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, June 26, 2006
Posted 7:47 PM by Luigi
A master yam grower
Seema Sharma (Fiji Times, Friday, 16 June 2006)
AN AWARD winning yam farmer of Muanicula, in Macuata, has taken a long and hard journey to settle in his wife's village and make a living from rocky bush land to educate his children and secure their future.
Fifty-four-year-old Tuqeta Rabanakadavu has won the best farmer award for 10 years since the competition started in the village.
His specialty is the Philippine's yam, which he sells at the Labasa Market once a week.
With the little income he gets, he manages to shop for his family and send money to a daughter who is studying at the Lautoka Teacher's College.
His eldest son has graduated from LTC and is teaching in Bua while one child is in form five and two in primary school.
Mr Rabanakadavu said he had spent many sleepless nights when he first moved to Muanicula from Vaturova more than 15 years ago.
He said he moved to his wife's village because of the shortage of land in his village.
"You know village land is not prepared and many of us who are farmers in the village are working on bush land after clearing it.
"The first few years were very hard but I managed to make enough money. "When my children started going to school I had to sometimes borrow from friends and relatives," said Mr Rabanakadavu.
He said life was improving slowly and with three children in school now he had little to worry about because the two elder ones would support them.
During the yam show last week Mr Rabanakadavu was optimistic well before the announcements were made. He had displayed his best crops and waited for the Ministry of Agriculture officials to make an announcement. "It is through these competitions that I have been winning basic farming equipment like, forks, knives and wheelbarrows.
"Otherwise I have not received any other support from the Government but do hope that our roads are improved soon. "Apart from yam I plant bananas and cassava which I take to the market to sell after hiring a carrier.
"My farm is in the interior and vans cannot go there so I have to either carry my crop to the village or borrow a horse. A lot of people living in the interior end up moving to town because of road and water problems.
"We are lucky that we have a river flowing beside our village but something needs to the done about the road.
"There is no bridge, so each time it rains heavily we are stuck with our crops in the village and the children cannot go to school."
Recalling his young days, he said he had two elder sisters and one brother.
He said being the youngest, he was pampered at times but they all had to help their father in their vegetable farm.
Mr Rabanakadavu said it was always good to do hard work from a young age so that one was prepared for the future.
He said he was educated up to class eight and had to drop out of school because there no money in the family.
"I was an above average student and would have continued studying if my father could afford to send me to school."
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