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?



    Monday, October 29, 2007

    An Autumn Without Apples

    From : Commondreams.org NEWS CENTER

    by : Silver Donald Cameron

    ISLE MADAME, Nova Scotia - “That Looks like an apple tree,” I said to Marjorie. “But how come it doesn’t have any apples?”

    Feral apple trees abound in Isle Madame - dotted through the woods, standing gnarled in deserted fields, adorning the edges of roads. They include several different varieties - probably heritage strains, since they apparently descend from orchards planted by French settlers in the 18th century. In October, they should be groaning with apples. But this one, growing beside a long-abandoned road, bore not a single fruit.
    Later that day, I drove the five miles from the bridge at Lennox Passage to my house in D’Escousse. Apple trees grow along that road as closely as schoolchildren waiting to cheer a parade - so many, in fact, that I would like to see the dull name “Route 320″ replaced by Route des Pommiers/Apple Tree Road.
    But I saw no pommes on Route des Pommiers either.
    By now I was curious, and rather alarmed. What about my own fruit trees, the ones that grow around my boat shed, and carpet the ground with little sour apples at this time of year? Local deer-hunters generally phone me in the fall to ask if they can have the apples to set out as deer-bait. But nobody had called this year.
    No wonder. Five trees, and between them they had barely produced enough apples to make a pie.
    My buddy Edwin DeWolf, who built the shed, drove up beside me.
    “No apples this year,” I said.
    “No apples anywhere,” said Edwin. “No bees, that’s why.”
    Ye gods.
    That evening I saw Farley and Claire Mowat, who last month donated 200 stunning seaside acres to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. This splendid gift includes 35 years’ worth of the Mowats’ careful records and observations on the site and in the area.
    “We saw almost no fruits of any kind this year,”" said Farley. “No plums, no cherries, nothing. And it affected all kinds of things. It was a cold, wet, late spring, and we had so few insects this year that the insectivore species of birds didn’t reproduce. The tree swallows and the barn swallows live on flying insects. They made nests, but they didn’t lay eggs and they didn’t stay around. I’ve never seen them behave that way before.”
    Was it truly just a cold, late spring - or something more alarming? Bees, I remembered, have been dying off in record numbers right across the United States and Europe, and nobody knew why.
    Honeybees are not native to North America, and indigeous North American plants didn’t need them for pollination - but the species that do need them are the ones in the supermarket, the products of industrial agriculture: apples, almonds, cherries, tomatoes, zucchinis, cantaloupes. Theories about the cause of their decline ranged from new pesticides, mites and genetically modified crops to climate change, fungi and even radiation from cell phones.
    Whatever the reason, the U.S. problem was serious. Every third bite we eat, says one expert, “is dependent on a honeybee.” In the U.S., the crops pollinated by honeybees are valued at something like $15 billion. The California almond crop alone is worth $1.5 billion.
    With money like that at stake, agribusiness doesn’t leave pollination to nature. Bees have been bred to work both earlier and later in the season - and they migrate to where they’re needed. Huge semi-trailers packed with hundreds of millions of bees rumble through U.S. agricultural districts, renting the bees’ services to farmers.
    These bees make money, not honey. (Believe it or not, American honey is being undercut by cheaper honey from China.) Industrial bees don’t eat nectar, either. Their food arrives in tanker trucks full of protein supplements, sucrose and corn syrup. It costs $12,000 per load.
    “I don’t think the situation in the States is related,” said Farley. “We had extreme conditions this year, including the most rain we’ve seen in 35 years, nearly 40 inches. We also had a lot of fog, and flying insects can’t handle fog.” A biologist from the Nova Scotia Museum later confirmed a “patchy” die-off of bees in some districts of the province.
    “It isn’t just the bees,” said Farley. “We had minimal populations of butterflies and moths too, and they came late. It may be several years until insect populations recover, since there aren’t many insects left to breed.”
    And what about the swallows?
    “They would have gone to where there was more food,” Farley said. “It might be just a few miles inland, out of the fog - but remember, these birds migrate 10,000 or 15,000 miles, so it would be nothing for them to fly a couple of thousand miles to find food.”
    The apples of Isle Madame have survived 250 years so far, so I guess they’ll be back. But it’s a very strange autumn without them.

    Silver Donald Cameron’s award-winning book The Living Beach is available at http://www.capebretonbooks.com/.
    © 2007 The Halifax Herald Limited

    Mary Taylor(Dr)

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