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 10, 2005

    Samoa nonu exports

    By Alan Ah Mu

    APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, May 3) – Nonu juice beat out fresh fish as Samoa's top export for the first time in February this year, according to new Central Bank of Samoa figures.

    Nonu is on the rise in revenue and market outlets, thanks to some hard work by producers. But the uncertainties that plague agricultural exports hover constantly and prevent farmers from plunging into all-out planting.

    Exported nonu juice surged twofold in earnings, to $632,000, as volume also doubled and prices rose 3 percent, the Central Bank of Samoa (CBS) said.

    Nonu fruit also rose strongly in export earnings in February - by $179,000 - to $269,000, thanks to an increase in volume that was nearly threefold, the CBS said.

    Managing director of CCK Trading Ltd., Ken Newton, a leading producer of nonu products, said exports are obviously increasing, but it is unclear if that is due to more exporters entering the fray.

    "There may be some new companies involved," Mr Newton said.

    The main exporters he knows of are CCK, Nonu Samoa Enterprises Ltd., and Richard Keil.

    "But as far as we're concerned we're seeing a big demand for dried nonu now," he said. Overseas buyers are turning them into capsules and "reconstituting" them into drinks, especially in the United States - after adding fruit, syrup and other ingredients.

    Mr Newton said he didn’t know why they went to all that trouble instead of just making a drink from nonu powder. He has tasted a sample of the drinks made overseas and his verdict is, it's "bloody terrible."

    "But that seems to be happening."

    Mr Newton would like some help from Government, something they haven't been getting much of. He has read a magazine article about all the incentives in tax Government is trying to attract overseas companies with, especially the ones in tourism. But try to get the same for his industry, like some help with the duty on processing machinery - nothing, he said.

    "You seem to run into a brick wall," Newton said. "You can't seem to get an answer to anything," he said.

    Producers like him know the potential of their product but say there appears no discussion about it within government.

    Said Mr Newton: "I mean you just don't hear about it."

    Perhaps Government officials are a bit hesitant to encourage nonu production because of what happened to the ava industry, he said. It collapsed, as is well-known. Producers writhed in financial pain.

    "I lost $500,000," Mr Newton said.

    Actually Treasury and the Agriculture ministry audited the ava stranded at CCK and valued it at $498,000, but to Newton, it was so close to $500,000 it didn't matter much.

    "That just sat in the shed and rotted," he said.

    There was no chance of it being sold locally - it would have taken years.

    "Not that quantity, no," said Newton. "The local market is too small."

    But the heavy losses then showed how risky exporting agricultural products can be.

    Mr Newton said ava was booming then vanished as an industry suddenly.

    It's suspected major pharmaceutical companies seeing sales of their products threatened by ava substitutes whispered - quite wrongly as it turned out - that the Pacific product was dangerous to livers and what not.

    Germany's Ministry of Health imposed a ban that spread to other European countries. Pacific companies producing nonu juice took note of that disaster and tried again to enter the European Union market.

    Some 30 companies took the initiative of grouping themselves into the Pacific Islands Noni Association (PINA) and set out to meet the stringent and multiple requirements imposed by EU's standards people. CCK joined PINA. "I'm vice-president," Mr Newton said.

    An EU aid body, the Centre for the Development of Enterprises, helped PINA get nonu juice accepted as a product for sale in Europe.

    "They were helping us get approval from their food standards people," Mr Newton said.

    After 18 months, they got the approval in December last year.

    Some 20 companies had to first meet a standardised plan for production, equipment, hygiene and a host of other requirements for the production of an herbal product such as nonu juice - including pasteurisation.

    CCK is scheduled to get its pasteurisation machine at a cost of $NZ 25,000 next month, Mr Newton said.

    He suspects supplies of nonu would not be enough if there is any "real explosion" in the industry.

    Nearly all the fruit being harvested at present are wild ones.

    Farmers do not know how well the market will treat them in the future, so hold back on all out planting.

    Exporters like Mr Newton, also unsure of what the future holds, hold back from promising growers their fruit will have a market come harvest time.

    "So it's a bit of a Catch-22, that one," Mr Newton said.

    Samoa Observer: www.samoaobserver.ws/

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