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, April 24, 2007
Posted 7:54 PM by Tevita
The First International Breadfruit Symposium on Research and Development
From: Dr. Mary Taylor, Secretariat of the Pacific Community
The First International Breadfruit Symposium on Research and Development took place in Nadi between 16-19 April. Participants came from far and wide, with representation from the African continent (Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania) The Seychelles, the Caribbean region (Trinidad and Jamaica), Sri Lanka and of course the Pacific (Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, Pohnpei, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. The Symposium covered a wide range of themes from Breadfruit in Society to Product Development and marketing.
It was interesting to see that although breadfruit is considered an under-utilized crop, a significant amount of work has been carried out on breadfruit and there is a lot of information to be shared. This is what the meeting was about - sharing experiences and information in breadfruit, and looking at ways in which the future of breadfruit both as a food security crop and as a marketable commodity (domestic and export) could be strengthened.
The Symposium consisted of 1.5 days of plenary where papers were presented by the majority of the participants. The Symposium was opened by Aleki Sisifa, who gave an excellent overview of breadfruit in the Pacific, and how it has developed into an important export commodity for some countries, such as Fiji and Samoa, yet at the same time remains an important food security crop especially for the atoll countries.
The keynote address was given by Dr Diane Ragone, Director of the Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanic Garden (NTBG) whose enthusiasm for, and commitment to breadfruit is apparent to all who meet her. Her efforts have ensured that more than 120 varieties from the Pacific are conserved in the world's largest collection of breadfruit (over 200 accessions) at the NTBG in Hawaii.
On Tuesday afternoon the participants were treated to a very interesting and exciting field trip which was wonderfully organized by Sant Kumar, General Manager, Nature's Way (Cooperative) Fiji Ltd. The non-Pacific participants were very impressed by what they saw and the enthusiasm of Mr Kumar. They were also very impressed by the food that was on offer - nine different dishes, and all made of breadfruit!
The remainder of the week was devoted to Working Groups and a focus session on the Global Crop Diversity Trust. The Working Groups focused on the issues which were generated from the presentations and also the discussions that followed the presentations. All groups were asked to prioritize some recommendations and these were presented on the Thursday morning.
Following this presentation there was a focus session on developing a global strategy for the conservation and utilization of breadfruit, and discussing the sharing of breadfruit germplasm using the multilateral system on which the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) is based. This strategy and the recommendations from the Working Groups will be available in a brief Symposium report shortly.
The proceedings for this Symposium will be published by the International Society for Horticultural Science as part of the standing series of Acta Horticulturae.
This Symposium is the result of collaboration between international organizations including the Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Cooperation (CTA), the Breadfruit Institute, German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), International Centre for Underutilised Crops, Global Facilitation Unit for Under-Utilized species, the Global Crop Diversity Trust and SPC Land Resources Division.
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