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?



    Wednesday, October 04, 2006

    Fijians find chutney in bad taste

    Sometimes value adding is not as simple as it sounds. Article by Catherine Adams of the BBC.

    Food scientists in the Fiji Islands say they have discovered a recipe for a vegetable dish used to accompany human bodies during cannibal feasts.

    The scientists plan to market jars of cannibal chutney as a novelty gift, and argue that Fiji's flagging economy will have to rely on unique products such as this in the future.

    Cannibalism was widely practised in Fiji until about a hundred years ago. But some Fijians are not happy about raking up their unsavoury past.

    Recipe withheld

    The co-inventor of Cannibal Chutney (CC), food scientist Richard Beyer, has concluded that Fiji is soon going to have to look beyond its traditional crops such as sugarcane.

    "Our strategy is to single out products which are specific to the region and trade in those," Mr Beyer says.

    Mr Beyer and an Australian colleague say they have discovered a recipe for a vegetable relish which used to accompany human meat.

    He will not reveal the ingredients, but believes Cannibal Chutney, or products like it, are going to make the Fiji Islands rich.

    "It is what we believe is a traditional recipe and when you think about it, it really doesn't matter what's in it. It is one of those little novelty products that you see round the world," Mr Beyer says.

    "It's one of those things you buy as a novelty gift as you're leaving Fiji. It's like visitors to Fiji can go and buy a little fork which was originally designed to get the little bits of brain out of the skull," he says.

    Chutney could harm tourism

    But not everyone agrees with Richard Beyer's economic analysis. Trade journalist Daniel Singh thinks Fiji has plenty of resources to replace sugar, such as the hardwoods in its forests, before it has to resort to gimmicks.

    "The idea of CC will not go down well because people are trying to forget the past... Tourism is an important industry here and if you associate cannibalism with that, it might affect tourism badly," Mr Singh says.

    On the streets of the capital, Suva, the idea of Cannibal Chutney provoke mixed feelings among indigenous Fijians.

    "Maybe the tourists would be interested to see that that was a part of Fiji's history, they might want to eat it to see what it's like, maybe it would draw them to Fiji," some said, but others were more critical.

    "If I heard of cannibal chutney I wouldn't wanna eat it. We don't like the idea of Cannibal Chutney of naming our chutney that way. It spoils the Fijian race," people said.

    "I think it's not really a good idea. We're almost in the year 2000 now and to talk about the past, we should forget about it. I think it is very insulting."

    Missionary who became a meal

    Contrary to popular myth, only one white missionary, the Reverend Thomas Baker, was ever eaten on Fiji. His shoes are in the Fiji museum.

    "He was foolhardy, he was murdered and parts of his body eaten," says historical expert Paul Geraghty.

    "The distribution of cuts would be similar to pork," he says.

    "Cannibalism seems to have been prevalent in the earliest times. In the earliest records there are bones which appear to have been butchered which indicates it's quite old," Mr Geraghty says.

    "But in every case it was a product of war. And when war ceased in the mid-19th century, then cannibalism ceased when people accepted Christianity."

    Cannibal insults remain

    The only trace of cannibalism today is in the language. For example, Fijians still use the common insult "bokola" which means "body for eating". Otherwise, it is never talked about.

    But written records by early explorers remain, describing how the chiefs made the procedure as gruesome as possible to terrify their enemies.

    "In times of bitter warfare, lower people might get little offcuts - hands and feet to chew on, but it was really the prerogative of the chiefs," Mr Geraghty says.

    "They'd bring somebody back alive, if it was an opposing chief and there are accounts of items being removed from their person , like tongues, and being eaten while they watch."

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