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?
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Posted 4:20 PM by Tevita
Food dependency grows
From : Fiji Times
Thursday, May 22, 2008
FIJI continues to remain highly dependent on imported staple food, according to the latest Market Watch survey.
The weekly information on agricultural prices compiled by the Primary Industries Ministry and Information shows that last year, 32,000 tonnes of rice valued at $24.5million were imported.
These were consistently cheaper in price than domestic produce.
Accordingly to Market Watch, the price of rice has jumped over the past few months from about $1.25 a kilogram to $1.48 in the Suva area.
It's expected the price will continue to rise over the year and possibly beyond.
Likewise potatoes, cassava, taro, and flour have all been subjected to significant price jumps.
The survey shows that due to the sheer scale of production among the world's largest producers, production costs were lower than those faced among Fiji's producers.
Fiji is also 100 per cent dependent on wheat and maize. Imports in 2007 were 79,000 tonnes and 83 tonnes respectively.
"Unless Fiji's population is able to substitute these products for locally-available produce, Fiji will continue to remain highly dependent on imports and subsequent fluctuations in world prices," according to Market Watch.
Although Fiji does not grow potatoes, other root crops such as cassava, taro and yam all grow successfully, to the extent that taro is now a thriving export product.
Cassava and taro are entering the processed food industry as chips.
"Regretfully, these products are experiencing price increases in the face of rising costs of transportation, farm inputs, inflation, and increased costs of living.
"Under these circumstances, it is important the Government takes a lead role in developing the agricultural sector."
Market Watch said local staple foods are cheaper than cereals if one compares the costs with weight, and that both taro and cassava have greater nutritional value than rice.
More root crops sold
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
MARKET vendors have noticed a shift in buying habits which they think might be the effect of rising prices of manufactured and processed foods.
Vendors at the Suva and Raiwaqa markets yesterday said they noticed that all ethnic groups were now buying more root crops.
Raiwaqa Market vendor Anaseini Ledua said the demand for root crops like cassava was much higher than that for green vegetables. Ms Ledua buys vegetables off farmers from Tailevu, Naitasiri and Sigatoka.
"I go to the Suva Market early in the morning and buy from the farmers who come and sell to the vendors at the Suva Market," she said.
Ms Ledua buys one or two bags of cassava at $25-$30. "Recently root crops are in demand," she said.
Vendor Uday Singh, from Sakoca, in Nausori, also said the demand for root crops surpassed that for vegetables.
He said all ethnic groups now bought root crops.
Mr Singh said the demand for root crops might be the result of the recent increases in the prices of flour and rice.
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