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?
Thursday, October 30, 2003
Posted 2:57 PM by Luigi
Merit based (4 available), for bachelor's and master's students at US institutions.
Deadline: 01 February 2004
Eligibility: Citizens of Cook Islands,Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
FIELDS OF STUDY: public administration, environmental studies, journalism, political science, agriculture, business administration economics and related fields. NOT for professional degrees e.g. law, medicine, etc.
For additional conditions and information:
Sunday, October 26, 2003
Posted 2:33 PM by Luigi
2nd Banana and Giant Swamp Taro Workshop, Kolonia, Pohnpei, FSM
The second farmers’ workshop on banana and giant swamp taro was held October 23, 2003, at the Agriculture Office Conference Room in Kolonia, Pohnpei from 9-12 am, as a follow-up to the first workshop held in August. These workshops were organized by the Pohnpei Agriculture Office and College of Micronesia (COM)-Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Land Grant Office with support from the PAPGREN project. The Pacific Agricultural Plant Genetic Resources Network is coordinated by SPC and IPGRI and supported by NZAID and ACIAR. The 21 participants included 15 farmers and 6 staff.
The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the collated lists of banana and giant swamp taro cultivar and variety names developed by the working groups in the last meeting. Short presentations were made on good banana production management practices and on the recent work on nutritional quality of Pohnpei food crops. A report was made on the change in marketing of one banana, the Taiwang. This low-status but carotenoid-rich banana was previously not marketed, but after awareness-raising on its high nutrient content, one market is now selling it and sales are increasing (from 3 bunches per week in May to 20 bunches per week in October).
There was considerable discussion about the Inasio, Mangat, and Karat bananas. It was agreed that there are several types for each of these, but not all names were agreed on. Thus, further work is needed for specifying the different names used for these types and the characteristics ascribed to the different types. The names of three bananas that the participants had heard about but had never seen were removed from the list and noted separately. In conclusion, participants agreed on 42 different banana cultivars, listing the primary name as well as synonym names for some. It was agreed that a further meeting was needed for discussing the giant swamp taro cultivars, not only due to time constraints but also as the participants most familiar with taro cultivars were not present. The meeting closed with a meal of local food and fresh coconut drinks.
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Posted 6:32 PM by Luigi
Call for Articles
ILEIA, the Centre for Information on Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture, is looking for relevant articles, new research and information on networking activities, publications and web sites for the coming editions of their LEISA (Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture) Magazine. The next issue, due in March 2004 will be on UNDERUTILISED PLANT SPECIES. The announcement below is from a recent email posting by ILEIA and describes what they are looking for. If there is interest from PAPGREN members and others, we could put together a review drawing together examples of regional work on plants like taro, giant swamp taro, breadfruit, bele, canarium etc. Just send me your experiences and we'll prepare a joint article. Or you may want to send in your own contribution.
It has been estimated that humans have, at one time or another, cultivated or collected more than 7000 edible plant species. Today, however, only about 30 crops form the basis of world's agriculture. Over 50% of our energy requirements are now met by just three crops: rice, wheat and maize. The continuously narrowing base for global food security limits the options available to farmers, and reduces the agricultural biodiversity necessary to provide security in resource-poor environments.
Many underutilised species are particularly useful in marginal lands where they have evolved through selection over generations to increase productivity and withstand stress conditions. These crops contribute to sustainable production and usually require less external inputs than high yielding varieties of major crops. Often they contain essential micronutrients not present in staple foods. These crops are also part of a great cultural heritage and diversity that enriches our lives. Many rural people and development organizations have recognized the importance of these underutilised and neglected species and have successfully increased their production and utilization, thereby improving livelihoods, providing more options to small farmers and increasing diversity within the agricultural system.
This next issue of LEISA will present some of these successful cases. We invite articles on experiences with revival, conservation, cultivation, utilization and marketing of underutilised plant species that are interesting to field practitioners and will make it possible to promote the use of these species. Deadline for contributions is the 1st of December, 2003.
You are invited to contribute to these issues with articles (about 800, 1600 or 2400 words + 2-3 illustrations and references), suggest possible authors, and send us information about publications, training courses, meetings and websites.
For authors guide see http://www.ileia.org/2/guide.html
For coming issues see http://www.ileia.org/2/papers.html
Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.