May 2008

    June 2008

    July 2008

    August 2008

    September 2008

    October 2008

    November 2008

    December 2008

    January 2009

    February 2009

    March 2009

    April 2009

    May 2009

    June 2009

    July 2009

    August 2009

    September 2009

    October 2009

    November 2009

    January 2010

    RSS Feed
    Alternative feed
    Contact Tevita


    Something new:

    Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.  

    PestNet: For on-line information, advice and pest identification for the Pacific and beyond. Contact: Grahame Jackson.



    Pacific Mapper: For on-line mapping of point data over satellite images of the Pacific provided by Google Maps.



    DIVA-GIS: For free, easy-to-use software for the spatial analysis of biodiversity data.


    Locations of visitors to this page