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 2:01 PM by Tevita
Rising prices can change attitudes
From : Fiji Times
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Update: 3:58PM The rising food prices may actually bring some benefits for people living in the Pacific Islands, says a Pacific scientist.
Dr Mary Taylor of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community believes the rising food prices will encourage people to grow their own food, reports Pacnews.
Dr Taylor promotes crop diversity for the regional Institute, said the food crisis has a silver lining, which will encourage people to grow more of their own food and may change attitudes to traditional crops.
"We have fewer options for feeding our people as 75 per cent of genetic diversity has been lost in the past century. Most people globally now rely on just 12 food crops and 14 animal species.
"The rising cost of food is placing more value on the need to collect and share our plant materials. For example, an international plant centre in Hawaii has varieties of breadfruit trees that produce all year round," Dr Taylor said.
According to her, traditional food crops often viewed as inferior to imported processed food were likely to become more popular.
"No country is self sufficient in crop diversity and access to overseas stocks is vital. For example, in Samoa a taro disease in the 1990s wiped out the entire industry, and taro only recovered when more resistant varieties were imported," Dr Taylor said.
She suggested that one way to prepare for future changes was to join the 120 countries who had ratified the international treaty on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture this was making it easier for countries to collect and share plant materials under the treatys standard material transfer agreements.
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