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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Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Posted 2:19 PM by Tevita
Increasing local fruit production in Tonga.
From : SPC
A recent scoping study (2006/7) funded by Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in Tonga found that, given the current low levels of production and the domination of the current industry by subsistence and part-time growers, there is significant scope to increase the production of the Tongan fruit industry, and to increase household income levels. The outcomes from this study were used to formulate a follow-up project of three years’ duration “Tongan Tropical Fruit Production – Improving Genetic Diversity and Production Capacity Building” funded by ACIAR. A planning workshop is being conducted at Vaini Research Station, Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Forestry and Fisheries
(MAFFF) to officially launch this project, which is a collaborative effort between MAFFF and SPC Land Resources Division (Genetic Resources and Information, Communication and Extension Teams). Expert advice on tropical fruit trees will be provided by Roger Goebels, who has extensive experience in the propagation and cultural management of tropical fruit tree species. Participants at the workshop will represent the public and private sector, civil society and the relevant sectors, such as agriculture, women, health, education, youth and tourism.
The tropical fruit project aims to increase the production, productivity and technical capacity of the Tongan tropical fruits industry with an emphasis on the local market. Specifically, the project will help improve genetic diversity and build capacity of local farmers and agricultural staff in production techniques, postharvest technologies, and marketing of local fresh fruits. Marketing of local fruits will require promoting the health benefits of fruit consumption, which will in turn strengthen the agriculture, health and nutrition linkage. Increased fruit consumption will contribute to a healthier population.
In the light of recent concerns about global food prices the small island countries of the Pacific have to increase and improve local food production systems, so that they become less reliant on imported foodstuffs. This project will make a significant contribution to local food production, thereby strengthening food security and self-reliance.
For more information, please contact Dr Mary Taylor at MaryT@spc.int. & Dr. Viliami Manu MAFFF Tonga (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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