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, November 07, 2004

    Pacific nuts

    There's a Focus On...Underutilized Crops in this month's New Agriculturist On-line which includes an article on how the EU's Novel Foods Regulation is preventing market access to various products, including from the Pacific. There's also an article - reproduced below - on Canarium nuts in Vanuatu.

    On the islands of Vanuatu in the South Pacific there is no mistaking the nangai nut season. At dusk, villages reverberate to the steady rhythm of knife on nut as villagers work to split asunder the hard outer case and reveal the soft white kernel of Canarium indicum. "We always used to eat our fill of nangai," says Chief Samson Bule pausing to berate a grandchild who grabs yet another mouthful, " but now they are worth good vatu [cash] to us."

    At the central airstrip of the island of Pentecost, coconut-frond baskets of nuts are loaded into the hold of the passenger aircraft that calls in three times a week, to be flown south to the capital Port Vila. Larger quantities are sent down on the inter-island trading ships. Local businessman and exporter Charles Longwah is buying the nuts. "There's huge demand. It is organically produced. It has a special texture, so unique that even those with nut allergies can enjoy nangai." Gradually exports rose fast from a few dozen kilos to 300 tonnes of nangai shipped in the shell in 2002. Principle destinations include Australia, Japan and Hawaii; but the European Union has denied access to its markets (see An unintended barrier to EU markets). More recently there have been no nangai exports at all as local demand, after promotions in local hotels and shops, has been so strong.

    Real benefits

    "It takes many tonnes of production to supply just a few centimetres of supermarket shelves," explains Longwah, "so we are way off that. But a high-value low-volume crop is just what Vanuatu's farmers need." The farmers agree with him. The value of other agricultural exports - copra, coffee and cocoa - have all crashed, and after an exciting start a few years ago even exports of the herbal and medicinal extracts of the kava plant have all but collapsed.
    Not only are nangai nuts economically attractive but growing them makes ecological sense too. C. indicum is a fast-growing forest tree and does well beneath the natural canopy or amongst the mix in a typical food garden clearing, where the sapling can get established while bananas, climbing yams and more are tended all around.

    Up on the steep slopes of central Pentecost, Harrison Barae has a grove of young nangai. "Now that there are buyers who want nangai I am happy to plant a few," he says. Are they hard to establish? "You just have to keep wild pigs or other people's cattle away. And weed around so they can get space." It will be six years before his trees fruit. Harrison, and others planting nangai now, have hopes that the market will be even better by then.

    Quality control

    However, as any novel crop grower or trader knows, money does not just grow on trees. Macadamia, brazil and cashew, all established nuts, have only maintained their value - and returns to growers - where quality and consistency of supply are guaranteed. This is why trader Charles Longwah is running training sessions on the Vanuatu islands best suited to growing nangai, to explain to motivated farmers how to do all that it takes to produce top grade product. In his office-cum-depot, with shelves brimming with jars and packets of nangai ready for sale, he is cautiously optimistic about its potential. "There are a lot of other countries around the Pacific rim who'd like to grow and export nangai. I just want to make sure that Vanuatu gets a bite at the market."

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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.  

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