A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
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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).
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Monday, August 22, 2005
Posted 7:14 PM by Luigi
Church members plant yams
Fiji Times, Tuesday, August 23, 2005
MEN and women working in groups has always been the backbone of development in all Fijian villages in the country.
And working in groups has also spread its work to the churches.
Last week about 50 men from villages in and around Bua gathered at the Wainisevu Methodist young people's department plantation in Bua to plant more than 200 yams.
Head of the Methodist church in Bua, Reverend Peceli Tubelili, said the men from villages along the coastal areas of Bua had brought up the idea to plant yams for the church.
"The church accepted the idea of planting yams with open arms and said the blessings would trickle down on the people," said Mr Tubelili.
The men represented about eight villages in the district of Lekutu to plant yams at the Wainisevu Methodist church plantation in Bua.
"This is the Methodist church school for young people and here they learn how to survive with very little resources but their learning is based on faith," he said.
Last week the villages near Nabouwalu where the school is located cooked while the men headed
straight to the plantation.
The first task they were tasked with was to clear the hills where the yams were to be planted.
The men were separated in groups and were working in groups of five.
"We had to divide ourselves in groups of five so that it makes it easier for us to plant yams in lines," said the men.
"We have different varieties of yams and all those that have the same variety plant in the same row."
They started their work as early as 6am as soon as they got off from their truck.
"First of all we had to clear the bush and the bush has been there for so long and years and so it was taking time to up root the big trees," they said.
The men than began clearing the bush and started burning while part of the group was tasked with collecting the firewood and taking them to the school.
Nabouwalu police officer Etuate Tavaiqia was amongst the men from eight villages who took part in the planting of yams.
He said it was his day off and wanted to join the men. He was assigned to mix a basin of kava and was seen going around with basin and a small bowl to the men working on the plantation.
Mr Tavaiqia said he has seen a lot of villages and its men working in groups but it was the first time for him to see that they work for the church.
"This is very good because the church will no longer spend to get root crops to cater for the students in the school," said Mr Tavaiqia.
He was not alone in giving out kava to those in thirst there were also women were assigned to give water to the men during the actual working hours.
The school has been one of the oldest Methodist schools for lay preachers in Fiji and has one of the best locations.
The school overlooks the Nabouwalu jetty.
With its beautiful view the school has over the years tried to maintain the natural beauty of the school.
Mr Tubelili said they have been able to see students from Wainisevu make it to the top in the Methodist church.
"But the school I admit needs a lot of maintenance, and it is only through God they the school has been able to be maintained the way we are maintaining it now," said Mr Tubelili.
The school compound is one of the cleanliest in Bua and is always an eye catcher for the people passing by to Nabouwalu.
Mr Tubelili said the men not only planted yams for the church but also panted flowers with the students.
"As you can see the compound is full of flowers and vegetables and sometimes we sell the vegetables to get money to fund for some of the little stuff we need in school," he said.
Mr Tubelili said he was proud of the achievements of the school and how the students had coped with having to plant their own food. "It's always good to learn the hard way because that way people will be able to appreciate what they get," said Mr Tubelili.
"Whether it be big or small."
The men from the eight villages in Lekutu and Bua have vowed that it was their duty to plant for the church.
"Most of the time the church has always been neglected", said the men.
"That is why we have decided to come and plant," must to the delight of Mr Tubelili.
Mr Tavaiqia said men from villages where a church minister is based also planted in groups for their church minister.
Sometimes the church minister for that circuit has the largest plantation when compared to other farmers.
Mr Tubelili said people work in groups for the church and have witnessed blessings from God.
"They do that because they love to serve their God and one way of serving their God was to plant food for the church," said Mr Tubelili.
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