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?



    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    UN scientists say industrial agriculture has failed

    From : The East African

    Special Correspondent

    As Africa prepares for its own version of the “green revolution” being championed by US-based foundations, a new UN report paints a gloomy future for industrial farming.

    The report, titled The International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development, decries the current tendency to emphasise agricultural research into variety improvement, biotechnology and productivity, saying such research ought to be redirected towards addressing social inequities and environmental problems. It is also apparent that the report recognises that indigenous knowledge has something to offer to agricultural progress.

    Most importantly for the development of agriculture in East Africa and elsewhere on the continent, the report cautions against exposing developing countries to unregulated international competition as is about to happen once the European Union and the Africa, Carribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries adopt the Economic Partnership Agreements.

    The report says that such competition is likely to have long-term negative effects on food security, poverty alleviation and the environment. The future of farming lies in making agriculture sensitive to the world’s environment, it says.

    Prepared by a panel of scientists, the report was released last week during a UN conference in South Africa. The conference was attended by scientists and government representatives from all over the world to discuss the final UN report.

    In his address, Achim Steiner, the executive director of Unep said; “Agriculture is not just about putting things in the ground and then harvesting them.” He argued that growth in agriculture has continued to depend largely on increasing use of social and environmental resources, which will determine its future capacity to provide for billions of people.

    The report is the culmination of a three-year assessment carried out by several hundred scientists who have been taking stock of the current state of farming in the world. The report has unflattering things to say about large-scale commercial agriculture, which it claims has failed, and calls for a systematic reassessment of past and ongoing agricultural research, with a view to steering it towards addressing hunger, severe social inequities and contradictions as well as environmental problems.

    If adopted, it will largely inform the future of global agriculture and could be the death knell of large-scale commercial agriculture. But though there is optimism that it will be formally adopted by UN member states, there are also fears that powerful Western governments might employ muscle to water down its scientific findings and tailor it to suit their interests.

    The report challenges the basic tenets of the green revolution, which are based on the use of increasingly aggressive and expensive chemicals that seem to not only threaten the very soils they are supposed to protect but also water resources, the air and even the farmers themselves. To the authors of the report, “the ecological footprint of industrial agriculture is already too large to be ignored.”

    Owing to such radical thinking, it has come under criticism by the US, the World Bank, the global genetic engineering industry and other supporters of the green revolution who term it “unbalanced and one-sided.”

    However, all those criticising the report were involved in the process of selecting the participating scientists and editors of the report.

    The latter were selected by a multi-stakeholder bureau comprising industry, governments and international organisations, to guarantee a balanced selection of the scientists. The US is particularly criticised for crying foul allegedly because it was unable to handpick its own spin-doctors.

    The import of the report is that it provides an opportunity for the world to debate the need for a fundamental change in the way farming is handled. That the future of agriculture lies in securing biological diversity and in adopting labour-intensive farming that works with nature and the people, not against them.

    However, Africa is generally catching up with the rest of the world in embracing chemical-intensive agriculture. The report equates such farming to mining since it extracts as much economic value as possible from each piece of land.

    It argues that while such farming may provide short-term gains in production, it is not sustainable and compromises the dwindling agricultural area upon which global future food supply depends. Besides, it fails to fails to offer food security and a healthy, diverse diet to local communities.

    The report is also an indictment on what some of the participants at the Johannesburg conference termed the “false promise” of genetic engineering. Without saying so, the report asks all concerned parties to support a real revolution in farming if agriculture is to meet the needs of local communities and the environment, restore the largely degraded land (particularly in Africa) and enable the poor to combat hunger, displacement and depletion of their resources and culture.

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