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

  • CTA
  • SPC
  • CEPaCT

     genebank locations
    Click on the thumbnail to see a map of the locations of Pacific genebanks. Click here to download a regional directory of genebanks in the Pacific, including information on their location, contact details and holdings.

    PAPGREN partners

    Mr William Wigmore
    Director of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture
    Department of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 96
    Cook Islands
    Tel: (682) 28711-29720
    Fax: (682) 21881
    Email: cimoa@oyster.net.ck

    Mr Adelino S. Lorens
    Agriculture Pohnpei
    Office of Economic Affairs
    P.O. Box 1028
    Pohnpei 96941
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Tel: (691) 3202400
    Fax: (691) 3202127
    Email: pniagriculture@mail.fm

    Dr Lois Englberger
    Island Food Community of Pohnpei
    Research Advisor
    P.O. Box 2299
    Pohnpei 96941
    Federated States of Micronesia
    Email: nutrition@mail.fm

    Mr Apisai Ucuboi
    Director of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forest
    Koronivia Research Station
    P.O. Box 77
    Fiji Islands
    Tel: (679) 3477044
    Fax: (679) 3477546-400262
    Email: apisainu@yahoo.com

    Dr Maurice Wong
    Service du Developpement Rural
    B.P. 100
    Tahiti 98713
    French Polynesia
    Tel: (689) 42 81 44
    Fax: (689) 42 08 31
    Email: maurice.wong@rural.gov.pf

    Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
    Head, Research Section
    Division of Agriculture
    Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development
    P.O. Box 267
    Tel: (686) 28096-28108-28080
    Fax: (686) 28121
    Email : agriculture@tskl.net.ki; Beenna_ti@yahoo.com

    Mr Frederick Muller
    Ministry of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 1727
    Majuro 96960
    Marshall Islands
    Tel: (692) 6253206
    Fax: (692) 6257471
    Email: rndsec@ntamar.net

    Mr Herman Francisco
    Bureau of Agriculture
    Ministry of Resources & Development
    P.O. Box 460
    Koror 96940
    Tel: (680) 4881517
    Fax: (680) 4881725
    Email: bnrd@pnccwg.palaunet.com

    Ms Rosa Kambuou
    Principal Scientist PGR
    NARI Dry Lowlands Programme
    Laloki Agricultural Research Station
    P.O. Box 1828
    National Capital District
    Papua New Guinea
    Tel: (675) 3235511
    Fax: (675) 3234733
    Email: kambuou@global.net.pg

    Ms Laisene Samuelu
    Principal Crop Development Officer
    Crops Division
    Ministry of Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries & Meteorology
    P.O. Box 1874
    Tel: (685) 23416-20605
    Fax: (685) 20607-23996
    Email: lsamuelu@lesamoa.net

    Mr Jimi Saelea
    Director of Research
    Department of Agriculture and Livestock
    P.O. Box G13
    Solomon Islands
    Tel: (677) 27987

    Mr Tony Jansen
    Planting Materials Network
    Kastom Gaden Association
    Burns Creek, Honiara
    P.O. Box 742
    Solomon Islands
    Tel: (677) 39551
    Email: kastomgaden@solomon.com.sb

    Mr Finao Pole
    Head of Research
    Ministry of Agriculture & Forests
    P.O. Box 14
    Tel: (676) 23038
    Fax: (676) 24271
    Email: thaangana@hotmail.com

    Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
    Head of Research
    Department of Agriculture & Rural Development
    Private Mail Bag 040
    Port Vila
    Tel: (678) 22525
    Fax: (678) 25265
    Email: flehi@hotmail.com

    Other links

    Other CROP agencies
    Forum Secretariat
    University of the South Pacific

    Pacific biodiversity
    Biodiversity hotspots
    Breadfruit Institute
    Hawaiian native plants
    Intellectual property rights
    Nature Conservancy
    WWF South Pacific Program

    Other Pacific organizations
    Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific
    Micronesian Seminar
    Te Puna web directory

    Pacific news
    Cafe Pacific
    CocoNET Wireless
    Island Directory
    Pacific Islands News
    Pacific Islands Report
    Pacific Islands Travel
    Pacific Time
    South Pacific travel
    Time Pacific

    Interested in GIS?



    Sunday, May 17, 2009

    New Pacific Partnership
    South Pacific Odyssey, Part I

    From : The World Vegetale Center

    Dr. Dyno Keatinge (Director General) traveled to five Pacific Island nations,Australia and New Zealand to explore new partnerships and collaborations.

