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
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Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
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Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
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Friday, July 27, 2007
Posted 11:22 PM by Tevita
A $4.5 million program to improve the nutrition of low-income women and children is being launched in the Northern Mariana Islands.
From: Pacific Magazine
The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program will open in two weeks, said Acting Governor Tim P. Villagomez, as a press conference today. The program is using a $4.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund the nutrition activities.
“Better nutrition means healthier women and children, and better health means reduced medical cost,” said Villagomez.
The program will be run by the commonwealth’s Division of Public Health. Children up to five years old who are considered “nutritional risk” are included under this program. This is based on the premise that those children are in their critical period of growth and need better nutrition to help prevent medical and development problems.
Public Health Acting Secretary Lynn Tenorio estimated that close to 5,000 women, infants and children in the CNMI can benefit from the program. The target population of the program includes low-income, nutritionally at risk pregnant women, breastfeeding women, postpartum women, infants from 12 months old and children up to five years of age.
Josephine Tudela is the director of the program, which has a 13-person staff. Participants must meet income guidelines, CNMI residency requirements and be individually determined by health professionals as “nutrition risk.”
Tenorio said the program is opened to all Northern Marianas residents and not just U.S. citizens. She said she expects the number of participants to increase, as the original estimate was made about two years ago.
“To be eligible on the basis of income, applicants’ income must fall at or below 185 percent of the U.S. Poverty Income Guidelines (currently $35,798 for a family of four),” according to a fact sheet. “A person who participates or has family members who participate in certain other benefit programs, such as the Food Stamp Program, Medicaid, or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, automatically meets the income eligibility requirement.”
Two major types of nutrition risk are recognized for WIC eligibility. They include medically-based risks such as anemia, underweight, overweight, history of pregnancy complications or poor pregnancy outcomes, and dietary risks, such as failure to meet the dietary guidelines or inappropriate nutrition guidelines.
Participants will receive checks or vouchers to purchase specific foods each month that are designed to supplement their diets.
The WIC program receives all of its funds from the U.S. government. Of the $4.5 million for this fiscal year, $3.2 million will be for food and $1.2 million for administrative cost.
The program is available in all 50 U.S. states, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and 34 Indian Tribal Organizations.
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