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?



    Monday, February 23, 2004

    Nonu on Niue

    The following story appeared on today's Pacific Island Report.

    ALOFI, Niue (Niue News, Feb. 19) - A Rarotonga-based nonu operation is keen to develop a commercial relationship with the fledgling industry on Niue, despite the damage caused by Cyclone Heta.

    "I don't believe that the nonu industry has been completely destroyed," says Kiki Koteka of the Bio-Medic Cook Islands company which exports noni juice overseas.

    According to Koteka, the nonu plantations on Niue are inland and should be relatively unscathed.

    The company fostered a relationship with the late Rauru Vakaafi's family in Niue in terms of developing the operation on the island.

    Unfortunately, Rauru, a Cook Islander, died last year and Koteka says they have taken on trying to establish the business there until the Vakaafi family can run the operation. Koteka says currently the water processors are already in Niue. The next stage of development will be to construct a building for processing.

    "I am hoping to go there in March, when everything will be there...but we will have to see, it depends on how things are going in Niue." Koteka's wife, Ngatia, who helps out with the nonu business, says they found out that the Vakaafi family were vegetable growers like themselves, and the interest in their nonu operation developed from there. "We want to help, give knowledge because with nonu there is money, money for the community and hopefully people will return to Niue," she said.

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    Wednesday, February 18, 2004

    Breadfruit news

    Diane Ragone of the National Tropical Botanical Garden's Breadfruit Institute in Hawaii will be sending to the RGC two varieties of breadfruit that were tissue cultured by Cynthia Nazario as part of her MSc work at the University of Hawaii. This will give RGC staff something to start working with, on the road to establishing the NTBG core collection in tissue culture here at SPC so that it can then be distributed to interested countries, as recommended by the PAPGREN meeting on breadfruit last year. We also have a permit from Fiji quarantine to receive roots from the other varieties in the core collection, but will wait a bit to do that, until the funding comes through for a collaborative project.

    Thanks Diane for the update.......

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    Tuesday, February 17, 2004

    News from PNG and Micronesia

    1. Taro in PNG

    News just in from the PNG University of Technology, Lae. Tom Okpul has just been awarded an MPhil for his thesis "Genetic studies on taro: diversity and adaptability of selected genotypes." Our congratulations to Tom. He will graduate in March.

    2. Pohnpei Farmers Discuss the Yam Disease and Priority Actions

    I've just come back from a trip to Marshall Islands and FSM. Trip reports will be available soon for those who are interested, but I thought I would start with some interesting news on yams in Pohnpei. Yam has great cultural importance in Pohnpei, and there is a great diversity of yam varieties (177 Pohnpei yam variety names have been documented). However, there is now concern about the possible loss of many of these varieties, due to a yam disease which has become very serious during the past 4-5 years. A visit was made on 25 October to 6 November 2003, by SPC staff members Stephen Hazelman and Dr Jacqui Wright to look into the problem, but the resulting report and recommendations had not yet been presented to the farmers as a group.

    The Pohnpei Yam Farmers’ Workshop, held February 11, 2004 in the Agriculture Conference room in Kolonia, Pohnpei, was therefore a priority for Pohnpei Agriculture. The workshop was coordinated by Mr Adelino Lorens, Pohnpei Chief of Agriculture and Mr Jackson Phillip, Associate Director, College of Micronesia (FSM) Land Grant Office. Ms Amy Levendusky, Peace Corps Volunteer, and Dr Lois Englberger, Island Food Community of Pohnpei, provided other assistance in the report writing and preparations. Some 12 farmers from throughout the island participated. The workshop was supported by PAPGREN, which is funded by NZAID and ACIAR and coordinated by SPC and IPGRI.

    Participants discussed the report recommendations and additional potential causes and solutions for the yam disease. Kehp en Nahmuh Weitahta was added to the list of yam varieties – all introduced – known to be resistant to the disease. The Farmers confirmed that the disease has been on Pohnpei for a long time but has gotten worse over the past 5 years. The issue of preserving certain yam varieties was also addressed. It was agreed that all yam varieties on Pohnpei should be placed in tissue culture at SPC's Regional Germplasm Center for safe-keeping. Participants agreed to donate tubers for this. The first 50 varieties will be collected during the coming yam season. The meeting was closed with a meal of local food featuring yams, and fresh drinking coconuts.

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