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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Monday, July 17, 2006
Posted 8:49 PM by Luigi
Cane farmer switches to coconut products
Fiji Times, July 18, 2006
Jagdish Prasad shows some of the products he makes from coconut
A CANE farmer of Labasa is not regretting the decision to leave his farm and venture into manufacturing coconut oil for commercial use.
Jagdish Prasad of Lajonia is the proud owner of Jax Coconut Products and is at the moment looking for a market for the fragrant oil and soap his company produces.
After doing trials more than five years ago Mr Prasad managed to make lemon, fragipani and kura soap and coconut oil.
Mr Prasad said when he started his business he was supplying oil to Pure Fiji and as his production increased he ventured into the local market.
He said business was slow because his machines had the capacity to produce 2000 litres oil each week but because of lack of markets he was manufacturing a little more than 1000 litres a month.
Mr Prasad said setting up business in Labasa was a big drawback because the potential market was in Viti Levu.
He said when he received many orders he had seven labourers working for him and during slack weeks he was forced to shut down the machines.
Mr Prasad said after selling his cane farm he bought a drier and oil extracting and purifying machines for $20,000 and spent more than $10,000 setting up factory.
He bought coconuts from farmers at Naduri and hired a van to pick workers.
Mr Prasad said he was optimistic that in years to come his products would be popular.
He said cane farmers who were not benefiting from their farm should venture into something new.
Mr Prasad said if he secured a stable, wholesaler or market he would expand his factory and employ more people.
He said he wanted his business to be part of the coconut industry which was flourishing.
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