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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Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Posted 2:39 PM by Tevita
Galip nut development gains momentum
From : Didinet
The prospects of developing alternative cash crops for the PNG farming community are reaching new grounds with a new nut development project currently in progress in East New Britain.
With funding support from European Union, a new cash crop industry on galip nut - estimated to be valuing around US$300 million per year at the international market - is being tested and promoted for the wet lowlands by NARI at Keravat. Along with galip, the project is also promoting nutmeg spice.
Galip nut, an indigenous tree crop which grows in the wild of PNG, was identified to have the potential of becoming a new export cash crop once it is domesticated and commercialised. NARI is currently developing the resource base at its Lowlands Agricultural Experiment Station to kick-start the new industry. Over 32 000 seedlings of elite galip nuts have been propagated last month at Keravat and were sold at 25t each to farmers and growers in the province. They are high quality seedlings from Karkar in Madang and Nissan Island in Bougainville which have been evaluated and selected recently. The project is aiming at raising 62 400 seedlings of galip by the end of 2008 which should occupy around 800 hectares in East New Britain. Similarly, 62, 400 elite nutmeg clones will also be produced and planted to 200 hectares in the province.
The project anticipates that besides cash income, both nutmeg and galip nut trees will also benefit smallholder farmers by acting as shade trees for new and existing cocoa and coffee blocks and plantations. Complementary work on post-harvest handling of these nuts, aiming at processing suitable products for domestic and international markets, is also being implemented. This component is supported by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.
Approaches developed to diversify cash generation and food and nutritional security would make a substantial contribution to PNG’s self reliance and the livelihoods of lowland communities. The galip industry would also create employment opportunities.
PNG has a competitive advantage in galip nut development as the tree crop does not grow elsewhere except Vanuatu and Solomon Islands. The initiative can be up-scaled and out-scaled with the private sector in collaboration with research efforts.
Effort by engineers to formulate first climate change policy
Moves are underway to help the Government save millions on infrastructure and help Papua New Guineans avoid the detrimental impacts of climate change. The Institute of Engineers Papua New Guinea (IEPNG) is taking steps to formulate the country’s first climate change policy, but is asking the Government to help so infrastructures built could withstand the effects of climate change.
IEPNG yesterday launched the country’s first climate change conference to be held later this year where recommendations from that gathering will help towards formulating a national strategy on how climate change impacts can be averted.
The conference, to be held in Port Moresby on October 23 and 24, will also enable engineers plan and design infrastructures that can withstand nature’s changing trends due to climate change. The event will be attended by international and local climate change experts with recommendations to be made to the Government for consideration. The conference Chairman John Cholai, while calling on business houses and government organisations for sponsorships, said authors who wished to present their research were invited to submit their abstracts. IEPNG Chief Executive Officer Benedict Mick said the Institute wanted to work alongside the new climate change office set up by Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare, who is a strong advocate on climate change and carbon trading.
“We will be targeting primarily areas to do with infrastructure developments in PNG and the impact climate change would have on the infrastructure so that engineers can be well prepared, well versed in their designs,” Mr Mick said. “The institution believes that right now there are no policy guidelines in place to address the impact of climate change to do with the infrastructure development.
“The Government is putting a lot of money into infrastructure development and we believe all members of parliament should have some tangible guidelines to help them when they implement infrastructure developments in their respective electorates,” he said.
President of the IEPNG Eric Sikam said: “We very much really want to work with the Government before all our roads and jetties go under water.
“We all need to work together.”
(Post Courier, 11 July 2008
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