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?



    Wednesday, March 02, 2005

    The Pacific Islands Pest List Database

    The latest issue of CTA's ICT Update is dedicated to Invasive Species. It includes an article by SPC's Dick Vernon, Sarah Pene and Makelesi Kora-Gonelevu, who describe how a Pest List Database is helping farmers in the Pacific to export their produce, and to keep the islands free from alien pests and diseases. This is reproduced below:

    Blessed with a favourable climate and, very importantly, a generally low level of pests and diseases, Pacific island countries such as Fiji, Samoa and Tonga produce a wide range of tropical crops. Since most of these island states do not have a significant industrial base or mineral resources, agriculture, along with tourism, is a key source of foreign exchange.

    The main destinations for Pacific agricultural exports, which include Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the United States, have imposed strict quarantine regulations on imports to protect their home agriculture from new pests and diseases.

    Thus, for example, a Fijian farmer who wishes to export papaya to New Zealand first has to satisfy the New Zealand quarantine service that the fruit will not pose a threat to local agriculture. Under the International Plant Protection Convention, the exporting country is required to provide a list of all pests and diseases ever found on papaya.

    In the past, preparing such a list involved gathering together data from many sources, such as annual reports of the island’s Agriculture Department, pest survey reports, research station records and published articles, usually going back several decades. This entailed long and time-consuming research, for each commodity, and could take months.

    Speeding up export procedures

    Today, the same job can be done in minutes with the Pacific Pest List Database (PLD), an information system developed, compiled and maintained by the Plant Protection Service of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

    The PLD contains a wide range of data on all the major crops, together with information on pest occurrences in each country. Initially, the process of establishing the PLD in each country takes several weeks of data capture and data entry, but once this has been done, for all the major crops, the system can be maintained fairly easily.

    Once entered into the system, the same data can be used to generate reports for a variety of purposes. The most important report is a list of all pests that have been found on any particular crop in each country, as required by the export destination country. Another is a list of all recorded hosts for any given pest, which is required for an import risk analysis, a formal procedure that precedes approval of an import. Other reports that can be generated include a list of all weeds found in a country, and a supporting bibliography, always provided the necessary data has been entered into the system.

    Alien pests and diseases

    The PLD was designed primarily to facilitate trade, but soon after it was introduced some countries, notably Samoa and Fiji, requested that it be extended to help protect the islands from alien pests and diseases and potentially invasive weed species. Thus the PLD now also has a quarantine module, which is used by the islands’ quarantine services for recording pest interceptions at ports and airports.

    Two previous attempts to compile a database for the region had run into difficulties, and SPC was determined that this should not happen again. After extensive consultations, SPC opted for a system that runs on MS Access database software, with easy to use, self-explanatory menus from which the user can generate a number of pre-designed reports.

    SPC has developed and tested a prototype, organised training workshops at the national and regional levels, and put in place a programme of follow-up support. It has been found that islands’ plant protection staff, even those with no previous database experience, can become competent in using the system after a three-day training workshop. The system, together with a user manual and training materials, are now available on CD.

    Toward online access

    The Pest List Database has so far been introduced in 15 Pacific island countries and territories, on the understanding that each country’s pest occurrence records are ‘owned’ by each country’s responsible authority, usually the Ministry of Agriculture. World Trade Organization rules require that this information be made available to trading partners, and at present this is done by email. Now that the member countries are familiar with the system, they have authorized SPC to proceed with a combined regional Internet-based version of the system. When that is in place, users will be able to take full advantage of the system.

    For further information, please visit the website of the SPC Plant Protection Service.

    Dick Vernon (dickvernon@yahoo.co.uk) was until recently at the SPC Plant Protection Service in Fiji, where he coordinated the design, development and launch of the PLD.

    Makelesi Kora-Gonelevu (makelesik@spc.int), a computer scientist with the SPC Plant Protection Service, helped to develop and now maintains the PLD.

    Sara Pene (sarahp@spc.int) is a biologist responsible for maintaining the taxonomic data of the thousands of pests and their host species in the PLD.

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    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.


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