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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Sunday, January 27, 2008
Posted 10:57 AM by Tevita
Agricultural rehabilitation needed in Oro disaster zone / World Bank targets agricultural development in PNG
From : Didinet
Oro Province needs a speedy rehabilitation of agricultural activities to recover food gardens and livestock species for rural communities affected by Cyclone Guba and subsequent heavy rains in late November. A report by the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) indicated that there was significant loss of sources of planting materials of food crops in areas where damages have been extensive and villages abandoned. And the need to put in place medium and long term rehabilitation programmes was eminent and NARI was keen to participate with its expertise.
The report stems from a rapid assessment requested by the National Disaster Centre which was to verify the level of damage caused to smallholder agriculture and needs for rehabilitation. A team of NARI scientists, led by Dr Workneh Ayalew, conducted this survey from December 3-5. According to the report, deaths, damages and losses were reported from over 200 villages from almost all LLGs of the province. At least 153 people were confirmed dead and another 224 were missing. Damages occurred in the form of flash floods, land slides, massive mud flooding and submersion of gardens and villages under water and mud floods.
The main food crops damaged included sweet potato, taro, yam, banana, cassava, vegetables and sago. Other crops such as coconuts, betenut and coffee were also destroyed. Livestock species lost to floods were village chicken and pigs with fish stocks and other marine resources.
Dr Workneh said planting materials for sweet potato, corn, taro, yam, cassava, rice, pumpkins and local vegetables were urgently needed by many communities. He said communities have also expressed interest for common livestock species like chicken and pig.
NARI has also delivered some planting materials (taro, cassava, yam, sweet potato, corn) from its Bubia and Laloki stations. The Oil Palm Institute Corporation, Higaturu Oil Palm Pvt Limited and Anglican Church have initiated propagation of these materials.
Dr Workneh said provided sufficient funding is available, NARI can provide technical supervision and training on both short-term and longer-term rehabilitation activities. He also said the Institute has the expertise to support agricultural rehabilitation effort in the areas of natural resource management (e.g. soils, water, genetic resources), customised training in improved agricultural practices and impact assessment. He added that with collaboration and networking with authorities and the community, NARI can provide the essential planting materials and technical guidance for the revival of food gardens in affected areas.
World Bank targets agricultural development in PNG
World Bank is making another move to support agricultural development in Papua New Guinea in a big way. This time more focus is on building partnerships between public and private sector institutions and organisations in the country which are directly involved in agriculture.
A group of representatives from World Bank and its subsidiary, International Finance Corporation, who visited the National Agricultural Research Institution (NARI) near Lae revealed this on December 7. The visit was part of a national consultation World Bank conducted with key research institutions, government departments, commodity boards, exporters and representatives from the private sector. This was to identify potentials and challenges confronted by the sector and to see where and how the Bank can support with appropriate programmes.
Sydney based representative Marianne Grosclaude said: “Our focus is we would like to see how the public sector could better support the private sector investments in agriculture.”
Ms Grosclaude, who is the World Bank Country Sector Coordinator for Rural Development (Pacific), said their interest in NARI was to see what the Institute sees as main potentials and challenges in agricultural development and how it can contribute to building partnerships with the public and the private sector.
“We would like to know what NARI’s role could be, if we are talking about facilitating and strengthening these kinds of partnerships where you have private sector investing in one area and public sector coming up with complementary investments in research”.
In a preview, NARI Director General Dr Raghunath Ghodake stressed the importance of investment in PNG with the scope and importance of science, research and technology in PNG agricultural development, and potentials and challenges. Also presented were disaster preparedness strategies on climate change and El Nino by NARI scientist Dr John Barley.
Ms Grosclaude said information collected would also assist them to use these partnerships in making sure that results of research are best disseminated in PNG.
Other organisations visited included the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Rural Industries Council, Spice Board, Cocoa Board, PNG Growers Association, Coffee Industry Corporation, Coffee Exporters, Fresh Produce Development Agency, Cocoa Exporters and the private sector.
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