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?



    Monday, August 11, 2003

    A couple of articles reproduced by PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT caught me eye this morning


    SYDNEY, Australia (ABC News Online, Aug. 9) - A health clinic for Tongans in New Zealand that is targeting high diabetes rates and related blindness is hoping its model can be duplicated in other Pacific Island nations where diabetes is rife.

    Simple eye check-ups would go a long way to preventing blindness or treating it in its early stages, Eseta Finau said, a nurse at the Tongan Health Society's Langamalie clinic in South Auckland which has 10,000 patients.

    She says a pilot program at the clinic to screen for diabetes and blindness would be ideal for other Pacific Island communities in New Zealand and beyond.

    The clinic provides the expertise of dietitians, podiatrists, pharmacists and eye specialists and offers advice to patients in their own language on how to prevent diabetes as well as seek treatment if they already suffer from it.

    The work of the clinic is being highlighted as part of a month-long campaign to raise awareness throughout New Zealand about diabetes and its link to blindness.

    "Sight loss through diabetes has the potential to become an epidemic in some New Zealand communities," Anthony Haas said, president of Retina New Zealand.

    His organization is joining with the New Zealand Association of Optometrists and the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind in August's month-long "Save Our Sight" campaign and says diabetes is one of the most common diseases affecting New Zealanders' eyesight.

    "Diabetes affects a startling number of people in this country - 150,000 New Zealanders have diabetes, and another 100,000 more remain at risk although they are unaware of it," he said.

    "It is important that diabetics realize that there is a strong link between the disease and going blind and be extra vigilant about their eye health."

    He says Pacific Island people and Maori are more likely to develop diabetes than Europeans.

    Currently diabetic retinopathy causes 80 per cent of blindness among Pacific people in New Zealand and is also responsible for the onset of cataracts.

    Dr Sitaleki Finau, who heads the Tongan Health Society, said in a recent Pacific Citizens Decision Maker newsletter that improving the health of Pacific Islanders by addressing lifestyle would only work if the focus was on the community as a whole rather than individual behaviour.

    "Lifestyle is not an individual thing for Pacific people," Dr Finau said.

    "For them it is a family, community, national way of thinking."

    Eseta Finau said changing eating habits that could cause diabetes was difficult because fatty foods such as tinned corn beef, turkey tails and mutton flaps were cheaper than low-fat chicken, pork and fish.

    While fish was a traditional staple of the Polynesian diet, there was more status attached to meat these days, she said.

    Dr Finau says he does not understand why New Zealand does not have an agricultural policy that would make traditional vegetables eaten by Pacific Islanders such as taro, yam and kumara (sweet potato) more affordable and accessible.

    "If people are more knowledgeable about the risk factors associated with eye disease, they are more likely to use existing or their own culturally appropriate health services," he said.

    "But everyone needs to remember that managing diabetes includes looking after your diet and making sure you get regular exercise."


    PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Aug. 11) - Agriculture Minister Moses Maladina has announced new measures to control highly irregular trade and export of vanilla in the country.

    These measures include the increase in license fees, six months ban on issue of new license, restriction of export to PNG national companies only and imposition of a levy on every kilogram exported.

    Maladina said the measures were necessary in light of the irregularities in vanilla trade and export from the country, particularly along the Vanimo border to Jayapura.

    He said in a statement the government was concerned that a very high number of vanilla export licenses were granted to exporters who in many cases do not have farmer and crop base and many were foreign.

    Maladina said he used his powers under the Spice Industry Act to place a moratorium on issuance of new vanilla export registration and license for a period of six months.

    He said there are already far too many export licenses and that the industry needs to reassess its trading needs to conform with existing export requirements imposed by various authorities such as quarantine, customs, immigration, Investment Promotion Authority and the PNG Spice Industry Board.

    "This moratorium does not affect current registered/licensed exporters as their operation must be maintained to facilitate trade and allow farmers to continue to sell their crops.

    "Furthermore, a review of the current licensing system will be carried out to ensure that there is accountability in the exporters export practice for vanilla and that genuine farmers/vanilla crop based trades operate within the confines of the administrative requirements imposed by various authorities such as Internal Revenue Commission and Customs, Quarantine, IPA, Immigration and the PNG Spice Industry Board."

    Maladina said export registrations and licenses will be issued exclusively to PNG national and PNG incorporated companies that are legally registered with Investment Promotion Authority, registered with the Internal Revenue Commission, controlled and operated by PNG Nationals, have substantive permanent establishment such as office and other assets in PNG.

    "This is aimed at promoting national and community-based entrepreneurship in the spice industry," he said.

    The current registration and license fee of K300 has been increased to K1,000 for vanilla.

    He said this would allow genuine traders who deal with vanilla, and would reduce the level of spice export applications to only genuine industry operators.

    The vanilla trade has become substantial with a value estimated more than K70 million and that prices have further increased to over K600 per kilogram.

    He called for grades and standards to be enforced to ensure that PNG exports are competitive.

    Maladina said a spice export levy of K10 per kilogram would be imposed on all vanilla exports to better manage interventions in the industry, and to facilitate the government's role to enforce quality and a certification system for the vanilla trade.

    The PNG Spice Industry Board will collect this levy, which is authorized under the Spice Industry Act (1989).

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