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, October 02, 2005
Posted 4:39 PM by Luigi
News from the Solomon Islands
Two interesting pieces of news from the Solomon Islands courtesy of Fred Peter of DAL.
National agriculture council meeting
Solomon Star News article posted by Arthur Wateon 21 September, 2005 - 10:49am
THE first ever national agriculture council meeting opened yesterday in Honiara with the mission to identify how best to promote agricultural industry in Solomon Islands. However, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Enele Kwanairara said since this was the first national agriculture council it would be convened as a stakeholders forum.
This saw over 50 participants representing the national and provincial governments, private sector and non-government organisations gathering yesterday at Honiara Hotel to being the three days discussion.
Mr Kwanairara said these participants would be exchanging views and discussing issues on how best to promote agriculture industry in the next decades. He said they would also make recommendations to boost the agriculture productivity in terms of food security and generation of family income to address the problem of rural poverty. He said Solomon Islands is blessed with land resources including forest and some of the most fertile land for agriculture development but yet people are not reaping the full benefit.
"This National Agriculture Council (NAC) over the next days will critically re-examine our land use development over the last 27 years and thereby formulate action oriented strategy plan for the stakeholders to take an active role in revitalising the national economy through agriculture development activities," he said.
The NAC was approved and mandated by the Cabinet early this year following the provincial ministers and senior agriculture officers consultation conference last year. In the consultation conference last year, it was decided that an annual conference be held to pursue with a hope to develop an agriculture sector strategy plan which the department lacks.
The minister said it was from that recommendation that gave birth to the need to establish a NAC. He said the overall aim and objective of NAC is to advice the government through the department of agriculture and livestock.
"...NAC is to advice the government on policy matters and development strategy to rejuvenate the agriculture industry which is a major component of rural livelihood and most importantly will coordinate productions and provisions of services to the community," the minister stated.
He said it is his hope that over the next few days stakeholders would identify problematic areas in government policy and strategy which caused bottle neck situation in the past and find best alternative sector strategy for the next decades.
Extracted from Solomon Star Submitted by Arthur Wate on 9 September, 2005 - 12:22am.
TAKABORU is a small village just 30 minutes drive from Honiara. It is like most other villages in Solomon Islands. There are leaf houses, a church, a soccer ground and lots of children. However, it is not the same. Just behind Takaboru, is a 26 year old plantation of Teak and Mahogany owned by one of the village residents, Merino Tadabara.
Merino and his father planted the trees between 1976 and 1978 with help from the Department of Agriculture. They didn’t plant a big area, about 1.5 hectares or 1,400 trees. Over the last few years Merino and his family have been harvesting these trees and enjoying the profits. They have made money from selling seed, selling stumps and seedlings and of course selling the logs and timber. They have also harvested the timber for their own use in building houses, fixing the church and as fuel for their copra and cocoa dryer.
So far they have used the money they have made to buy a truck, build some houses, fix the church and pay for lots of other smaller things in the community. Merino has carried out a number of harvesting operations, but it was the first one that made him realise the value of his trees.
With help from the Forestry Management Project, he sold 27 cubic metres of small Teak logs into the Indian market earning over $45,000. The teak logs were used for furniture manufacture.
Merino says that his one regret is that they stopped planting. He imagines if they had kept planting just a small area every year. It would mean that every year he would be able to harvest some trees and sell them or use them himself.
He has planted about a thousand trees each year over the last few years so that his children have something for the future. Not just teak trees either. He is planting some local species including kerosene wood, vasa and canoe tree as well as other introduced species like mahogany and gmelina.
The mix of different trees means that he and his family will have all the different kinds of timber they need for the future as well as timber to sell for money. It is like NPF says Merino. "I used to work for a logging company and they had to put money into NPF for me for when I finished work. Now I can see my NPF money. It is growing on the trees."
Asked about the stories that Teak and other trees spoil the land and drink water, Merino laughs. He points to where he has already harvested trees and planted more trees back again.
They are growing just fine, he says. "Some people just want to spoil other people who have planted trees. "If you make sure you do proper landuse planning before you plant your trees you will still have land for gardening, coconuts and cocoa and some bush.
"This way you make sure the plantation doesn’t spoil you, as it will be planted in the best place for you and it." Merino hopes that in the future others can share his vision for landowners in the Solomon Islands. "If we all plant some trees every year, then in the future we can all make money from our trees every year."
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