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, March 20, 2005

    Local foods support small farms

    By K.L.CAPOZZA PAIA, Hawaii, March 14

    As soon as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean, diners begin to line up outside of Mama's Fish House in Maui. They come not just to sample the upscale eatery's impeccably made local fish, but also to experience local culture, history and landscapes through Mama's signature Hawaiian dishes.

    A typical menu item at the restaurant reads, "Opakapaka with taro root caught by Earle Kaiwi bottom fishing outside his homeport of Hana Bay," which, in a sentence, introduces diners to the Hawaiian language, the island's home-grown produce and native fish, and the farmers and fisherman responsible for bringing the ingredients to their plate.

    Mama's is one of a growing cadre of U.S. restaurants attracting a loyal following by tapping into consumer interest in local, seasonal and small-farmed foods. This demographic views eating as more than just a way to put away calories.It also is a source of pleasure, culture and community. It even can be a learning experience." Now that organic has gone large scale, I think consumers are looking for something else," said Betty King, a specialist in rural economic development at the University of Kentucky in Lexington."

    I call the new buzz word "authentic foods." This movement back to local, small and high-quality is, in part, a response to the past several decades of consolidation and homogenization in the food industry, and to the growth of large-scale factory farming. It also is a reaction to recent high-profile outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, such as mad cow disease, which raise consumer fears about the safety of the food supply and paint a picture of an anonymous, poorly regulated and unhygienic industry.

    As more and more Americans live in urban areas, the origin of their food increasingly is a mystery. Even rural residents have a difficult time tracking down their groceries' pedigree because so much of it now is grown or raised outside U.S. borders.

    Research has shown supermarket produce travels an average of 1,500 miles from farm to table, with some commodities originating from as far away as Asia. The American Farm Bureau Federation reports the United States will spend as much on food imports in 2005 as it receives for food exports. As much as 45% of the money spent on foreign food will go for fruits and vegetables, which explains why supermarket produce aisles are stocked with grapes from Chile, bananas from Ecuador and oranges from South Africa.

    This globalization of food production has eroded community ties to local farmers and regional cuisines -- a trend that aficionados of local and natural foods hope to reverse by promoting producers of artisanal, traditional and heirloom products." People now want food with a place, a face and a taste," King told United Press International. As consumers turn their attention away from the global market and seek out local, climate-specific foods, produce suppliers are moving to meet the needs of this booming niche market.

    Specialty Produce, a family owned supplier in San Diego, has noticed its customers -- mostly upscale restaurants -- are insisting on products grown within a 40-mile radius."They want seasonal and local. If it's a lemon, they want to know the kind of lemon, the farmer's name, where it was grown and something about the history," Roger Harrington, Specialty's manager, told UPI. According to the non-profit Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, 93% of American food-product diversity has been lost since 1900, which explains why consumers also are seeking out novel, diverse and rare foods.King, an advocate for small farms and farmer's markets in Kentucky, often sifts through local produce stalls in search of unusual products.

    On one such adventure, she happened upon a gaggle of roots that looked vaguely familiar. After chatting with the farmer, who was an expert in heirloom Appalachian vegetables, she learned the bundle of roots actually was sassafras, a hard-to-find native herb her father used to harvest in the winter and brew into tea." You just never see things like sassafras anymore. These type of food experiences enable us to rediscover who we are as families, communities, and as a nation," King said. This precipitous drop in food choices has spawned a renewed interest in new tastes and culinary experiences -- instead of iceberg lettuce, consumers want radicchio and Lolla Rossa. They are seeking out ringneck pheasant with cardoons instead of standard roast beef and potatoes. Such trends spell good news for small farmers, particularly those who sell directly to consumers through farm-delivery programs or farmers markets.

    U.S. Department of Agriculture data show interest in fresh, novelty produce has generated a dramatic proliferation of local farmer's markets. Since 1994, they have increased by 111%. Interest in promoting American culinary heritage also has boomed. The non-profit Slow Food USA was founded in 2000 and information on its Web site said the goal was to create "a robust, active movement that protects taste, culture and the environment as universal social values."

    Since its inception, the organization's membership has increased from 300 members to 13,000. Part of Slow Food's mission is to invigorate regional and seasonal culinary traditions. Toward that end, the group's been working to catalog, describe and publicize forgotten flavors and gastronomic products that are threatened by industrial standardization and large-scale distribution. These include California's crane melon, Vermont's gilfeather turnip, New Mexico's Navajo-Churro sheep and Washington state's Olympia native oyster. Ultimately, these endangered foods' fate will depend on consumer interest in experiencing their unique flavor.

    Back at Mama's fish house, Hawaii's regional foods seem to be enjoying a renaissance. Fishermen bring in their daily catch to the kitchen, where it is filleted and served within a few hours. The sous chefs prep breadfruit, paholo fern, roasted kukui nut, and Maui onions for the evening rush. In the dining room, each plate meshes so perfectly with its surroundings that diners have no doubt they are just steps from the tropical Pacific in the very heart of Polynesia.

    K.L.Capozza covers environment and food issues for UPI Science News.
    Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment


    October 2002

    November 2002

    December 2002

    January 2003

    February 2003

    March 2003

    April 2003

    May 2003

    June 2003

    July 2003

    August 2003

    September 2003

    October 2003

    November 2003

    December 2003

    January 2004

    February 2004

    March 2004

    April 2004

    May 2004

    June 2004

    July 2004

    August 2004

    September 2004

    October 2004

    November 2004

    December 2004

    January 2005

    February 2005

    March 2005

    April 2005

    May 2005

    June 2005

    July 2005

    August 2005

    September 2005

    October 2005

    November 2005

    December 2005

    January 2006

    February 2006

    March 2006

    April 2006

    May 2006

    June 2006

    July 2006

    August 2006

    September 2006

    October 2006

    November 2006

    December 2006

    January 2007

    February 2007

    March 2007

    April 2007

    May 2007

    June 2007

    July 2007

    August 2007

    September 2007

    October 2007

    November 2007

    December 2007

    January 2008

    February 2008

    March 2008

    April 2008

    May 2008

    June 2008

    July 2008

    August 2008

    September 2008

    October 2008

    November 2008

    December 2008

    January 2009

    February 2009

    March 2009

    April 2009

    May 2009

    June 2009

    July 2009

    August 2009

    September 2009

    October 2009

    November 2009

    January 2010

    RSS Feed
    Alternative feed
    Contact Tevita


    Something new:

    Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.  

    PestNet: For on-line information, advice and pest identification for the Pacific and beyond. Contact: Grahame Jackson.



    Pacific Mapper: For on-line mapping of point data over satellite images of the Pacific provided by Google Maps.



    DIVA-GIS: For free, easy-to-use software for the spatial analysis of biodiversity data.


    Locations of visitors to this page