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?



    Saturday, May 06, 2006

    Pacific islands see coconuts as potential biofuel source

    Companies in Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa testing blends of vegetable, diesel oils

    006-05-06 Reuters By Michelle Nichols

    Palm trees conjure an enduring image of the South Pacific, providing shade on a white sandy beach as the water gently laps the shore and coconuts for cocktails garnished with small brightly colored paper umbrellas.

    But many impoverished Pacific island nations are also looking to coconuts to combat soaring world oil prices and cut severe balance of payment deficits by using coconut oil to make biofuel.

    Electricity companies in Vanuatu, Fiji and Samoa are testing blends of coconut oil and diesel to run power generators.

    A report by the 20-member South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) has found that if Pacific island countries were to replace 50 percent of diesel imports with coconut oil then the region's average import bill would be cut by 10 percent.

    Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu, the Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, the Cook Islands and Palau spend more than US$800 million a year on fuel imports, SOPAC says.

    In half of those countries fuel imports account for more than a quarter of total imports.

    "Given the expected continuing rise in fuel prices and the increasing demand for energy supplies, without any indigenous fuel substitutes, Pacific island countries' balance of payments can be expected to further deteriorate," the SOPAC report says.

    Australia, New Zealand and 18 Pacific island countries and territories are members of SOPAC.
    The price of oil hit a record high of US$75.35 a barrel in April.

    Coconut oil - extracted from copra, or coconut meat - can be used to make biodiesel to directly substitute diesel, or be blended with diesel. SOPAC said engines only need to be adapted for diesel blends of more than 10 percent coconut oil.

    Biodiesel is made by enhancing the chemical composition of vegetable, seed or animal fats and oils. The process known as transesterification, removes glycerol from the oil or fat and replaces it with an alcohol.

    In the troubled Solomon Islands, which relies on aid for 70 percent of its budget and has a population of 500,000, fuel for electricity and transport makes-up one-third of imports, Finance Minister Peter Boyers told Reuters in an interview.

    Boyers says the Solomons must explore "creative solutions" to ease external pressures on a struggling economy.

    One such solution is a plan by the Australian Biodiesel Group to produce biodiesel using coconut oil that was last month approved by the Solomons Foreign Investment Review Board.

    "We're hoping that industry can come in and consume the copra production ... they would produce all that into biofuel, which would be an import subsidization against fuel," Boyers says.

    "But most importantly it will stabilize the rural man's income by having a base line price per kilo (for copra). That's very important because that affects 80 percent of the population, which is involved in our rural informal sector."

    Boyers says the government is currently finalizing incentive programs for the Australian Biodiesel Group investment, which he valued at about SB$250 million (US$33 million).

    Australian Biodiesel Group Chief Executive Officer Len Humphreys told Reuters the company was considering similar projects in other places in the South Pacific, like Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

    "We assist the Pacific island in some sort of independency on diesel fuel and in return we take some sort of reciprocating deal on raw materials like coconut oil and palm, that we can bring back into Australia," Humphreys says.

    He says the company is still in the early stages of planning a biodiesel plant to satisfy local need in the Solomons, but that the project will be reassessed following rioting in Honiara last month sparked by the election of a new prime minister.

    "It's a great shame because there are a lot of benefits the islands can gain from the growing biodiesel industry if properly managed," he says.

    But SOPAC has warned that while using coconut oil can cut fuel import bills, Pacific island countries need to consider how much revenue can be lost from import taxes and customs duties.

    "(Our study) suggests that some duty on locally grown biofuels will be required to offset this loss," SOPAC says.

    "Import substitution can have a positive impact on government revenues if both impact on trade balance, duties and taxes are taken into account."

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment


    October 2002

    November 2002

    December 2002

    January 2003

    February 2003

    March 2003

    April 2003

    May 2003

    June 2003

    July 2003

    August 2003

    September 2003

    October 2003

    November 2003

    December 2003

    January 2004

    February 2004

    March 2004

    April 2004

    May 2004

    June 2004

    July 2004

    August 2004

    September 2004

    October 2004

    November 2004

    December 2004

    January 2005

    February 2005

    March 2005

    April 2005

    May 2005

    June 2005

    July 2005

    August 2005

    September 2005

    October 2005

    November 2005

    December 2005

    January 2006

    February 2006

    March 2006

    April 2006

    May 2006

    June 2006

    July 2006

    August 2006

    September 2006

    October 2006

    November 2006

    December 2006

    January 2007

    February 2007

    March 2007

    April 2007

    May 2007

    June 2007

    July 2007

    August 2007

    September 2007

    October 2007

    November 2007

    December 2007

    January 2008

    February 2008

    March 2008

    April 2008

    May 2008

    June 2008

    July 2008

    August 2008

    September 2008

    October 2008

    November 2008

    December 2008

    January 2009

    February 2009

    March 2009

    April 2009

    May 2009

    June 2009

    July 2009

    August 2009

    September 2009

    October 2009

    November 2009

    January 2010

    RSS Feed
    Alternative feed
    Contact Tevita


    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.


    Locations of visitors to this page