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
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
Interested in GIS?
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Posted 4:07 PM by Luigi
NZ import laws hitting Pacific taro farmers
From TVNZ: http://tvnz.co.nz/view/news_national_story_skin/568240?format=html
May 25, 2005
Red tape at the New Zealand border has sent the Pacific's taro industry into a nosedive after agriculture officials decided to apply the letter of the law to fresh produce. Importers are crying foul fearing other products will also be affected, bringing international trade in the region to a virtual stop.
The problem starts at New Zealand's borders where taro is a prime target for tougher environmental risk laws. Taro has been so badly affected because its a root crop dug up from the ground where bugs and organisms are found, opposed to a smooth fruit like Mango.
The product is also home to a harmless mite called nimotoad but because its a foreign bug its subject to strict quarantine rules every time its found on taro. Peter Kettle from MAF says the mite doesn't appear to pose any sort of threat to New Zealand but they dont have all of the information on it to be absolutely certain.
"But the key is, it is against the law to knowingly introduce a new organism," says Kettle. It is costing importers money to get the organism identified and fumigated every time it is found. Alistair Petrie from Turners and Growers says the law has doubled to quadrupled the cost of importing taro and has created huge time delays which causes product deterioration.
Petrie says that if it is spread across the range of products that they import, in theory they would have to ban all trade.
Importers fear that if the law isn't changed it won't just be taro that will be affected by the law. Farmers in the Pacific are getting hit the hardest - where they used to get $60 for a bag of taro, they now get around $40. Kevin Nalder from the Importers Association says island trade is important to Fiji and other Pacific countries and any costs tend to show up quite heavily.
Moves are now underway to simplify the laws, but until that happens the cost of meeting those regulations are being paid for by those who can least afford it.
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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.