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).
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Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
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Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Posted 2:45 PM by Luigi
Agriculture ministry helps kava farmers
From yesterday's Fiji Times.
THE Ministry of Agriculture in the Northern Division will concentrate on the assistance rendered to yaqona farmers in Cakudrove, Bua and Macuata, principal Agricultural officer in the North, Kalisito Biaukula said.
After the devastation of Cyclone Ami most of the yaqona plants in the North were destroyed. Mr Biaukula said funds were provided by the Government to the ministry to cater for yaqona farmers.
"We have introduced a new system in the North where farmers have to fill out a form to indicate the quantity and contents of what they have on the farm," he said.
The Ministry was trying to introduce the new system to allow them to identify how many farmers in the North were dependent on yaqona.
"This is one way we will be able to know the number of farmers that do not have any other source of income apart from yaqona," he said.
Mr Biaukula said at the meeting of the kava council held at the Forum Secretariat last year, one of the prerequisites was to have a database.
He said the Ministry was assisting farmers to develop their yaqona.
"The Ministry will only assist yaqona farmers to improve their yaqona plantations but the Fiji Kava Council will be responsible for the marketing of the yaqona," he said. Mr Biaukula said farmers being issued forms would be able to register with the Fiji Kava Council. The Ministry will not levy any fees for the forms filled by the farmers.
He said the ministry was more assisting the yaqona farmers this year after the sugar industry in the North took a nosedive. Fiji Kava Council lone northern representative Apolosi Vularomo has called on all yaqona farmers in the North to take advantage of government's initiative to assist yaqona farmers.
"I'm urging all yaqona farmers in the North to plant as much yaqona as possible because the international market was due to open in June" he said.
Mr Vularomo said he had been visiting quite a number of villages in Macuata and Cakaudrove and advising them to plant as much yaqona as possible.
Mr Biaukula said over 1000 farmers in the North were dependent on yaqona and it was these farmers that the ministry was going to assist.
The northern division has had a low turnover in the yaqona market in the recent months.
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