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?
Monday, February 20, 2006
Posted 1:08 PM by Luigi
Urban forestry in the Pacific
The Resource Centres for Urban Agriculture and Food Security puts out Urban Agriculture Magazine. No. 13, which came out in 2004, was about Urban and Periurban Forestry and had an article on Urban Gardening on the Small Islands of the Pacific by Prof. Randy Thaman of USP. The pdf is not that big but I can send it to anyone who has trouble downloading it.
Here's the section on "Importance and constraints":
Despite the considerable importance of urban gardening in the Pacific Islands, there are a number of problems faced by urban gardeners. Unfavourable climate, poor soils, cost and availability of land and water, insufficient time and labour, theft, and lack of government assistance were most commonly mentioned by those surveyed.
The problems relating to drought include the high cost of water, distance to community faucets, water cancellations and fear of City Council regulations against the use of water for gardening purposes. The atolls are also periodically affected by prolonged droughts, which commonly lead to the death of a significant proportion of breadfruit and citrus trees and other trees and food plants that are only marginally suited to the atoll environment. Urban gardeners commonly have to contend with infertile poor soils. Continual cropping on small urban plots also leads to declining fertility and loss of soil structure, unless ameliorative measures are taken. Both water shortage and poor soils, however, often make trees a more attractive proposition than short-term ground crops which require water and higher soil fertility.
Insufficient land and insecurity of tenure are problems in most areas. Insecurity of tenure seems to be a major problem and a strong disincentive to urban gardening. City Council regulations, although not strictly upheld, were also considered to be a disincentive and they discourage cultivation of ground crops and trees along road frontages. Other problems include diseases, insects, birds, rats, dogs, mongooses and noxious weeds; theft of produce, especially of banana bunches and tree fruit.
The importance of urban gardening and its implications for planning are not clearly understood by most planners and policy makers in the Pacific Islands because of a lack of quantitative data on its nature, extent, and cultural and ecological significance. However, increasing interest has recently been shown by some city planners and administrators, like in Vanuatu, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands, where urban food dependency and increasing incidences of nutritional disorders have become serious problems.
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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.