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
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Thursday, January 19, 2006
Posted 7:31 PM by Luigi
Unique ways of promoting local foods
An forthcoming article in SPC's Pacific Islands Nutrition newsletter based on materials provided by Dr Lois Englberger.
Many of you are familiar with the work going on in Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia by the Island Food Community of Pohnpei (IFCP) – a non-profit NGO. This group of dedicated and very enthusiastic people has achieved a lot since it was established in January 2004 – here are some of the activities which they have used to promote key local foods.
Commemorative stamp series released by the FSM Postal Services/FSM Philatelic Bureau featuring Karat (a local banana which is rich in provitamin A carotenoids): The FSM Karat stamp issue features four different stamps at commonly used denominations: 4 cents, 10 cents, 22 cents, and 37 cents. The photos, contributed by Dr Lois Englberger and Luigi Guarino of SPC, demonstrate a mother feeding her child with Karat banana, the deep yellow-orange color of Karat flesh, a Karat bunch and a plant with the characteristic erect bunch. A message is also printed on each stamp sheet: “Karat has a very unusual texture for a banana. It is very smooth, and thus perfect for babies as their first food to complement breast milk, at around six months.”
Recipes: Using local foods, focusing on lesser known and more nutrient-dense varieties. Publicised via community events, newspaper and used in one local teaching restaurant, the Blue Plate Café of the College of Micronesia-FSM Pohnpei Campus.
Website: A comprehensive website including recipes, pictures and resources (http://www.islandfood.org).
Proclamation of Karat as the state banana of Pohnpei: This was declared by the State Governor Johnny P. David on World Food Day 2005. One IFCP member stated “Other places have state flowers and state birds, why not Pohnpei have its own state banana?”
Genebank collection: As a joint project with Pohnpei Agriculture, nutrient-rich varieties of bananas and giant swamp taro have been planted at the Pilot Farm collection at Polahngas in Madolenihmw Municipality for conservation, provision of planting material, teaching purposes, and research.
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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.