    Dr. R. Ghodake, Director General of the Papua New Guinea National Agricultural esearch Institute (NARI) invited Dr. Keatinge to discuss potential projects along with other partners including the Fresh Produce Development Association (FPDA). Mr. A.K. Benjamin, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, noted that approximately 85% of the country’s population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods; he welcomed AVRDC’s initiatives to promote agricultural development,
    especially for vegetables. Dr. Keatinge toured the NARI Dry Lowlands Research Station with Prof. Udai Pal and Dr. Rosa Kambuou, the country’s senior plant genetic resources specialist. A courtesy call was paid on Mr. Chen Shan-Lin, Representative of the Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Papua New Guinea and a keen supporter of agricultural development through the Taiwan Technical Mission based
    at Lae. Slippery cabbage (Abelmoschus manihot) goes by many names in the South Pacific, including aibika, bele, pele, and others. The germplasm diversity of this popular and nutritionally important indigenous vegetable is currently threatened, and it is hoped Center staff will be allowed to collect and preserve specimens in the AVRDC genebank. It will not be an easy task, as most current A. manihot
    lines are propagated vegetatively. Green leafy vegetables are an important part of the local diet in PNG, but malnutrition remains an issue, as consumption of vitamin Arich foods is limited. Opportunities to grow vegetables abound in highland areas and NARI is successfully introducing new species to farmers in this region. However, getting the harvest to larger markets such as in Port Moresby is difficult due to a lack of appropriate infrastructure and refrigerated transport. Increasing crop diversity, germplasm preservation, improving postharvest handling, and market chain issues are all areas of future collaboration between AVRDC and PNG institutions.
    Papua New Guinea Planning future partnerships: Prof. Udai Pal, NARI (far left); PNG Secretary of Agriculture Mr. A.K. Benjamin (third from left); Dr. Keatinge (fourth from left); NARI Director General Dr. R. Ghodake (fifth from left); members of senior ministries and the Fresh Produce Department Association. Dr. Rosa Kambuou (l) and Mr. Chen Shan-Lin (r) at Taiwan’s Trade Mission in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

    Solomon Islands
    The Honorable Mr. Selwyn Riumana, Solomon Islands Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Development, toured AVRDC HQ in Taiwan on 14-17 January 2009 and invited Dr. Keatinge for a reciprocal visit. Fierce Solomon Island warriors greeted the DG on the tarmac at Honiara International Airport—an event captured on the front page of
    the daily newspaper, the Solomon Star News. Dr. Keatinge, Dr. Jaw- Fen Wang, AVRDC Global Theme Leader-Production, and Dr. Ravi Joshi, AVRDC senior scientist in the
    Solomons, met the Prime Minister of the Government of the Solomon Islands, the Honorable Mr. Derek Sikua. Vegetable consumption is low in the Solomon Islands and malnutrition is a severe problem. A lack of seed, limited crop diversity, and
    production difficulties are being addressed under AVRDC’s project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). All seed
    available in the Solomons is imported hybrid seed from Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand. It is difficult for farmers to obtain good seedling material of indigenous vegetables such as slippery cabbage; the project is collecting and preserving germplasm. Local NGOs such as Vois Blong Mere Solomons and the Kastom
    Garden Association have been staunch project supporters; through their excellent network, more than 650 women turned out to attend a talk by Dr. Keatinge on the
    importance of vegetables in combating malnutrition in children. The talk was given at the Taiwanese Technical Mission HQ in Honiara through the good offices of His
    Excellency Mr. George Chan, Taiwanese Ambassador to the Solomon Islands, and Mr. David Huang, the leader of the mission. The following day Mr. Chan and Dr.
    Keatinge addressed a gathering of more than 200 secondary school children touring vegetable plots at the Kastom Garden Association HQ. Organic farmer Mr. Joini Tutua, a well-known figure in the Solomons, gave the tour. All the women and schoolchildren
    took home an eggplant seedling and seed of yard-long bean, both of which have been successful AVRDC introductions to the Solomons. This well-planned giveaway also made
    headlines in the Solomon Star News.


    In Fiji, Dr. Keatinge consulted with the new ACIAR Regional Representative for the South Pacific, Dr. Richard Markham. ACIAR’s generous support funds our current Solomon Islands project. AVRDC also proposed an agreement for collaboration with
    the Secretariat of the South Pacific Community and their network of 22 South Pacific states. The Memorandum of Agreement was signed by Dr. Aleki Sisifa, Director of the SPC Land Resources Division. The agreement gives AVRDC formal status for collaboration with SPC’s Regional Germplasm Center and other associated germplasm networks such as the Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN). The Regional Germplasm Center has good skills in tissue culture and genetic resources, which are coordinated by Dr. Mary Taylor and Mr. Tevita Kete.Dr. Keatinge visited the
    Fijian National Agricultural Research Station in the Sigatoka Valley. This beautiful
    location, the vegetable production center of Fiji, was ground zero of the devastating banana disease, black sigatoka, which swept the world and brought severe
    hardship to communities in sub- Saharan Africa and elsewhere. Vegetable introductions from AVRDC in collaboration with the Fijian NARS and the Taiwan
    Technical Mission are faring well in this region.

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