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, April 18, 2007

    Making wine in the South Pacific

    From The Indipendent.

    Published: 08 April 2007

    Remote Rangiroa in French Polynesia is the second biggest atoll in the world. About 40 miles long, it lies 180 miles from Tahiti and is one of 77 atolls in the distant Tuamotu archipelago, fragments of land that are scattered like confetti on an ocean of ink.

    Until a century ago Rangiroa was principally a hideout for pirates and landfall for cyclones. Today it is one of the world's most unusual producers of wine.

    To reach the vineyard there I was told to bring my bathing suit and snorkel gear and get down to the atoll's only dock. Fisher, the boatman, said that on the way across the lagoon we might see small sharks, leopard rays and turtles and that I might want to swim with them.

    The journey takes about 15 minutes by high-speed motor launch, skidding across the turquoise surf inside the reef. You land at what looks like a Hollywood director's dream of a Robinson Crusoe island with powdery coral beach and palm trees waving beneath a cloudless sky.

    In one area there are banyan trees right down to the water's edge, so you don't see the vineyard from the shore. But after a few paces, there in front of you, neatly fenced in by a boundary of coconut trees and wild gardenia bushes, is the most perfect, dinky little vineyard.

    When I was there the neat rows of rich green vines were heavy with deliciously fat and juicy white and red grapes. Fisher took his machete and cut a bunch of each for me to taste.

    It is unlikely that the Rangiroa vineyard will worry the producers in the Loire and Burgundy unduly. The family of the widow Clicquot has little to fear. Even so, last year this vineyard produced 50,000 bottles of Vin de Tahiti. At about £12 a bottle, some of them are making their way to the tables of restaurants in France.

    Apart from coconuts Rangiroa's main produce was black pearls before Dominique Auroy, a rich French wine enthusiast, arrived. Given that Polynesia imports four million bottles of wine a year, he thought he'd make his own.

    He tried a few of the other Polynesian islands first, and settled on Rangiroa because it has an unbelievable sunshine record and yet rainfall as heavy as England's. The poor limestone soil made up of coral debris was a problem but he shipped in 200 tons of earth from Tahiti and then the vines from France and Italy: Carignan from the south of France, a red grape, Muscat de Hambourg, and an Italian vine for sweet white wine.

    Then he hired Sébastien Thépénier, one of France's leading oenologists, as his storemaster and winemaker. I met Sébastien at the air-conditioned cave where he was inspecting the progress of the latest harvest, the wine maturing well in giant metal barrels. Sébastien offered me a glass of the rosé. It was delicious: refreshing but with a slightly woody, chalky aftertaste. When I told him this he took a stone and banged it against the wall and then asked me to run my tongue against it. It had a similar taste. It was, I realised, the taste of coral, the taste of the island.

    Sébastien explained that in the tropics there is no winter as in Europe. Temperatures rarely fall below 18C and the weather in the so-called winter season is characterised by a strong southerly wind, the maramu, which cools the lower air levels. "Vines," he said "originate in areas where their growth cycle is controlled by the seasons, allowing them to rest before giving us their fruit. The challenge here was to trick the vines into believing there was a European-type winter in these latitudes. To achieve this we control the growth cycle through pruning. The vines now produce two harvests every year, instead of one."

    At harvest time the grapes are taken to the village of Avatoru by boat where they are crushed. At no other vineyard in the world do the grapes have to be transported by canoe. I rather liked the publicity pictures Sebastien showed me for Vin de Tahiti. They feature muscular islanders, stripped to the waist in colourful sarong-like skirts. Garlanded with crowns of tiare, gardenia-like flowers, and wearing necklaces of pink frangipani, they heave boxes of black grapes into their canoes. A trifle camp, perhaps, but wonderfully, eccentrically exotic.

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