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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Sunday, September 07, 2008
Posted 12:58 PM by Tevita
Local food must increase experts told
From : Marieta Heidi Ilalio
Local food production has to increase, Director of Land Resources Division, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Aleki Sisifa, said yesterday.
Mr Sisifa was opening a three-day meeting of Heads of Agriculture and Forestry Services (HOAFS) in the region at the Development Bank of Samoa.
In his speech, he highlighted some of the crisis that all countries of the Pacific and the world are facing.
“Maintaining and improving food security in the face of the current global food and fuel price crises is a significant challenge,” he said.
“Local food production has to be increased, but we can no longer rely on the seasons and weather patterns within which Pacific agriculture had developed.”
Mr Sisifa said that the crisis brings home the fact that the significant challenges that Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) face, particularly smallness and isolation from the international markets and supply sources, render the Pacific community very susceptible to global economic downturns.
He stated this Integrated Strategic Plan for 2009-2012 focus on three objectives: to improve food and nutritional security, integrated and sustainable agriculture and forestry resource management and development, and improved bio-security and increased trade in agriculture and forestry products.
He said that the meeting of the Pacific Island Forum leaders in Niue two weeks ago, accorded a high priority to Food Security, Climate Change Adaptation, and Land Management and Conflict Minimisation, in the Pacific Plan.
He said that these three high-level, cross cutting issues underpin the three objectives of this new draft LRD Integrated Plan.
Twenty countries and territories are attending the HOAFS meeting.
The theme for the meeting is ‘Food security, nutritional balance and sustainable management of natural resources.’
The last HOAFS meeting was held in 2006 at Nadi, Fiji. Yesterday Mr Sisifa said,“The genetic resources for food and agriculture we have depended on for generations have been eroded over the years, a situation that may be made worse by climate change.
“We need to sign up to the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, so that we can access a wider pool of diversity, and be able to share genetic resources,” he said.
“Having adequate and secure access to customary land for development as well as ensuring sustainable land use have become more urgent with the need for increased pace of economic growth,” Mr Sisifa said. Land reform is among the subjects for discussion.
He said non-communicable diseases were afflicting Pacific people in epidemic proportions, making the links between the agriculture and forestry sectors and the human health sector, of great importance.
The demand to provide alternative fuels was competing with food production, including competition for the land for production.
The outcomes of the Heads of Agriculture meeting will go before a meeting next week of Pacific Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry.
The Ministers, meeting on 8th and 9th September, will also consider an Intergrated Strategic Plan , 2009-2012, for the SPC’s Land Resources Division.
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