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?
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Posted 3:56 PM by Luigi
Youth to Youth program promotes rare and nutrient-rich banana varieties of Pohnpei
From Dr Lois Englberger
I would like to share with you a letter that has just been published in the newsletter of the Task Force Sight and Life, based in Switzerland, near Basel. The article is about the Youth to Youth program promoting the rare and nutrient-rich banana varieties of Pohnpei and features color photos of the Seinwar Class 6 schoolchildren, including photos of them preparing Taiwang Banana pancakes and planting Karat banana at the school. Sight and Life provided prizes (the Sight and Life cloth bags showing their logo and website) for the children who did best on the pop quizzes, and this added a lot of interest to the project. Sight and Life has provided much support to Pohnpei in recent years in the efforts to fighting vitamin A deficiency in Pohnpei and the other states of FSM. This has included funds for projects, posters, and also analyzing many Micronesian foods, such as Karat, in their Swiss laboratory.
Here's the article:
The Island Food Community of Pohnpei would like to thank you for the SIGHT AND LIFE bags and share with you our use of them in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. We used them as prizes for the children who named the greatest number of different Pohnpei banana varieties! The children were delighted!
This was part of our collaborative project with the Conservation Society of Pohnpei in the Youth to Youth Program with 6th Grade primary school children. This year we worked with Seinwar School, which is in a rural area around 40 minutes drive out of the main town of the island of Pohnpei.
Our topic is promoting and conserving rare varieties of Pohnpei bananas. This relates to vitamin A work, as we have discovered that here in Pohnpei 15 of the 42 banana varieties contain high levels of provitamin A carotenoids, all these having yellow- and orange-colored flesh. Banana is a major staple food in Pohnpei. Thus, on this island where over half the children have vitamin A deficiency, there is great potential for alleviating that health problem by increasing consumption of carotenoid-rich banana varieties.
Our first session with Seinwar School was held in December. As a part of our first talk, we explained that Pohnpei banana varieties were analyzed in several laboratories, including one in Switzerland, which is supported by SIGHT AND LIFE. We showed the children on the classroom world map where Switzerland is. We also showed them the bag and the SIGHT AND LIFE logo, and explained that it represents the eyeball and the letter “A” to show the relationship of vitamin A to good eyesigh
Then we explained the importance of knowing about the different Pohnpei bananas and asked them to write down all the different varieties that they could. We explained that the student listing the most varieties would receive a SIGHT AND LIFE bag.
The children were from 11 to 13 years old and were very interested in the topic. Three students listed 13 different Pohnpei banana varieties, and became the winners.
At one session a cooking class was held, with students learning how to make carotenoid-rich banana recipes (Karat Banana Bread and Taiwang Pancakes). Students also learned how to plant a Karat banana, carrying out this exercise right at the school premises. Students later made the recipes in their homes, bringing the teacher samples to show, and reported that they had planted various rare bananas with their families on their own land. At the island-wide annual Youth to Youth Fair, the students gave a moving presentation about the importance of the carotenoid-rich banana varieties of Pohnpei and what they had learned. Mr Ben Namakin, Conservation Society of Pohnpei, and Ms Amy Levendusky, Pohnpei Agriculture/Peace Corps Micronesia and Ms. Yumiko Paul, Pohnpei Department of Health, facilitated the classes. Thank you again for the SIGHT AND LIFE bags, which made our visits popular, and contributed to an increased awareness of the carotenoid-rich banana varieties of Pohnpei!
Dr. Lois Englberger, PhD
Island Food Community of Pohnpei
P. O. Box 2299
Kolonia, Pohnpei 96941FM
Federated States of Micronesia
* Comments:Post a Comment
Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.