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?



    Sunday, August 22, 2004

    The future of the kava industry

    A press release from the Itternational Kava Executive Council:

    We are sitting on a multi-million dollar industry which is calculated to have earned the Region US200 million dollars in 1998. Potentially, it is a multi-billion dollar industry if it becomes a world commodity. The International Kava Executive Council (IKEC) is working in collaboration with the Forum Secretariat and the Governments of Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu and Fiji to make that a reality.

    In Europe we are targeting Germany because they were responsible for opening the pharmaceutical markets for all Europe and were responsible for the ban in 2000 after their own health regulatory authority “BfArM” claimed through some weird clinical studies that Kava product had caused liver failures in 76 cases reported across Europe. An indepth “Phytopharm 2003 Kava Report” rejected this claim because of insufficient case reports. This report went further to prove that only one case out of the 76 had used kava products. Furthermore, it is the most conclusive scientific report claiming Kave as an extra-ordinary safe herbal medicine.

    The damage caused by the German Health authority on our small economies is immense but fortunately, the German Government through their Minister for Health decided 6 months ago to reverse the situation by reviewing their stand and will announce their decision next month (September). This was made possible through relentless diplomatic pressure by our Ambassadors and High Commissioners based in London and Brussels. We expect a positive response from the Germans, after all there were upto 1.5 million daily kava users in Germany before the ban came into force in 2001. Secondly, most EU States are merely waiting for the Germans to announce their decision because it is the leading authority in the herbal pharmaceutical industry.

    The UK-Medicines & Health Care Products Regulatory Authority's announcement to commence review of their position from January 2005, was expected and is a blessing to us and will impact on our strategies for opening up the EU markets and the rest of the world. The US-Federal Drug Agency did not apply the ban, but had placed a lot of restrictions on fair trade which caused untold damages to US companies removing Kava products and exports ceasing altogether. A lot of our struggles in Europe would have been in vain had we not had the support and assistance of the EU Funding Agencies, CDE and Pro-Invest and in the Region, our own Forum Secretariat. With their support, we now have a fully funded International Kava Executive Council (IKEC) with its HQ in Brussels. Membership includes EU States and the Regional States of Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Vanuatu with the Forum as partner.

    IKEC in collaboration with the Forum Secretariat, USP, FSM, SPC and Government of Fiji are sponsoring the International Kava Conference (IKC 2004). There will be over 100 participants including renowned Scientists from Europe and around the world, economists, traders, stakeholders and Government representatives from the Region. IKC 2004 will be held in Suva, Fiji between 30th November and 3rd December, 2004 and special invitations have been extended to the four Prime Ministers of the main Kava-producing countries, i.e. Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga whose support is crucial in our drive to lay to rest all issues in respect of the safety and efficacy of Kava as a dynamic herbal medicine and lifting of trade bans and restrictions.

    Based on the current WTO ruling on trade liberalisation and EU/ACP protocols on the sugar trade regime, Kava as an agro-based export commodity, we believe could be the alternative to sugar trade to the EU for Fiji and ultimately will be the multi-billion dollar foreign income earner for the Region. We are currently focusing our efforts in Europe, the USA, Canada, our neighbours Australia and New Zealand but are definitely strategically targeting the more lucrative Asian markets of India, China, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand where 60% of their total population still depend on herbal medicine and health food products. The international markets are mainly in the pharmaceutical drug industry and the neutracautical herbal health food industry.

    Chairman, Fiji Kava Council / Co-Chair of IKEC
    Chairman IKC 2004 – Local Organising Committee
    Ph: (679) 338 6578; Mob: (679) 926 9745; Fax: (679) 337 1844

    19 August 2004

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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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