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?



    Wednesday, December 17, 2003

    A patent on Canarium?

    According to the website of The Edmonds Institute, an Australian entrepreneur has patented nut oils from Canarium (called ngali nut in Solomon Islands). The patent claims the oils as a treatment for arthritis pain. Queenslander Peter Hull has been granted a United States patent on Canarium nut oil (#6,395,313, 28 May 2002) and has filed equivalent patent applications in Australia and Canada. In an application submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Hull has stated that he intends to pursue his claims in a total of 127 counties.

    For more information, see http://www.edmonds-institute.org/mystery.html#anchor378784.

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    Biopolicy and Biopolitics in the Pacific Islands

    Hard copies of "Biopolicy and Biopolitics in the Pacific Islands" by Lopeti Senituli of Tonga are available (please send your full mailing address) from The Edmonds Institute at:


    The paper was delivered at the conference "Within and Beyond the Limits of Human Nature: A Working Conference on the Challenges of the New Human Genetic Technologies" held in Berlin, October 12-15, 2003.

    The Edmonds Institute is a non-profit, public interest organization dedicated to education about environment, technology, and intellectual property rights. Their website is at http://www.edmonds-institute.org.

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    Guidelines for U.S. Germplasm Collectors

    The United States State Department has posted on their web site "Information for U.S.
    Government-Funded Researchers Collecting Genetic Resources Outside the United States."


    The information incorporates material from the USDA/ARS Code of Conduct for Plant Collectors, and benefitted from the input of USDA/ARS's Plant Exchange Office.

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    Thursday, December 11, 2003

    India to import kava?

    From Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com/

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Dec. 11) - The Indian High Commissioner in Fiji says India is interested in making a long term commitment to the region.

    Professor Ishwar Singh Chauhan said a team of experts will arrive next month to assess the aid needs of Pacific Island countries.

    He says the focus will be on providing training opportunities and developing information technology.

    Mr Chauhan said the aid team will also visit Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Tonga and Tuvalu, and others may be added to the list.

    He also said the possibility of exporting kava to India is being explored.

    "We have been in touch with some very large pharmaceutical manufacturers in India, so we are already in touch with those manufacturers of pharmaceuticals who specialize in herbal drugs or herbal preparations and we are trying to explore the possibility of exporting kava to them."

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    Wednesday, December 10, 2003

    Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk project (PIER)

    The purpose of the Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk project (PIER) is to compile and disseminate reference information on exotic plant species of known or potential threat to Pacific island ecosystems. Included are plant species that are threats to natural or semi-natural ecosystems of all types. Information is also included on species that are agricultural weeds or invaders of other highly disturbed sites.

    PIER was originally requested by the Pacific Island Committee, Council of Western State Foresters, National Association of State Foresters. It is funded by USDA Forest Service International Program funds. Project direction is provided by the U.S. Forest Service’s Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry with the assistance of a number of cooperators.

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    Thursday, December 04, 2003

    AgNIC Traditional Pacific Island Crops Web site

    Received the following email from Eileen Herring from University of Hawaii at Manoa Library describing her interesting new website.

    Aloha everyone,

    I had the pleasure of introducing my new Web site at the 2003 PIALA
    Conference in Pohnpei. I am developing this site with the support of the
    University of Hawaii at Manoa Library and the Agricultural Development in
    the American Pacific (ADAP) Project. It is part of the U.S. National
    Agricultural Library's AgNIC Alliance (see http://www.agnic.org for more
    information on that).

    While all of these organizations are partnering to make this Web site
    possible, my intention is to design it for use by everyone on the Pacific.
    This is why I am focussing on organizing and linking electronic full text
    documents about twelve traditional Pacific island crops:

    * Bananas and Plantains (Musa sp.)
    * Betel Nut (Areca catechu)
    * Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)
    * Cassava (Manihot esculenta)
    * Coconut (Cocos nucifera)
    * Kava (Piper methysticum)
    * Noni (Morinda citrifolia)
    * Pandanus (Pandanus sp. )
    * Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum)
    * Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas)
    * Taro (Colocasia esculenta) and other Edible Aroids
    * Yam (Dioscorea sp.)

    In addition to identifying and organizing electronic resources, the AgNIC
    Alliance partnership involves providing FREE reference service on these
    crops to anyone who asks for it!

    As with all these enormous tasks, this Web site is a work in progress.
    In order to make it as useful as possible to Pacific Islanders, I need as
    much feedback from the region as possible. Please take a moment to
    look at the Web site and send me your suggestions, thoughts, criticisms,
    and ideas about how to improve it.

    The Web site address is:


    and my email address is


    Please feel free to forward this message to anyone who might be

    Thank you and I hope you all have an wonderful holiday season.


    Eileen Herring
    Science & Technology Reference
    University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

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    Tuesday, December 02, 2003


    The following item appeared in Pacific Islands Report (http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport) today. The taro collections referred to are the TaroGen and TANSAO core collections. What the piece does not say is that the genebank is an in vitro facility. Of course, taro collections are also maintained in field genebanks in various places in the region. The TANSAO collection, for example, is maintained at the Vanuatu Agricultural Research and Training Centre on Santo. The other thing that is missing is that SPC's Regional Germplasm Centre also provided material of other crops, including yams, sweet pottao and cassava.

    MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Dec. 2) - The University of the South Pacific is contributing to food security in the region by storing a duplicate collection of Asian taro varieties.

    They will be grown at the Regional Crops Gene Bank, opened recently at the university's School of Agriculture, at Alafua Campus, in Samoa.

    The new Regional Crops Gene Bank at USP is one of only two organizations in the South Pacific region to store the Asian taro varieties collection.

    The other organization storing the original collection is the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Suva.

    Crop gene banks ensure the continuation of a plant if it becomes extinct in a particular country. Having two in the Pacific region is an insurance against one being destroyed.

    December 2, 2003
    Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra

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