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, October 21, 2009

    Pacific Climate Change framework assessed by SPREP

    21 OCTOBER 2009 MAJURO (SPREP) -----The implementation of the Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change (PIFACC) has been assessed in a report commissioned by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

    The overview of the report was discussed on the first day of the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable (PCCR).

    This particular framework is the overarching guidance for climate change policy in the Pacific islands region, and was endorsed by the Pacific leaders in 2005. It is at the forefront of work conducted by the Pacific Futures programme at SPREP.

    ”Threats from climate change are impacting upon everyone, there are projections that will effect the availability of safe drinking water, a loss of natural biodiversity as temperature conditions will see invasive species thrive, sea level rise threatening the sovereignty of Pacific islands peoples and a threat to food security as salt water inundation becomes a regular occurrence for some nations in the Pacific, said the report.

    In order to ensure we address climate change together, in a coordinated manner, the PIFACC is a guide as to how we’ll actively adapt and mitigate climate change together.

    “Findings show that there are a lot of climate change activities happening, but it has been identified that there is a need for more coherent and coordination,” said Espen Ronneberg the Climate Change Adviser for SPREP, he presented the overview of the assessment at the PCCR.

    “This is largely to be a key task for the roundtable. It is something we need to work on to improve the operational structure of the roundtable process.”

    Six recommendations were presented in the report.

    An immediate consideration is the suggestion to conduct a mid-term review of the Pacific Islands Framework for Action on Climate Change. Any future direction for the PIFACC and the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable are to be discussed during the week.

    “One suggestion from SPREP is to establish thematic working groups to assist in the review process.. There may be other options as to how we move forward on this assessment report but it’s really up to the countries to decide,” said Ronneberg.

    The remainder of the recommendations includes those which focus on a database of climate change information. It is proposed to establish a single extensive data base of climate change and related projects with historical validity of information.

    The assessment report also centers on the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable. It is recommended that the roundtable be convened at times and locations that make the most of coordination and integration opportunities, this also takes into consideration minimizing the greenhouse gas emissions through air travel.

    The next recommendation looks at what takes place after the PCCR.

    “In order to ensure that decisions made during the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable are carried out in a timely and effective manner, the report recommends that a person be appointed to provide leadership and oversee these actions.

    A final recommendation looks at providing support for SPREP which is the secretariat to the Pacific Climate Change Roundtable and recommends that the University of the South Pacific establish a unit to provide technical and other support to SPREP.

    “The next steps that we take, is really up to the countries to decide. I think if we can get some clear direction on what we should be doing to improve on the working arrangements then I would be happy with that,” said Ronneberg.

    “But if we have to spend more time thinking about this and moving to have discussions with member countries then that’s the way that we’ll have to move forward on this. It’s up to the member countries.”..ends

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    Charting a Multitude of Uses for Agrobiodiversity

    Posted on October 15, 2009 by cgiar

    A new Web-based tool is now available for collecting information about initiatives aimed at helping rural communities adapt to climate change through the use of agricultural biodiversity, or agrobiodiversity.

    Made available by the climate change project of Bioversity International’s Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research, the tool is intended to facilitate dialogue between rural communities around the world and to build a knowledge base, which can be used to increase awareness of practices available to these communities for coping with climate change. Contributions will be synthesized for use in advocating stronger involvement of marginal groups in the climate change policy debate.

    The term agrobiodiversity encompasses all of the plants, trees, animals, insects, microbes, pathogens and fungi occurring in agricultural systems. The world’s increasing dependence on modern crop varieties and animal breeds of just a few major species is among the forces driving erosion of such diversity, which limits the options open to researchers and farmers for improving agricultural production and adapting it to changing conditions.

    The Platform for Agrobiodiversity Research was created during 2004 in recognition of the urgent need to arrest diversity loss. Providing a neutral space for exploring the often politicized issues associated with agrobiodiversity, the platform encourages members to engage in collaborative research, helps identify gaps in global knowledge about agrobiodiversity and raises awareness of the threats to this resource as well as the value of efforts to overcome them.

    The platform is supported by Bioversity International, the CGIAR System-wide Genetic Resources Programme (SGRP) and the Christensen Fund (http://www.christensenfund.org/).

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Erosion of Crop Diversity Worrying

    Harare — MALAWI and most other African countries need to come up with strategies and policies to promote agro-biodiversity conservation to minimise the impact of climate change and other natural disasters on the livelihoods of resource-poor farmers, a top Malawian plant breeder says.

    In a wide-ranging interview in Lilongwe recently, Dr Moses Maliro, a plant breeder at the University of Malawi Bunda College of Agriculture, told this writer that the rapid loss of diverse cultivated crops and their wild relatives will affect the poor and threaten the future of agricultural development in Malawi and most other African countries.

    "The impact of climate change and population is quite damaging to the livelihoods of the poor farmers.

    "We need to strategise and come up with policies that promote agro-biodiversity conservation to enhance food security and help our poor farmers to cope with this looming climate change disaster," he said.

    "Monoculture and the aggressive promotion of improved varieties have forced farmers to neglect their own landraces. Smallholder farmers' efforts to promote crop diversity must be supported by governments, international partners and local business community."

    Dr Maliro said the preservation and use of crop diversity is important to the more marginal diverse agricultural environments where modern plant breeding has had much less success.

    He said farmers in these areas tend to be poorly served by public research and extension system.

