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, June 23, 2008

    Pacific Islands hit by high world food prices

    From : Agence France-Presse

    WELLINGTON - While leaders from around the world argued about how to blunt the impact of soaring food prices in Rome earlier this month, Pacific Islanders were wondering how they would feed their families.

    In the Northern Mariana Islands, Lili George, a cook from the Philippines, said she was contemplating going home after 14 years in the capital Saipan.

    "Food prices had gone up by over 50 percent recently," she said. "I am planning to go home if things don't get better in the next few months."

    Janet Gogue, 31, a mother of four on the island of Guam, says she cannot keep up with the speed of price rises.

    "In the last couple of months, food prices continue to go up and it seems like it never stops," Gogue said.

    "The last time I bought a 50-pound (22.7-kilogram) bag of rice, it was just a little over 20 US dollars," she said. "I went shopping yesterday and found that the same bag now costs almost 30 dollars."

    In the Marshall Islands, government power utility worker Ambi Amram is supporting a household of eight and used to bring home two 20-pound (9.1-kilogram) bags of rice every fortnight.

    "Now, I can only afford one bag of rice that has to last us two weeks," he said.

    He is supplementing meals with local foods such as breadfruit but in the crowded capital Majuro, there is hardly any spare space for people to grow their own food.

    Local agriculture has dwindled on most Pacific islands in the face of cheap food imports.

    But imports are no longer cheap thanks to the double whammy of much higher commodity prices -- especially for the islands' staple of rice -- and soaring fuel costs.

    The New Caledonia-based regional organization, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, told the world food summit in Rome that urban poor in the Pacific Islands are the worst affected.

    Many remote communities still largely rely on subsistence agriculture, growing their own crops and fishing. But rapid population increases has led to the growth of sprawling towns throughout the region.

    "In Fiji, for example the poorest 10 percent of the population spend between 50 to 65 percent of their income on food whereas the richest 10 percent spend less than 20 percent on food," the SPC said.

    -- High food prices could push more islanders into poverty --

    A study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released last month found that recent increases in world food prices could push another five percent of low income families in the Pacific into poverty this year.

    The leader of the study, ADB economist Craig Sugden, said the number of people who will be badly hurt will depend on the response of regional governments. But he warned it could be in the tens of thousands.

    "A lot of people are going to suffer. They may go very hungry and face having a very poor diet," he said.

    In Fiji, the military government has removed duties on basic food imports to reduce the impact of higher food costs.

    From this month, duty has been removed on white and brown rice, tinned fish and cooking oil, and taxes have been removed from local eggs.

    The country's military leader Voreqe Bainimarama has also appealed to Fijians to grow more of their own food.

    "The only sustainable solution to combating rising food prices is to grow more of our own produce," he said.

    Agriculture has been neglected in recent decades in the region and will take years to rebuild. For those who live on coral atolls, where soils are thin or nonexistent and water often in short supply, the options are limited.

    Most islands can grow at least some root crops such as taro, however, and they may have to wean themselves off once cheap imported rice.

    "For too long our children have been fed on rice as staple food because of the convenience of preparation and storage," President Manny Mori of the Federated States of Micronesia said recently.

    "We have neglected our responsibility and even contributed to their lower health standards by failing to teach them to appreciate the natural food and bounty of our islands."

    Cheap imported foods have been blamed for spiralling rates of obesity in the Pacific Islands, so a return to local traditional foods would also play an important part in improving the health of islanders.

    World Health Organization figures show Pacific Island nations make up eight of the world's 10 most obese countries, and this has created soaring rates of previously nearly unknown problems including diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

    But imports are likely to continue playing a big role in feeding the people of the Pacific islands as the region's population is forecast to grow to 14 million in the next 20 years, from the current 9.5 million.

    Courtesy of Island Food Network

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