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?
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Posted 8:56 PM by Tevita
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)
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 Provided
Pacific 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 Challenges
Traditional 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 Relevance
There is a need to assess the impact of food import policies on maintaining traditional agro-biodiversity in homegardens in small islands.
Taro 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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Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.