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
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
Interested in GIS?
Tuesday, September 02, 2003
Posted 10:33 PM by Luigi
Current Status of PGR Activities in PNG
Last week I was in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, for a very interesting national PGR stakeholder consultation. I'll post some thing on this soon. This week, we're hosting Ms Rosa Kambuou of NARI, PNG, the national focal point for PGR issues. She's visiting us at SPC in connection with an FAO project on monitoring the Global Plan of Action for PGF for Food and Agriculture, and has given us the following summary of the current state of PGR activities in PNG.
Germplasm field collections
The national germplasm collections of banana (298 accessions), yam (31 accessions), cassava (87 accessions) and aibika (Abelmoschus manihot – 81 accessions) are maintained at DLP Laloki. The yam, cassava and aibika collections have been fully characterized and preliminarily evaluated. The banana collection is missing information on flower and fruit descriptors. This is an on-going problem where banana male buds are cut off and fruits are harvested before data is collected. Other NARI Programmes are maintaining only the working collections of these crops.
The national taro germplasm collection (>300 accessions) is maintained at NARI Bubia, outside Lae. This collection has been fully characterized, preliminarily evaluated and documented. A duplicate collection (20%) of the national taro collection is maintained at the Vudal University in PNG and the SPC Regional Germplasm Centre (RGC) in Fiji. The South Pacific Yam Network collection of yams is also maintained at Bubia and has over 300 accessions. This collection has not been fully characterized nor evaluated.
The national sweet potato germplasm collections are maintained at two locations: the lowland collection (>900 accessions) at NARI Keravat outside Rabaul and the highlands collection (>1,000 accessions) at NARI Aiyura.
A small collection of some exotic fruits and nuts species and traditional vegetables from PNG and other countries are maintained at Keravat. This collection has not been characterized nor evaluated.
The materials from the national taro collection at Bubia are being used for a crop improvement programme. Some selections are being done for tolerance to pests and diseases and eating quality. For other crop collections, utilization of the germplasm is currently focused on selection of high yielding, good eating quality and tolerance or resistance to biotic and abiotic factors. Part of utilization is to multiply sufficient planting materials for dissemination to farmers. Selection for drought tolerant and good yielding cultivars of banana, sweet potato and cassava have greatly enhanced farmers production in the dry lowland areas of the country.
The information and data on PGR collections are being maintained in Excel spreadsheet files. The NARI PGR section at Laloki is currently working on documenting cassava and aibika information into NARI publications. The section has also been working on producing five Minimum Descriptor Lists for banana, sweet potato, cassava, yam and aibika, based on the full IPGRI Descriptor Lists on these crops and other relevant publications. These Minimum Descriptor Lists are developed to assist the field officers in characterizing and evaluating field collections, and could be of use throughout the Pacific region.
National PGR Committee
PNG had its first National PGR Stakeholders meeting in November last year, with support from PAPGREN. Over 30 PGR stakeholder representatives attended. The participants had the opportunity to give a brief status report on their PGR programmes and contributed to group discussions which developed specific recommendations for action on priority crops. A highlight of the meeting was the formation of a national PGR coordination committee and the identification of its roles and functions. This committee is officially known as the PNG National Technical Committee on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PNG/NTC/PGRFA). NARI was asked to provide the Chairmanship and the Secretariat for the Committee, while the Deputy Chair went to COGENT PNG (CCRI). All stakeholders present at the first meeting were invited to be members of the PNG/NTC/PGRFA.
Collaboration with Regional and International PGR Organisations
PNG collaborates with many regional and international organizations on matters relating to PGRFA, including SPC (RGC, TaroGen and PAPGREN), the Regional Biosafety Committee, INIBAP/BAPNET, PROSEA, the Regional Committee for South East Asia – PGR (RECSEA), the South Pacific Yam Network (SPYN), TANSAO, FAO, IPGRI, CBD and others.
There are also bi-lateral collaborations with individual countries. Recently, NARI has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Japanese National Agro Biotechnology Institute relating to collecting of wild relatives of rice, Vigna and sago.
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