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?
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Posted 2:28 PM by Luigi
Women's self-employment: more than pretty baskets
SPC Press release. A photo of Anne and Primrose to accompany this press release is downloadable from http://www.spc.int/culture/press.htm. Photo must be credited to SPC.
Suva, Fiji Islands, Tuesday, 10 October, 2006 : When Anne Maedia was a nurse at Honiara's main hospital, she noticed how much flowers cheered up patients and the bare wards.
That gave her idea - why not a floristry business? She approached local florist Primrose Maetoloa, who agreed to let Anne "learn by looking".
By 1999, Anne decided she had the skills and the confidence to swap nursing for floristry. She and Primrose now run a blooming company together, their own gardens supplying most of their flowers.
Their clients range from individuals to companies and government departments - and a local businessman who pays them to take flowers twice a week to Anne's old hospital.
Now it's Anne's turn to share what she has learned with the 30 members of Honiara Grassroots Women in Self-employment. Ten of the members have come to the Third Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival with the assistance of the Solomon Islands government.
The festival has given the women a bigger market for their baskets and jewellery than is possible in the Solomon Islands. A basket worth $15 Solomon dollars in Honiara is going for the equivalent of $20 Solomon dollars in Fiji.
But more importantly, says president and jewellery-maker Gaye Au Ramosaea, the women have picked up fresh ideas they will put into practice back home.
Anne, the secretary of the three-year-old group, says most of its members are illiterate. But their culture and traditions have handed them skills in cooking and handcrafts.
The women pool their knowledge, learning about money-handling, improving the quality of their work, and setting prices. "It's about women helping themselves," says Anne.
Their self-esteem also rises: "It gives women confidence, being out at the market day after day, and not just working at home," she says.
"They are motivated. Even if they can't read and write, they can earn money for their families. They sometimes earn more than their husbands."
She adds: "The husbands ... realise that the women can do something for the family. All the women in this group are paying their children's school fees themselves."
In Anne's case, she brings home more profit in a day than her nurse husband can earn in a fortnight.
The earnings of enterprising women like Anne can lift families out of poverty, says Linda Petersen, the women's development adviser at the Pacific Women's Bureau at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.
However, governments need to recognise the value of such projects when developing strategies for reducing hardship: "They should support these efforts through the provision of resources and basic infrastructure."
She adds: "The jury came out a long time ago on the benefits of investing in women's education and economic empowerment - we just need to take it more seriously and demonstrate commitment to this truth in our part of the world."
* Comments:Post a Comment
Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.