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?



    Monday, May 23, 2005

    "Katuk" in Pohnpei

    From Dr Lois Englberger of the Island Food Community of Pohnpei.

    As we shared with you previously, we are now carrying out a project in the village of Mand, Madolenihm, documenting the traditional food system of Pohnpei. Our team is an inter-agency one, involving Pohnpei Agriculture, College of Micronesia-FSM Land Grant, Pohnpei Department of Health, Pohnpei Historic Preservation Office, US Peace Corps, Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, as well as the Island Food Community of Pohnpei.

    We were very interested last week to find out about a green leafy vegetable called "katuk". Kiped and Asipa Alpert have it growing near their house, and they explained that they had received it from the College of Micronesia-FSM Land Grant program some years ago (but evidently it was not widely distributed or promoted as our inter-agency team was not familiar with it). The Alperts explained that it can be eaten raw as a salad vegetable, or cooked. We tasted the raw oval-shaped leaves, and they were in fact quite sweet and tasty.

    Jackson Phillip was involved in the Land Grant program at the time of the introduction of this vegetable. We contacted him and he remembered it well and mentioned that katuk is known for reducing blood sugar. He pointed out that it is also good for diarrhea and stomach ache.

    I have now located a published leaflet on katuk by the University of Hawaii. This is the Tropical Perennial Vegetable Leaflet No. 10 by Jay Ram, August 1994. This leaflet identifies katuk as the sweetleaf bush, or Sauropus androgynus. It says that it can be eaten raw in salads or cooked, as in soups, stews, and stir-fry dishes. It states that one-half cup (100 g) of this vegetable provides the entire estimated requirement for vitamin C.

    The leaflet also states: "It is suspected that Sauropus contains a substance which tends to lower blood glucose. If proven to be true, the plant may be beneficial to diabetes." So this vegetable could help in protecting against and controlling diabetes, one of the major health problems here in Pohnpei, and also could provide an important local vegetable both for eating raw in salads, as well as cooked, and easy to grow outside the house with other food crops.

    For those interested in getting plantlets of katuk, please contact COM-FSM Land Grant at 320-5731 or Pohnpei Agriculture at 320-2400.

    Thanks again to the Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment, McGill University, Canada, for their involving us in this project.

    Follow-up from Lois

    There were several responses to the release on katuk, see below. Also, I want to share with you that it was Welsihter Hagilmai from the College of Micronesia-FSM Land Grant who carried out the interview in Mand and found out about the katuk. Thank you, Welsey!

    From Gibson Santos

    This plant reminded me those years I had with COM/Land Grant/Home Gardening & Cooking demonstrations program with homemakers in the villages. This plant reached even Salapwuk village. But I'm not sure people kept it alive in some places. I guess the promotion was not very strong in the beginning.

    From Jackson Phillip

    Thank you Lois for sharing. I wish to share a few more with others. The 'reduce blood sugar' info regarding Katuk was made available to all CES nutrition staff and members of the Ieias Mwahu Committee (IMC). The discoveries of it as remedy for diarrhea and good for some stomach ache were here (myself). Katuk and Chaya were among the five vegetables and the Neem tree Jay Ram and I introduced through an ADAP project. Jay Ram is a private scientist and consultant on the Big Island. Anyone interested I can provide 100 cuttings every other day for the next 6 months.

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