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, May 08, 2007
Posted 3:28 PM by Tevita
Coconut oil powers island's cars
From: Phil Mercer BBC News, Sydney
People on the island of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea have found their own solution to high energy prices - the humble coconut.
They are developing mini-refineries that produce a coconut oil that can replace diesel.
From police officers to priests, the locals are powering up their vehicles and generators with coco-fuel.
Inquiries for the coconut power have come in from overseas, including Iran and Europe.
For years, the people of Bougainville have been dependent on expensive fuel imported onto the island. Shortages have often caused many businesses in this part of Papua New Guinea to grind to a halt. High energy costs have not helped either.
Increasingly, locals are turning to a cheaper and far more sustainable alternative to diesel. Coconut oil is being produced at a growing number of backyard refineries.
Matthias Horn, a German migrant and an engineer, operates one such refinery.
"They sometimes refer to me as the Mad German because how can you do that to your car... filling it with some coconut juice that you normally fry your fish in," he said.
"The coconut tree is a beautiful tree. Doesn't it sound good if you really run your car on something which falls off a tree and that's the good thing about it. You run your car and it smells nice and it's environmentally friendly and that's the main thing." Mr Horn said his work had attracted interest from Iran.
Refineries like his also produce oils for cooking and cosmetics as well as soap.
Coconut power is not new in Bougainville.
The island endured years of civil unrest in which thousands of people were killed in a fight for independence in the 1990s. Dwindling supplies of diesel forced islanders to look for alternatives and the coconut was chosen.
In peacetime, new technology is propelling this sweet-smelling industry to greater heights.
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