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?



    Tuesday, September 02, 2003

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

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