    "Farmers are neglecting their own traditional crop varieties and their wild relatives in favour of monoculture (maize) and other market-driven crops such as cotton and others.

    "But when there is a drought and other natural disasters, farmers survive on traditional tubers, wild species and other locally adapted crops," Dr Maliro said.

    "Food aid normally comes late and is not enough, so the poor depend on these local traditional crops for survival. Why not promote them when they are so critical for our own food security?

    "We should not impose improved varieties on farmers. Food security is not only about high yields, but is about sustainable production as well in case of unreliable weather conditions and climate change."

    Malawi has lost a number of local crop varieties due to neglect, erosion of local indigenous knowledge systems, promotion of improved varieties, lack of incentives for locally adapted crops and other factors.

    "People in Malawi used to grow a lot of sorghum and other small grains, but today you don't see the crops. You rarely see pearl millet and finger millet, you rarely see farmers growing the crops," Dr Maliro said.

    He said agricultural research institutions, governments and NGOs need to promote the growing of sorghum, millets, bambara nuts, locally adapted varieties of cowpeas (nseula or khobwe), beans (mphodza -mung bean) and other wild crop relatives.

    "The mphodza bean is there in the villages, but no research is being done nor any work to support farmers to grow it on a bigger scale.

    "Only the elderly people have the knowledge of these crops that Malawi is fast losing.

    "The young generation and our curricula in colleges and universities must be overhauled to promote indigenous food crops which are critical with this looming climate change crisis.

    "If we don't anything to change our attitudes and support the farmers to grow these crops, the next generation will starve to death due to the damaging impact of climate change," said Dr Maliro.

    "We need to conserve local crop varieties. These are very nutritious and we can use them, for example, cowpeas, to bake bread and fortify bread-making process.

    "Roots and tubers are there in villages, but we are doing nothing to conserve them. Africa cannot afford to lose this diversity and the indigenous knowledge ingrained in these food crops."

    Malawi and other African countries, he said, should adopt practical steps to promote small grains, roots and tubers to enhance food security, conserve crop diversity and enhance the capacity of smallholder farmers to cope with climate change-related risks.

    Agricultural research institutions, he said, need support to scale up training in indigenous crops, crop seed back-up and plant breeding to help Malawi to be food secure in case of drought and other natural disasters.

    Given that the majority of poor people in Africa live in villages or rely on agriculture, and that agriculture paves the way for economic growth in the poorer nations, agricultural and rural development remain a major driver for the achievement of Millennium Development Goals which seek to end hunger and extreme poverty.

    Environmentally friendly agriculture such as the promotion of the growing of locally adapted indigenous food crops and rural development are key to this effort to attain MDGs by 2015.

    The promotion of crop diversity tackles the malnourishment component in food security and helps the poor to escape poverty as they are able to learn, work and care for themselves and their family members.

    If crop diversity issues are not addressed fully, hunger and over-reliance on food aid sets in motion an array of problems that perpetuates malnutrition, reduces the ability of adults to work and to give birth to healthy children, and erodes children's ability to learn and lead productive, healthy, and happy lives.

    Lack of promotion of crop diversity can undermine human development and the potential of most African countries to attain the MDGs.

    Africa, which is home to more than 50 000 known plant species, 1 000 mammal species and 1 500 bird species, is increasingly experiencing major losses of its large and diverse heritage of flora and fauna.

    According to the 2007 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation report, there are roughly a quarter million plant varieties available for agriculture but less than 3 percent of these are in use today.

    The UN agency is concerned that with disuse comes neglect and possibly neglect of the continent's plant food resources.

    FAO further points to another worrying trend -- that modern agriculture is concentrated on a small number of varieties designed for intensive farming.

    This, according to the report, has dramatically reduced the diversity of crop plant varieties available for agriculture, leading to accelerated genetic erosion on the continent.

    Supporting smallholder farmers to conserve crop diversity wherever possible and greater political commitment is vital to enhance food security in Africa.

    This can, at least, help bring the continent a step closer to attaining MDGs by 2015.

    * Comments:

    Post a Comment

    Monday, October 05, 2009

    Food Safety training was a big hit with Majuro farmers .

    The purpose of the training was to train farmers and their families on how to prepare, preserve and handle food properly (food safety practices). The week-long training program was held from September 14 to 18 and included both theoretical
    and application sides of food processing and food safety. The first two days of the
    training (Monday & Tuesday) were held at CMI’s Land Grant Arrak Campus focusing on Food Safety. From Wednesday to Friday the training was held at the Women’s Training Center in Food Training a Big Hit with Majuro Farmers Delap focusing on Food Processing. While most of the participants were Farmers, there were also representatives from Youth to Youth in Health (YTYIH), CMILand Grant and a few NGOs.
    Because of the training’s success and popularity, the Ministry of R&D will be exploring with the SPC Office in Pohnpei about the possibility of having
    another one before the end of the year. The training was conducted by Mrs. Mereseini Seniloli, the SPC DSAP Micronesia Coordinator, and Mrs. Apiame Cegumalua, Export Processing and Marketing Officer of SPC’s FACT Project. The Ministry of R&D extends
    a big kommool tata to CMI and to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for allowing the
    use of their facilities.

    Republic of the Marshall Islands Ministry of Resources and Development
    P.O. Box 1727 • Majuro, Marshall Islands MH 96960
    Phone: (692) 625-3206/4020 • Fax: (692) 625-7471
    Email: rndsec@gmail.com Uñare Peim

    * 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