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, October 30, 2003

    Competitive Scholarships

    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:

    * Comments:

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    Sunday, October 26, 2003

    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.

    * Comments:

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    Wednesday, October 22, 2003

    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

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    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.


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