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, May 24, 2005

    German Kava discussion re-opened

    From Dr Joerg Gruenwald, Executive Director, International Kava Executive Council (IKEC), 24 May 2005.

    By letter of May 12, 2005, the German health authorities finally decided on the appeal of kava producers against the ban of German registered kava drug products of 2002. The kava ban was revoked, as the German BfArM itself stated, “for reasons of appropriateness”. The decision to revoke the cancellation of drug registrations does, however, not mean that kava is again available on the markets. The registrations in question are inactivated until further notice. The decision to temporarily inactivate kava registrations was based on a riskbenefit evaluation, where the BfArM came to the conclusion of a lack of proofs of anxiolytic efficacy of kava products, with all existing studies either performed with higher than registered dosage schemes, in different indications, or otherwise with a non-controlled study design. The producers were asked to provide new clinical data until June, 2007, in which case a reinstitution of the kava products on the market might again be possible.

    The International Kava Executive Council, which presents the interests of the South Pacific kava producing countries in a fair evaluation of kava risks based on a scientific discussion of facts, has been working hard to provide new data to underline the inappropriateness of the kava ban. A tremendous mass of positive scientific evidence on kava safety was assembled by international scientists, and presented on the occasion of the International Kava Conference in Suva, Fiji, in December 2004.

    “We believe that the new scientific evidence and the constant political background work of the governments of the South Pacific states contributed to this new development”, said Dr. Joerg Gruenwald, Executive Director of the IKEC. The new decision is of course not the end of the story, mainly because there does not seem to be a change for the situation of the consumers and physicians. When kava was banned, the withdrawal of the products from the market created a distinct gap in the therapeutic arsenal of the physicians for the treatment of mild to moderate stress and anxiety related disorders. With the new decision, kava is still not made available to therapy. “Despite kava not being put back on the shelves for now, the decision is still a milestone, as now the administrative way to regular kava registrations is again open”, explained the kava scientist Dr. Mathias Schmidt from the IKEC. Only a few days ago, an application would not even have been considered for the registration process. “We are glad that the discussion is now re-opened, and we hope to finally come to a constructive dialogue with the BfArM”.

    The question of efficacy of kava is still a matter of debate. Among scientists, there is no question that kava is efficacious, and that the quantity and quality of clinical evidence is high enough to prove efficacy. This, however, reflects the general picture. Gruenwald: “The doubts raised by the BfArM do not concern efficacy of kava as such, but of individual products, based on technical flaws in published data.” The offer to re-evaluate the risk-benefit ratio based on valid new clinical data shifts the focus from toxicity to efficacy. If proper clinical evidence of efficacy is enough to overcome the current unavailability of kava products, the dangers from potential kava toxicity finally seem to be regarded as acceptable. Scientist always pointed to the fact that kava toxicity – if existing – occurred in an extremely low number of patients, by far below the incidence rates observed with many other freely available drugs. The kava drug producers will now discuss the possible ways forward, and evaluate the chances to provide data from a new and state of the art clinical trial.

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    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.



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