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?



    Friday, June 15, 2007

    Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)

    From: FAO ( Courtesy of Robin Hide)

    In 2002 FAO initiated a wide programme on conservation and adaptive management of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage systems (GIAHS) aiming to establish the basis for the global recognition, conservation and sustainable management of such systems and their associated landscapes, biodiversity, knowledge systems and cultures.During the preparatory phase (2002-2006), the GIAHS initiative has identified pilot sites in Peru, Chile, China, the Philippines, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. For the next seven years (2007-2014), the pilot systems will implement dynamic conservation management approaches aimed at helping the national and local stakeholders to protect and sustainably conserve the systems and their components.

    While there is nothing in the Pacific in the initial phase, if you checkout the sidebar on the website:Other Systems, and then Island Countries, it leads to the following :

    Pacific Islands Taro Based Homegardens (Vanuatu)
    a Summary informationTaro based homegardens are widespread throughout the Pacific. Vanuatu, a relatively large Melanesian island country, has a hot and wet tropical climate and is dominated by low forest and thicket bush vegetation. Its vibrant cultural traditions and its agricultural system ensure subsistence production and high food security, which provides the small economy with resilience in times of external economic shocks and natural disasters, such as cyclones. In their traditional, mostly small gardens people cultivate multiple crops and fruits: rich varieties of taro and yam, sweet potato, manioc or cassava, breadfruit, rice, sugarcane, island cabbage, naviso, pineapple, pawpaw, banana watermelon, tomato and kava. Root and tree crops, spices and indigenous nuts (nangai or navele) generate household income. Maintaining the traditional agro-biodiversity of the homegardens, which also moderate the island's climate, is essential for disaster mitigation and self-sufficiency.and
    b Detailed information
    Outstanding Features
    The Pacific Island countries have traditional agricultural production systems that provide major food resources, and resilience to the small economies in times of external economic shocks or natural disasters (cyclones). Vanuatu is a relatively large Melanesian island country (besides Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia), and is a high, hot and wet tropical island experiencing SE trade winds. It is the most cyclone-prone island in the world, and is dominated by low forest and thicket bush vegetation. Most of the population is concentrated in two major towns, and 75% practice subsistence agriculture. It has rich lands suitable for crops and pastures, even though it is deficient in potassium, copper and zinc, and low in phosphorus. Vanuatu has a high population growth rate, a low HDI, low income, low literacy, and low life-expectancy. There is no proper valuation of the contribution of subsistence agriculture to the economy, even though Vanuatu is the most dependent among the large Melanesian islands on agriculture. Its vibrant cultural traditions ensure subsistence production and high food security. Severe market constraints (high shipping costs, lack of middle-men) make export development unrealistic. Nevertheless, some agricultural exports have been developed mainly tree crops (coconut, cocoa, and coffee), livestock, spices (pepper, vanilla) and indigenous nuts (nangai or Canarium, navele or Barringtonia). Multiple cropping in traditional gardens promotes food self-sufficiency: Sweet potato (Ipomea batatas), taro (Colocasia esculenta), yam (Dioscorea spp.), manioc or cassava (Manihot esculenta.), Fiji taro (Xanthosoma sagittofolium), breadfruit, and rice. Rich varieties of taro and yam are integrated into gardens and adjusted for disaster mitigation and self-sufficiency. Dryland and irrigated taro are cultivated. Other crops cultivated in traditional gardens include sugarcane, island cabbage (Hibiscus esculenta), naviso, pineapple, pawpaw, banana, water melon, tomato, Chinese cabbage, and kava. Root crops generate household income. Homegardens vary in size per household (0.04-0.25 ha), most being small. Some traditional staples like taro and banana provide higher energy per unit weight than others such as breadfruit and yams, but none match exotic staples like rice and manioc. Goods and Services ProvidedPacific island homegardens produce food crops that provide energy, proteins and nutrients, and moderate the climate. Some tree crop commodities (coconut copra, cocoa) have export value.Threats and ChallengesTraditional homegardens are threatened by cyclones, and cheap rice imports that could displace indigenous taros and yams. There is a need to assess the threats to maintaining agro-biodiversity in small island economies.Policy and Development RelevanceThere is a need to assess the impact of food import policies on maintaining traditional agro-biodiversity in homegardens in small islands.Global ImportanceTaro based homegardens are widespread throughout the Pacific. Their conservation and sustainable management is essential for risk mitigation and self-sufficiency of the islands.

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