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?
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Posted 9:01 PM by Luigi
More Pacific mapping
Google Earth (http://earth.google.com/) has a function for perspective views which can be quite useful. In the attached, I’ve draped an image of areas where taro (red) or banana (blue) is the dominant staple from the (PNG Farming Systems Database) over a view of northern PNG looking SE from a height of about 36 miles.
Very Cool! Google is doing what GIS world has not been able to do - make maps and visualization tools easily available....
Luigi, where in the software can you specify the overlay? And what type of file is your banana and taro overlay?Post a Comment
Posted 2:22 PM by Luigi
Solomon Islands agriculture
The Solomon Islands government is pinning its hopes on a new agriculture strategy to help drive the economy back into the black. A five-year plan, developed by stakeholders in the newly formed Agriculture Council, targets the rural sector as a major player in its so-called 'Rural Livelihood Plan'. The 'Agriculture Sector Strategies Plan 2005 and Beyond' aims to help individual farmers achieve product quality standards, productivity and management levels.
Speakers: Edward Kingmele, Permanent Secretary, Solomon Islands Department of Agriculture and Livestock
Posted 2:12 PM by Luigi
Resources on food processing
Thanks to Malcolm Hazelman of FAO for pointing these out:
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Posted 7:39 PM by Luigi
New Book on Hawaiian Breadfruit
Hawaiian Breadfruit: Ethnobotany, Nutrition, and Human Ecology
by Brien A. Meilleur, Richard R. Jones, C. Alan Titchenal, and Alvin S. Huang
Here's the blurb from the publishers, the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii at Manoa
Breadfruit, called ‘ulu in Hawaiian, was one of the plants Polynesians brought in their sailing canoes when they discovered the Hawaiian Islands. It is a staple food throughout the Pacific, and in ancient Hawai‘i it was a crop of much greater nutritional, cultural, and political significance than its presentday status here suggests. The authors of this book assembled historical references to ‘ulu and did nutrient analyses to develop a picture of the tree’s former importance. Through its manifold uses, its widespread cultivation, and its nutritional similarity to the other Hawaiian staple, kalo (taro), Hawaiian breadfruit is revealed to have had a profound role in the Hawaiian culture and the human ecology of the archipelago. This brief study of ‘ulu will reward those interested in Hawaiiana with a new perspective on a familiar tree of Hawaiian landscapes, a tree which—according to the authors—deserves much greater appreciation and use.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Posted 4:41 PM by Luigi
Mapping the Pacific
It is often useful to be able to quickly visualize the location of a particular site or sites on a background of a satellite image. Google Map not only provides free satellite imagery for the whole world on the web, but also software for doing simple mapping with that imagery on your own website. A colleague of mine, Dr Robert Hijmans of the University of California, Berkeley, has kindly set up a webpage at http://www.diva-gis.org/gmaps/pacific.htm which allows you to rapidly plot points for which you have latitude and longitude on a Google Map satellite image base map. He has included an option for also overlaying the EEZ of PICTs. I hope you find it useful. All feedback welcome. You can do more sophisticated spatial analysis for biological and natural resources management with the DIVA software available on the same site.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Posted 3:12 PM by Luigi
From Jim Currie in FSM.
I fully support the efforts described by Adelino Lorens concerning processing breadfruit whether for sale or home use. When Richard Byers was here last year, he demonstrated that local breadfruit could be ground, extruded and when dropped in hot oil it puffed up just like 'cheese balls'. I personally am addicted to 'Ulu' (breadfruit) chips from Samoa. I think these should completely replace the junkfood we import from elsewhere. If the cost is higher, so what. Junk food is a non-essential and if people want it, they can save toward it or make it themselves. If they decide to not buy or make, maybe that is even better since they avoid the empty calories that now show up in the obesity statistics. I'd even support a ban on imported junk food.
From our possition COM/FSM, we are planning a two-pronged approach to the breadfruit issue and other staple crops as well.
In the first and easiest case, we (Engly Ioanis, Marcellino Martins, and I are planning a research/ demonstration project in three of the states of FSM to demonstrate the preservation and use of Breadfruit as the basis for a balanced swine feed diet. There are tons of breadfruit that go to waste each year while we import pig feed that is primarily energy feed based. Even if we use more breadfruit for human consumption, there will always be damaged, diseased and excess available to be preserved as feed for pigs.
Secondly, we will be hiring/acquiring a person - possibly through volunteer agencies or technical support agencies - to work full-time in Food Processing, Packaging and Marketing. One of the challenges for this person will be to develop a processing system to transform staple products to a readily useable product at a reasonable price. Possibly the extruding idea could be carried out to form a pelleted product in a sealed pack that could be easily boiled or micro-waved comparable to 'minute-rice' (that takes 10 minutes anyway). I fully expect that some of these have been developed in the region and I solicit any guidance in this topic in which I am less specialized.
Another idea that came to mind while discussing with Adelino was the promotion of breadfruit this year at the World Food Day activities and to local restaurants. I have seen some local staples used in restaurants but I think we might be able to stimulate more interest. In Sapian, we used to hold a tilapia cook-off to promote consumption of this farm-raised fish. One part of the competition was for commercial chefs. We could do something similar here by invoiting the 15 or so Pohnpei restaurants to compete for prize and distinction by developing and displaying a recipe based on or including breadfruit. Breadfruit could be suplied free of charge to the restaurant through the Agriculture Division and judging would take place in public at the
World Food Day celebrations.
Thanks Luigi for sharing this, these are some excellent ideas, especially to encourage people in the Pacific to eat locally produced food and at the same time earning money. I am very impressed here in Thailand to see a lot of locally produced foods, like chips, noodles and other sweets made from rice, banana and taro. I think if we have researchers and investors who are committed in this we can produce some very good products out of our traditional food sources. Some researchers here in Biotec are very interested in lactic acid bacteria fermentation, and I talked with them, it is a good way of producing nutritious foods, which reminds me of our "masi ulu" fermented breadfruit biscuits, which is a traditional food in Samoa but I never tasted it. (I only learnt in high school the processing procedure but not in practice). That should be researched too, which bacteria that are involved in fermentation and also what kind of product we can get from it. I am also interested in the pig-feeds research stated in the news, because in Tuvalu, many breadfruits are wasted too, while people are buying very expensive feeds for pigs, but I think if NGOs and government create and support initiatives to produce products out of our own resources we can do and achieve much better than what we import. Thanks to all of you researchers in FSM, you are all inspirations to me a young Pacific researcher. Go for it and remember to share your findings and vinaka Luigi for the important network.Post a Comment
Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.