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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Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Posted 3:50 PM by Luigi
Traditional vegetables in Fiji
Fiji Times, Tuesday, July 04, 2006
The Ministry of Agriculture has an ongoing program of reviving traditional vegetable production so that the public is aware of their cost effectiveness and richness in nutritive value.
People for a number of years have been relying on the forest to provide constant supply of ota for their daily use.
However, due to the increase in logging and uncontrolled fires, it has become necessary to cultivate ota not only to ensure constant supply but to also preserve this plant biodiversity from extinction. After years of research work, the ministry's research division has come up with a technology whereby ota (Athyrium esculenta) can be grown in backyard gardens.
Senior research officer (Horticulture), Shalendra Prasad said that the idea was initiated in 2003.
"After serious discussions we decided to test it out so we brought the planting materials from Namosi and did our own planting in our demo plot at the station in Nacocolevu in Sigatoka," he said.
"We pulled out the shoots from the mother plant, trimmed them then just planted them on the ground. Since Sigatoka is within the intermediate zone, we put sarlon clothe over the plants to protect them from the glare of the sun," he explained.
"In order to keep the plants moist, we spread sawdust over the soil."
"With minimum agronomic practices and less cost of production, ota is an ideal crop for farmers as well as people living in the urban areas," said Mr Prasad.
"A lot of consumers have been relying on exotic vegetables that are sold in markets and stores around the country in spite of the existence of traditional vegetables like bele, rourou and ota," said Mr Prasad.
"These traditional vegetables were widely used by our forefathers and are more nutritious than most of the exotic vegetables." This technology will assist the urban dwellers to establish plots in their backyards for regular supply of green healthy vegetables.
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