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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Sunday, January 30, 2005
Posted 3:40 PM by Luigi
Strategies for the augmentation of food activities in Pohnpei
More from Lois Englberger: I would like to share with you of the report by Dr Richard Beyer, food technologist, entitled "Strategies for the augmentation of food activities in Pohnpei." This covers his work here in Pohnpei in November 2004 and the different workshops that he facilitated. Below is the Executive Summary. The report indicates that there is great untapped potential in small-scale food processing of Pohnpei food crops.
Cultivation, consumption and processing of locally grown fruits, nuts, starchy staples and vegetables in Pohnpei fall well below potential which has resulted in excessive dependence on imported processed foods. The Island Food Community of Pohnpei has been in the vanguard of increasing public awareness of the nutritional benefits of local produce particularly varieties of bananas and other staples high in micronutrients. These programmes and the synergy from Pohnpei Agriculture through the model farm and the extension services have made significant inroads into the inertia in the horticulture sector.
As part of a multilateral approach to augmenting food-related activity, the Island Food Community has sponsored a programme of food processing specifically directed toward village level entrepreneurs. A series of workshops has been conducted in Pohnpei the subjects of which were the preservation of local foods to generate income and to improve food choice. Participants have produced approximately 20 preserved products and the formulations have been rationalised and reported here.
However, this is a project that should not be left in isolation. The recommendations of the participants inter alia have included a request for further, on-going support. Presupposing that these workshops stimulate continuing activity among participants, a model for a general purpose food processing centre has been suggested because it is a concept that has been adopted in Vanuatu and is being implemented in Kiribati. Using such a facility, food producers can lease time in a well-equipped facility and they can receive advanced instruction in food processing, hygiene and product development. The facility does not preclude village-based processing since access is available to all practitioners. A major advantage is that partial processing can be devolved to rural areas but with modern techniques and facilities brings Pohnpei’s food products within the realm of export market – a long term goal but coveted because new money is added to the economy.
Such a facility is a major undertaking and an assessment of the feasibility of such a facility falls outside the ToRs of this current intervention. However this feasibility study was recommended by workshop participants and may add further sustainability to the first steps in food processing that were taken and reported here.
It is the immediate aim that the consumption of local foods – particularly those high in micronutrients – is encouraged through education and promotional campaigns including major undertakings such as the World Food Day Exposé. The series of workshops and public awareness campaigns which formed the major thrust of this mission are part of that effort by offering alternatives to imported equivalent products. In addition an integrated farm, processing and marketing operation will be the fountainhead of increased employment particularly among rural and disadvantaged groups.
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