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?



    Sunday, July 10, 2005

    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
    Research Advisor
    P. O. Box 2299
    Kolonia, Pohnpei 96941FM
    Federated States of Micronesia

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