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
Interested in GIS?
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Posted 7:26 PM by Tevita
Coconut palms - the timber of the future
From : SPC
We see them along our beachfronts and in many streets and gardens, but the iconic palm tree may soon have a new place in the Queensland lifestyle as a high-quality building product.
Research conducted by Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries (QPIF) has found that cocowood, produced from coconut palm tree trunks, is suitable for use as high-value flooring, bench tops, kitchen cabinets and furniture.
QPIF senior technician Gary Hopewell said the latest findings from the three-year $520,000 cocowood project showed that processed coconut palm wood was actually superior to many other commercially available timbers.
"A number of Australian flooring product manufacturers are evaluating the material for their domestic manufacturing operations," he said.
"Timber industry representatives from Australia, Fiji and Samoa, including flooring market and production specialists and potential suppliers and processors, are studying drying and processing technologies to ensure strict quality control of the product.
"Even medium-density palm logs can be processed to make attractive veneers and plywood.
"The positive results achieved to date support development of palm stem processing in Pacific island countries of origin, with value-added flooring and other products produced in Australia."
Many Pacific island nations including Tonga, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu have large but ageing coconut palm plantations, where there is declining coconut and copra crop production.
Mr Hopewell said the project was looking at opportunities to use these plantations to generate new timber industries, and create new Australian export and consumer markets, while providing a new source of income for Pacific island peoples from a locally available resource.
"With strong demand for flooring products in Asia, America and Europe, cocowood products could be very lucrative for Queensland and our Pacific neighbours," he said.
"By developing a cocowood industry to provide a range of timber products, we could help reduce the demand for timber from old-growth forests in Pacific island nations."
This year the project enters a new stage with the further refinement of cocowood processing for commercialisation and entry to domestic and international markets.
The cocowood project is co-funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural research (ACIAR). QPIF is a partner agency with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the Fiji Coconut Industry Development Authority, (CIDA), Fiji Ministry of Fisheries and Forests, Samoan Ministry for Natural Resources and Environment and Strickland Brothers, Samoa.
With Kind Regards
Mr Vinesh Prasad
Information Communication Technology Assistant
Facilitating the Agricultural Commodity Trade in Pacific
Phone: (679) 3370733 ext 375
facsmile: (679) 3370021
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