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?



    Tuesday, February 08, 2005

    Cassava products from Africa

    Two stories from AllAfrica.com describe work on cassava products:
    1. Biscuits. A local investor will soon venture into the production of cassava biscuit in Mansa district, Zambia with production equipment worth K269 million and an initial working capital of K50 million. Mr Abraham Chikonde said he had plans of producing 360,000 packets of biscuits annually worth K1.6 billion. In an interview, Mr Chikonde, who is proprietor of Lusaka's Procpres Enterprises Limited (PECO), said cassava flour consumption was estimated at 24 tonnes valued at K48 million every year. He said the sample production of his cassava biscuit had already received an overwhelming demand on the local market.

      Mr Chikonde was determined to ensure that his product penetrated the international market in future. He said with the Southern African regional initiative aimed at commercialising cassava production using modern methods, his project was assured of constant supply of quality cassava flour, a situation he said was key to continuity of production. Mr Chikonde lamented that though his company came up with a technology to produce cassava biscuits a few years ago, it could not venture into production because of poor quality of cassava flour.

    2. Glucose syrup. The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has announced the intention of the institute to embark upon research into the production of glucose syrup from cassava in line with the effort of the Nigerian government to improve the global market relevance of cassava. According to a report from the institute, the initiative will be a tripartite collaborative arrangement involving the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB), and the Scientific and Equipment Development Institute (SEDI), Enugu.

      The IITA report explained that the collaboration would mainly be centered on the production of some industrial products using cassava as the major raw material. "The objective is to research into small and medium scale cassava enterprises through the development of several industrial products. When fully developed, the project will create job opportunities and empower small and medium scale entrepreneurs economically to mop up possible excess cassava production in rural areas, and make Nigerian cassava production and processing more lucrative. Under the collaboration, the three organizations have successfully produced glucose syrup from locally fabricated bioreactor. The quality of the final product is close to what obtains in many advanced countries where the product is usually imported into Nigeria.

      Glucose syrup and dextrose are widely used as sweetening agents in confectioneries. High maltose and high conversion syrups improve moisture retention and color control in final product. Dextrose syrup in particular improves crust and dough properties, while high fructose syrups are used in frosting and fillings. The all glass double jacketed bioreactor (5 litre capacity) was fabricated at SEDI Enugu and it has a temperature probe, impeller shaft with impeller blade at an angle of 45 degrees and a control panel. Indicator lamps were also installed to monitor the status of the heating element and motor. The compression springs were used to assemble the equipment to allow for lateral and longitudinal expansion due to heating. Charge/feed hole was provided for charging the reactor without removing the upper plate while a wooden crate was also built into it for safe handling.

      Dr. Lateef Sanni, IITA Postharvest Specialist worked closely with Dr Akpan-Iyang Akpan, a Senior Lecturer at UNAAB and Mr O. O. Obiina, of SEDI to ensure the success of the project. Sanni remarked that the performance test of the reactor has been conducted at IITA Onne last December with cassava starch (10%w/v), distilled water, and enzymes as main ingredients. The extracted syrup was centrifuged and sugar level monitored using digital refractometer. The syrup was finally bleached to white colour. The yield is almost equal to production yield obtained elsewhere such as Thailand.

      Based on the success of the project, IITA is planning to organize an enterprise training activity for interested investors on production of glucose syrup from cassava starch. Participants will be trained on the production of glucose syrup, equipment fabrication and maintenance, cost benefit of the glucose syrup business and other Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) information that will drive the market for continued production. Furthermore, it was disclosed that upon request, SEDI has capability of scaling up the reactor to cater for SMEs. IITA will organise the training in collaboration with other glucose syrup consultants including National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike for future sustainability of the product.

      Sweeteners and syrups, used to prepare soft drinks and confectionaries, are a rapidly growing market in West and Central-Africa. At the moment, all sweeteners are imported (920 MT per annum in Ghana). A prerequisite of production is a supply of cheap, high quality starch, which is available in Nigeria-Matna, Real Foods, NSM etc. Currently, there is no commercial factory in Nigeria producing glucose syrup from cassava, despite the availability of abundant raw materials in Nigeria.

    * Comments:

    Thanks for the interesting article on cassava. This article has been circulated to various NARI staff. PNG Gov't has signed a deal with the Bohai Company of Korea to go into ethanol production in PNG. The Cassava Ethanol Production Project has been approved by the Gov't. The project will be undertaken in two phases; Phase I will involve large scale production of cassava in PNG. The crops will be planted in large scale in PNG, harvested and shipped to Korea for ethanol production. The 2nd Phase will involve the actual setting up of the ethanol production factory in PNG. The site where the ethanol factory will be built is yet to be decided. NARI Laloki is working closing with the Committee set up for this purpose and have given our technical input in the highest yielding cassava vars we have in our national germplasm collection at Laloki. We have already supplied information on the high yielding varieties with their passport and characterization data.
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