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?



    Thursday, September 08, 2005

    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.

    * Comments:

    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

    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


    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Resources on food processing

    Thanks to Malcolm Hazelman of FAO for pointing these out:
    1. An FAO report by Lynda D. Wickham on Small Scale Processing of Starchy Staples in CARICOM Countries: bananas and plantain (Musa spp.), breadfruit and breadnut (Artocarpus altilis and A. camansi), yams (Dioscorea spp.), cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz), sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) and the edible aroids, dasheen (Colocasia esculenta var. esculenta), eddoe (Colocasia esculenta var. antiquorum) and tannia (Xanthosoma sagittifolium)
    2. A feature article from the journal Mechanical Engineering: How do you design food-processing equipment if you know little of the culture in which it will be used?

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    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.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    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.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    Breadfruit processing

    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.

    * Comments:

    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


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    Something new:

    Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.  

    PestNet: For on-line information, advice and pest identification for the Pacific and beyond. Contact: Grahame Jackson.



    Pacific Mapper: For on-line mapping of point data over satellite images of the Pacific provided by Google Maps.



    DIVA-GIS: For free, easy-to-use software for the spatial analysis of biodiversity data.


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