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?



    Wednesday, June 24, 2009

    International consultation to chart way forward for Pacific coconut industry
    Thursday, 18 June 2009

    From : SPC

    A roundtable on increasing trade in Pacific coconut products is being held over 17–18 June in Fiji. The Asia Pacific Coconut Community-SPC Roundtable will discuss the latest trends in coconut processing and market prospects.

    During the official opening of the meeting, the Director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) Land Resources Division, Mr ‘Aleki Sisifa, acknowledged the political support of the governments of Fiji and Samoa and welcomed the Hon. Joketani Cokanasiga, Fijian Minister of Primary Industries, and Hon. Taua Kitiona, Samoa Minister for Agriculture. The meeting is being held at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.

    Mr Sisifa said that the Pacific region was experiencing unprecedented and accelerating change, with the population of Pacific island countries and territories having more than doubled over the last 50 years.

    “We have made our voices heard in international forums about the real threat of losing land, even whole islands, to sea level rise, and the potential for increasingly extreme events associated with climate change,” Mr Sisifa said.
    He said land degradation and associated floods and soil erosion had resulted in serious siltation of rivers and coastal areas. Soils were becoming more saline, drier, poorer in nutrients and richer in pests as fallow periods shortened.

    “People farm on steeper and more marginal land as industries and settlements are opened up on arable land. More than 70% of our bio-diversity has been eroded over the past 50 years.”

    ‘However, the coconut provides a sustainable and calming influence. It has been with us since we settled these islands and continues to be a distinctive characteristic of the Pacific landscape.’

    “The coconut has always been, still is, and will continue to be regarded as the “Tree of Life” because of its multiplicity of uses. Its leaves, fruits, stems and roots provide shelter, food, handicrafts and other cultural and traditional uses, as well as income for communities living in rural areas and outer islands.”

    Mr Sisifa said that the coconut forms the basis of robust and sustainable multilayer farming systems that have been developed in Pacific countries and territories over generations. Intercropping of coconuts with food and cash crops and running cattle and small animals under coconuts have proven to be sustainable types of land use suited to the geographic, climatic and socio-economic conditions of Pacific Islands.

    Research and development on the coconut has been occurring since the colonial days. More recently, the focus has been on their cultivation and maintenance.

    Helping countries and territories to increase their export trade is a new area of focus for SPC with work being carried out through its European Union funded FACT (Facilitating Agricultural Commodity Trade) project.

    Mr Sisifa expressed SPC’s gratitude to the European Union for this assistance.

    The FACT project aims to sustainably increase the quality and range of exports of Pacific agriculture and forestry products, and to contribute to the integration of the 14 Pacific ACP countries into the regional and global economy.

    The meeting, which is being attended by 100 participants from around the region, will end with participants charting a way forward for the region’s coconut industry.

    For more information, please contact lrdhelpdesk@spc.intThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    14th Australasian Plant Breeding & 11th SABRAO Conference:

    Cairns Convention Centre, Cairns, Tropical North Queensland, AUSTRALIA
    10-14 August 2009

    Combined meeting of the 14th Australasian Plant Breeding Conference (APBC) &
    11th Congress of the Society for the Advancement of Breeding Research in Asia and
    Oceania (SABRAO)

    The tropics are home to more than 50% of the world’s population and 80% of its
    biodiversity. Tropical nations are growing at an unprecedented rate, between 5 and
    10% annually, and food security and sustainable livelihoods are becoming
    increasingly the most critical challenges facing the tropics. This conference brings
    together international experts working to overcome these challenges, while focusing
    on a main theme of “Contemporary Crop Improvement — A Tropical View.”
    The conference will further focus on the following key themes:
     Environmental challenges and opportunities
     Food security for the Tropics
     Tools for the Future (including Education and Training)
     Tropical Livelihoods (including Healthy Foods and R&D Investment)
    For more information and to register for the conference, please contact the conference managers:
    W: www.plantbreeding09.com.au
    E: info@plantbreeding09.com.au
    T: +61 7 3858 5515

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Sunday, June 21, 2009

    Pacific region joins global system for conserving and using plant genetic resources for food and agriculture

