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?
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Posted 3:20 PM by Tevita
Western and Choiseul Province (Solomon Island) Earthquake and Tsunami Disaster Rapid Assessment of Agriculture and Food Security
From: Tony Jensen
A team from Kastom Gaden Association conducted a rapid assessment of agriculture impacts of the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Western and Choiseul provinces. 15 villages were visited. The selection of villages was based on KGA partner locations and on opportunities that arose during the assessment. The findings are intended to help inform relevant agencies about impacts but more detailed surveys are needed in more locations. Urban areas (ie Gizo) were not included.
1) In general, in most locations surveyed, staple food production has not been affected. In Ranonnga and a few other areas where landslides damaged gardens or garden access, about 10-20% of households may face a serious shortage of food, another estimated 50-75% will face some mild to moderate food shortages in the coming months.
2) Further wide scale rice distribution is not required. Only targeted food relief to particular identified needy families with significant garden losses should be made. Rice distribution is causing increasing conflict and delaying the return to normal food production activities which can cause food shortages in 3-4 months time if this continues.
3) Urgent needs are location specific and need to be much better targeted. There are many urgent relief needs such as shelter, water/containers, basic household goods, clothing, kerosene and lamps that are required depending on location. These needs rather than food should be the main focus. Relief distribution has been observed to be uneven and some severely affected areas (e.g. Sasamuqa, Panarui and Kakaza) have received too little while some mildly affected areas have received too much.
4) In severe tsunami affected areas livestock have been moderately to severely affected. In some instances 50-75% of poultry have been killed and 25-50% of pigs. Recovery of livestock numbers will be slow and difficult.
5) Sup sup gardens, fruit and nut trees within villages have been moderately to severely affected in tsunami hit areas and in a few instances by land slides. They are not critical for food supply and most households will have adequate food to meet calorie needs but micro nutrient deficiencies will be of concern, particularly for children.
6) Many small coastal gardens (e.g. banana and cassava) have been destroyed. In general these gardens are not critical for food supply as the bulk of staples is still available in bush gardens. But there may be some vulnerable individual households who relied on these coastal gardens who need to be identified. Such households will need targeted support.
7) Coconut plantations have not been significantly affected. In tsunami areas and to a lesser extent earthquake areas numerous copra driers have been damaged or destroyed along with many copra sheds and other infrastructure. This is likely to have a substantial impact on copra production in affected communities.
8) Sago palm and bush materials are generally still available with some losses. However in severely affected areas where large numbers of houses need to be rebuilt or villages are being resettled, there will not be enough sago palm and perhaps also other bush materials for construction to meet demand
9) Very few households are resorting to use of emergency foods such as kakake or wild yams which indicates there is not an overall food shortage or that rice has arrived.
10) Villages close to Gizo rely heavily on Gizo market for fresh produce marketing. Most of this has ceased due to fear to travel in the sea and many households being concerned to conserve the food they have available. Other local markets are or will operate normally apart from in severe tsunami impact areas where local marketing has stopped.
11) Impact of reef destruction and reef raising is not yet know but is likely to be severe in Rannonga in particular. In future many communities will face decline in reef fish availability. Many tsunami affected villages have lost canoes and other equipment required for fishing.
12) There is a shortage of garden tools (hoe, axe, bush knife) in severe tsunami affected areas and for some households who lost tools from landslides in earthquake affected areas.
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