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
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Thursday, December 16, 2004
Posted 7:20 PM by Luigi
Priorities for crop improvement research in the Pacific
A regional workshop held in Lae on 6-7 December set priorities for a proposed food crop improvement programme in the Pacific. The National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) organised the two-day consultation to discuss the Pacific Regional Crop Improvement Programme (PARCIP) at NARI’s Sir Alkan Tololo Research Center. Support was provided by NARI, by SPC’s PAPGREN projects (ACIAR and NZAID), by AusAID ACNARS (Australian Contribution to the National Agricultural Research System) and by FAO.
NARI Director General Dr. Raghunath Ghodake opened the workshop, which was attended by experts from several Pacific Island countries including Fiji, Tonga, the Federated States of Micronesia and a representative from the Regional Office of FAO. There was also input in writing from other regional experts who could not attend in person.
Crop improvement adviser of AusAID’s ACNARS project, Dr Davinder Singh, who previously worked as a breeder for the TaroGen project based at NARI, stated that PARCIP, aims to improve productivity and quality of major regional food crops by developing national and regional capacities in crop improvement. Above all, it is a coming together of Pacific Island countries to tackle the urgent problems that exist, and to help each other.
The meeting identified crop improvement research priorities building on and exploiting the wealth of crop germplasm present in the region, including both in germplasm collections and farmers' fields, and produced a framework for a collaborative approach. In addition, Dr Grahame Jackson gave a presentation on a proposal for the establishment of an informal regional expert group on food crops research, under the joint umbrella of SPC and FAO. The idea is to tap the knowledge of people from the region who have long experience working on the staple foods of the Pacific. The consultation approved the idea and Grahame was requested to pursue it with the other participants and the sponsors.
The PARCIP concept was initiated by NARI about a year ago to build on and extend the achievements of TaroGen and other crop improvement programmes in the region.
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