    From : SPC

    Wednesday, 16 June 2009, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands — Recognizing that international cooperation and open exchange of genetic resources are both essential for food security, the Pacific region has placed the collections held by the Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT) in the Multilateral System of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).
    The Hon. Taua Kitiona, Samoa’s Minister of Agriculture, representing other ministers and the region, attended the 3rd Session of the Governing Body of the ITPGRFA in Tunis, and in the opening ceremony on 1 June formally placed these collections into the treaty system.
    With the ITPGRFA, crops that produce our food – breads, curries, tortillas – are put into a common pool. The treaty facilitates access to those crops for all users and ensures fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use.
    The ITPGRFA is a global treaty for food security and sustainable agriculture, and is vital for ensuring the continued availability of the plant genetic resources that countries need to feed their people. Crop diversity is an essential tool for generating crop varieties that can help farmers manage climate change. Like all other nations of the world, Pacific Island countries and territories do not have enough crop diversity within their borders to sustain productive systems.
    Outbreaks of new pests and diseases can wreak havoc with crops that do not include resistant varieties. This was dramatically illustrated in Samoa in the early 1990s when taro leaf blight totally destroyed taro production because of the susceptibility of the cultivar being used. Climate change is likely to bring other similar challenges.
    In 1996, to address these challenges, Pacific Ministers of Agriculture attending a meeting hosted by SPC resolved to put in place policies and programmes to conserve, protect and use their plant genetic resources effectively for development. In response, SPC established a regional genebank in 1998, now known as the Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT).
    SPC’s work on genetic resources has not stopped with the establishment of the genebank. An active network – PAPGREN – was established in 2004 to strengthen capacity in the region for conservation and utilisation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Much has been achieved by both the Centre and PAPGREN in raising awareness of the importance of crop diversity in the region, especially in light of current challenges.
    In their second regional conference in Samoa in 2008, Pacific Ministers and Heads of Agriculture and Forestry acknowledged that although the Pacific has significant diversity, there is no assurance that national biodiversity will be sufficient to sustain food production in the future, especially given the projected effects of climate change. The region must be able to access the global pool of genetic diversity, which can be achieved through ratification of the treaty. At the same time, the ministers also saw the importance of putting in place mechanisms to establish the key collections of the Pacific within the global system, enabling the region to contribute to global food security and be part of a global network that will support the sustainable conservation and use of these collections in the future.
    “The signing of these agreements by SPC has been fully endorsed by the Pacific region, recognising we live in one world despite the miles between us. To survive the many challenges of this century, we need to work together, sharing our resources and importantly further recognising that the genetic diversity found in genebanks today may become the most important resource we have in shaping an effective response to climate change,” said the Hon. Taua Kitiona in his address to the governing body of the Treaty.
    For more information, please contact lrdhelpdesk@spc.int

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Global Crop Diversity Trust enters into longterm
    grant agreement with Secretariat of the Pacific Community to safeguard collections of yam and edible aroids.
    The agreement comes into effect as the Secretariat signs International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources and places collection into the Treaty’s multilateral system.

    ROME, ITALY (June 4, 2009) - The Global Crop Diversity Trust recently entered
    into a grant agreement with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) to
    provide USD 50,000 annually, in perpetuity, towards the long-term conservation of
    the important collections of yam and edible aroids (taro) held in-trust by the Centre
    for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT) on behalf of the Pacific region. This is the first long-term grant provided by the Trust to a collection outside the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The Trust and SPC are very
    enthusiastic about this partnership and what it means for the sustainable conservation and utilisation of the region’s important crop diversity, and therefore food and nutritional security and economic growth in the Pacific region. The importance of crop diversity to sustainable development in the Pacific region is becoming more and more apparent, especially as farmers try to maintain and improve food production in the face of a changing climate.
    SPC is highly committed to the long-term conservation of its region’s crop diversity.
    A significant amount of funding has been made available for the construction of a
    new storage centre, which will provide excellent facilities for long-term conservation of plant genetic resources. The centre will open in September 2009.
    The grant agreement with the Trust came into effect when SPC member countries
    signed the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
    in April 2009, an event manifested by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries for
    Samoa who symbolically placed the Pacific collections (held in-trust by SPC) into the
    multilateral system of the Treaty in Tunis on June 1. “The signing of these agreements by SPC has been fully endorsed by the Pacific region, recognizing we live in one world, despite the miles that often exist between us all, and to survive the many challenges of this century we need to work together, sharing our resources and importantly further recognizing that the genetic diversity found in genebanks today may become the most important resource we have in shaping an effective response to climate change“, says Minister Afioga‐Taua Tavaga Kitiona Seuala in his address to the governing body of the Treaty. The germplasm will thus now be made available by SPC to the international community in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Treaty

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment


    October 2002

    November 2002

    December 2002

    January 2003

    February 2003

    March 2003

    April 2003

    May 2003

    June 2003

    July 2003

    August 2003

    September 2003

    October 2003

    November 2003

    December 2003

    January 2004

    February 2004

    March 2004

    April 2004

    May 2004

    June 2004

    July 2004

    August 2004

    September 2004

    October 2004

    November 2004

    December 2004

    January 2005

    February 2005

    March 2005

    April 2005

    May 2005

    June 2005

    July 2005

    August 2005

    September 2005

    October 2005

    November 2005

    December 2005

    January 2006

    February 2006

    March 2006

    April 2006

    May 2006

    June 2006

    July 2006

    August 2006

    September 2006

    October 2006

    November 2006

    December 2006

    January 2007

    February 2007

    March 2007

    April 2007

    May 2007

    June 2007

    July 2007

    August 2007

    September 2007

    October 2007

    November 2007

    December 2007

    January 2008

    February 2008

    March 2008

    April 2008

    May 2008

    June 2008

    July 2008

    August 2008

    September 2008

    October 2008

    November 2008

    December 2008

    January 2009

    February 2009

    March 2009

    April 2009

    May 2009

    June 2009

    July 2009

    August 2009

    September 2009

    October 2009

    November 2009

    January 2010

    RSS Feed
    Alternative feed
    Contact Tevita


    Something new:

    Agrobiodiversity Weblog: For discussions of conservation and sustainable use of the genetic resources of crops, livestock and their wild relatives.  

    PestNet: For on-line information, advice and pest identification for the Pacific and beyond. Contact: Grahame Jackson.



    Pacific Mapper: For on-line mapping of point data over satellite images of the Pacific provided by Google Maps.



    DIVA-GIS: For free, easy-to-use software for the spatial analysis of biodiversity data.


    Locations of visitors to this page