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?
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Posted 2:25 PM by Luigi
Banana blight hinders export
By Cheerieann Wilson, Fiji Sun.
Fiji bananas exported to Australia market could prove to be difficult because of the Banana Leaf Streak blight, also known as the Sigatoka disease.
The Agriculture Ministry's director for extension services, Apisai Ucuboi, said this after a concerned traveller said that the country should tap into the market. "It is a very long process that for us to export our bananas overseas and this will first have to be sorted out through the Fiji and Australian quarantine services," he said.
"In the early 60s, banana exports collapsed because of the introduction of the blight, which is still in existence today." Mr Ucuboi said the Central Division alone had a huge production of bananas yearly.
"Most bananas sold in our local markets are immature and have been ripened and sold at the markets and that is one of the disadvantages of the blight which does not allow for the fruit to fully ripen on the bud," he said.
"Fiji would have to go through a lot of consultations with the Australian Quarantine Inspection Services and they requirements that they need in order for Fiji to export bananas to them."
Bananas are sold in Queensland and New South Wales in Australia for as much as $1.90 each. Meanwhile, new varieties of bananas are being screened at the various research stations around the country to find out a suitable variety for marketing purposes overseas.
And a reply from the letters page of the Fiji Times:Post a Comment
Ministry of Agriculture's director for extension services Apisai Ucuboi must be really dreaming when he talks about exporting bananas from Fiji to Australia (FT 27/5) when, in fact, there are not enough bananas for the people of Fiji.
I have been visiting the Sunday vegetable markets and one can get bananas in Queensland for as low as $1.80-kilogram.
There are other countries closer to Australia that can ship better quality bananas to Australia.
The other reason Fiji bananas will never ever enter Australia is because there are numerous quarantine pests in Fiji bananas that Australia does not have. So stop dreaming Mr Ucuboi.
If Mr Ucuboi wants to be productive and do some thing, he must be reminded that many hundreds of millions of dollars of fruit and vegetables are imported into Fiji every year.
He should draw strategies to grow these crops in Fiji. It will assist in food security and improve the living standard of the people.
Large areas of excellent fertile land is lying idle all over the country and if ministry officials cannot see these good crop lands, I can show them the areas.
Crops like carrots, capsicum, lettuce, beans, spinach, cabbages, celery, potatoes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, mushrooms, herbs, rockmelons, rice, maize, watermelons, oranges, lemons, limes-citrus and all tropical fruits can be grown in huge quantities, both for local consumption and export.
I understand he has spent many years of his term as a civil servant researching on these crops at Sigatoka Research Station and it is time now that the taxpayers saw some definite results and not just big talk. The Ministry of Agriculture has had many agricultural development aid projects in the past with hundreds of millions of dollars and all projects have completely failed and funds gone down the drain.
If today the Fiji agriculture ministry were to close up, it would have no effect on agricultural productivity.
Some serious thinking is required whether the ministry is really advancing agriculture.
Agriculture will remain the foundation of Fiji in terms of food security and rural development for a very long time and the Government, especially the new Minister Gyani Nand and State Minister Ratu Josefa Dimuri, both should handle the agriculture sector properly.
Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.