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?



    Monday, October 16, 2006

    PGR news from DIDINET, PNG: PARCIP, local foods, noni

    DIDINET stands for ‘Didiman/Didimeri Network’ or a network for scientists and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector. It aims to network and inform the participants and keep them abreast of issues of common interest. Contributions can be sent to the Editor (seniorl.anzu@nari.org.pg), PNG National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI). The following are some extracts from the latest newsletter. Contact the Editor if you want to receive the whole issue.

    PARCIP gets HOAFS support

    The Pacific Regional Crops Improvement Program (PARCIP) proposed by the PNG National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) has been endorsed and supported fully by Heads of Agriculture and Forestry Services (HOAFS) at their second conference in Nadi, Fiji, last month. The endorsement has been made on the basis of an advanced PARCIP proposal presented at the conference by NARI Director General Dr Raghunath Ghodake.

    PARCIP is aimed at improving and utilising genetic production potential of staple crops common in the Pacific region by using conventional breeding and advanced methods of crop improvement (biotechnology) with a view to addressing food security, improved livelihoods and eventually leading towards overall prosperity in the region. The programme covers evaluation, introductions, selection, and genetic improvement of crops not only to increase productivity and quality per unit of resources but also to address pest and diseases, nutritional improvement, processing requirements, product diversification, tolerance to droughts and frosts, and appropriateness to atoll environments. Besides, it will help sharing of enhanced genetic resources and developing expertise and facilities in the region. Key crops selected for inclusion are abika, banana, sweet potato, taro, yams/alocasia (giant taro), breadfruit, cassava and cytosperma (swamp taro).

    The HOAFS support paves way for the development of a regional cooperation among PICTs (Pacific Islands Countries and Territories) and seeks PNG Government requested technical co-operation programme support from the Food and Agriculture Organisation. NARI is already in the process of developing and implementing some of the crop improvement activities relevant to PNG.

    NESTLE eyes local food resources in product development

    A food manufacturer in the Morobe province is keen to use locally available food resources in product development. Nestle (PNG) is interested in incorporating flour from root and tuber crops, vegetables, cereals, legume grains and nuts into its products to develop value added foods like noodles, crackers, snacks and other products.

    This follows a visit to its Lae factory by officials from the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) recently for a possible collaboration. NARI’s visit was to discuss issues on food processing and product development using locally available food resources and establish a partnership so that NARI can work with the industry to address research and development issues in postharvest, especially food processing, product development and value addition.

    Nestle also indicated that there are possibilities of developing chips, crisps, candies and sweets from root and tuber crops as well as frozen pieces and shreds from vegetables such as carrots.

    The international food producer is looking at using locally available raw materials, especially those with flour and starch in their products. At the moment, all of its dried flour and starch are imported from overseas. The initiative, when it comes into effect, will also substitute expensive imports, reduce costs, benefit smallholder farmers by creating markets and foster the development of small cottage industries in PNG.

    According to Nestle, although fresh root and tuber crops like sweet potato can give flour, they need to be processed into dried flour before being used. Similarly, other raw materials need processing - taro (dried starch) and sago (dried powder).

    Both organisations agreed to collaborate and work in partnership. A formal understanding will be established between the two organisations for co-operation in research; training; and use and sharing of facilities, resources, expertise and information. NARI has compiled a list of possible products that can be developed from various crops under its microscope.

    Noni - an emerging cash crop for rural PNG

    Noni (scientifically called Morinda citrifolia) is an important native plant species of Papua New Guinea with broad spectrum of medicinal properties and uses. The species is widely distributed throughout the Pacific, including South-east Asia and parts of India, with a long-standing medicinal history. Noni has been administered in diverse manners to cure diseases and physiological disorders.

    The root extract was taken to relieve hypertension, and combined with coconut oil to heal skin infections. The leaves were chewed and applied as poultice for inflammation, rheumatism, boils and gastric ulcer. They were also heated and placed on abdomen in cases of swollen spleen, liver diseases and internal haemorrhages. The ripe fruits were consumed either raw or cooked to cure sore throat or stabilise stomach upsets. The traditional uses vary from place to place. In the contemporary times, Noni products have shown to help ailments such as high blood pressure, menstrual cramps, arthritis, gastric ulcers, sprains, injuries, mental depression, senility, poor digestion, drug addiction, and pain. It has thus become an important medicinal plant for commerce in the recent decade for its clinical efficacy.

    Increase in commercial interest for this plant species has resulted in the establishment of plantations in diverse places throughout the Pacific. In PNG, prospective individuals have gone into establishing plantations within the past five to ten years. While meeting the local needs, a few individuals have begun exporting Noni juice to markets abroad.

    As a boost to this emerging industry, the Pacific Island Noni Association (PINA) was formed in late 2004 with member companies scattered across 10 Pacific Island countries including PNG. PINA primarily functions to assist in promoting Pacific noni as the premium product in the growing global noni market. With PINA facilitating, export markets have been established in the United Kingdom and European Union member states. Several other overseas investors, including japan, have shown interest for PNG.

    Consequently, discussions on research and development for noni have picked up in premiere research institutions in PNG. Though currently labelled as an under-utilised species, with recognition and needed support from the government and relevant authorities, rural farmers of PNG can tap into this million dollar industry.

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