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?
Monday, March 24, 2008
Posted 8:41 PM by Tevita
Hawaii Lawmakers Tackle Taro Issue
March 20, 2008, 11:48AM
From : Houston News
HONOLULU — State lawmakers considering a 10-year moratorium on genetically engineering taro heard arguments from both sides of the emotionally charged issue Wednesday.
Supporters of the moratorium say the taro plant, which is used to make the starchy food poi, is a vital part of Hawaiian culture and should be kept pure, not genetically altered.
"(Taro) is in our beliefs and our culture," Walter Ritte, 63, told the House Agriculture Committee. "It is in us."
Supporters held signs that read, "No GMO taro" and "Save the taro," and carried taro plants as they spoke.
Hanohano Naehu, 31, a taro farmer on Molokai, said biotechnology companies were looking to profit from genetically modified taro.
"This is about greed," he said.
But opponents of the moratorium say Hawaii's taro is in danger from insects and diseases, and genetic modification could produce taro capable of withstanding these threats.
Previous research has involved introducing disease-resistant genes from other plants into the native taro.
"It would be foolish to throw away any potential tool that could help to sustain taro production on Hawaii," said Susan Miyasaka, an agronomist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
The bill lawmakers are considering would ban taro genetics research at the university and other institutions.
Miyasaka said disease has contributed to a decline in the number of Hawaiian varieties of taro as well as its yield per acre.
Alan Takemoto, executive director of the Hawaii Farm Bureau, said lawmakers should reject the moratorium but find a way to protect Hawaiian varieties with cultural significance.
"We are unable to support (the moratorium) because it puts a restraint on research and technology that could benefit our farmers," he said.
Other opponents say the moratorium would create the perception that Hawaii was against scientific research and technology, which could keep businesses away and hurt the state's economy.
The House Agriculture Committee heard hours of testimony Wednesday. It is expected to vote on the measure at a later date.
* Comments:Post a Comment
Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.