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?
Monday, March 15, 2004
Posted 7:52 PM by Luigi
Karat, the Fe'i banana of Pohnpei, is eaten raw and cooked!
Dr Lois Englberger, of the NGO Island Food Community of Pohnpei, has asked me to circulate the following short note. All comments welcome.....
Karat, is a Fe'i banana from Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia and has erect bunches and purple sap, similar to other Fe’i banana varieties. Although there has been considerable discussion about this banana recently, there has also been some confusion as to how it is eaten. Several articles in the literature have indicated that Karat, and all Fe’i bananas, must be cooked to be eaten. That is far from the truth! Pohnpei key informants have explained that Karat is more frequently eaten raw, although it is sometimes eaten cooked. On the other hand, there is another Fe’i banana growing in Pohnpei, Utin Iap, and this is almost always consumed cooked.
This information is important. To imply that Karat must be cooked in order to be eaten would be to underestimate its value. Pohnpei informants agree that the raw fruit is delicious. It should also be pointed out that there are several cultivars of Karat. Karat Pako is characterized by very large fingers (individual fruits), often 400 to 500 grams per individual fruit. Karat Pako also has a skin that is rather rough to the touch. Karat Pwehu, on the other hand, has a smooth skin and the fingers are fat but much smaller, around 200 to 250 grams each. Karat Kole has a rounder shaped individual fruit compared to Karat Pako and Karat Pwehu, and the fruits spiral up the bunch, in contrast to the other Karat types, which have distinct hands (or clusters) of fruits.
All three types of Karat have a very yellow/orange-colored flesh. Due to their high content of provitamin A and total carotenoids, they offer high health benefits, protecting against vitamin A deficiency, and may also protect against diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Informants indicate that the plant appearance, taste and flesh color of different types of Karat do not differ greatly, although a more systematic study of the different types of Karat is now in progress.
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