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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Monday, May 14, 2007
Posted 4:34 PM by Tevita
Cassava rakes in cash for farmers
From: Fiji Times
THE high demand for cassava should generate more employment in the export sector and put cash into the pockets of farmers.
Food Processors Limited general manager Brij Lal said farmers were paid $600 a tonne for cassava export making it one of the high cash crops to date compared to sugar which paid nearly $50 a tonne.
Mr Lal said they exported two containers of cassava to Fruiticana, a large food company in Surrey Canada which supplied Fiji food to the Indian community.
Fiji's high commissioner to Canada Jesoni Vitusagavulu a former chairman of the company has been at the front of trade talks with United States and Canadian company's like Fruiticana.
Mr Lal said it was fabulous the Fiji embassy in Washington could seal such a deal.
"I would like to commend the good people in our embassy in Washington for being able to make this deal," Mr Lal said. "As a result of the new demand we needed to hire 20 casual employees.
"Through this deal I am also keeping farmers in their farms in rural areas and stopping the urban drift and the influx of rural dwellers into squatter settlements."
Farmer Ananaiasa Waqanibau of Nacokaika in Naitasiri said he used to sell cassava at the Suva market for $25 a bag (20kg) and he would be asked to only choose the larger crops.
"Now I can uproot all my plots and sell all the crops instead of picking the big ones. This way I am thankful to the company for taking my root crops," Mr Waqanibau said.
"Once we begin to export quality cassava on a frequent basis we could think about increasing the exports to four containers at a time," he said.
"Export will create additional employment and bring in foreign exchange," Mr Lal said.
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