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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Sunday, November 22, 2009
Posted 6:54 PM by Tevita
USDA Highlights Specialty Crop Research and Extension
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Posted on: 19th November 2009
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA has awarded more than $46 million through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) to solve critical specialty crop agriculture issues, address priorities and solve problems through multifunctional research and extension.
“Specialty crops are an important part of American agriculture, valued at nearly $50 billion every year,” Vilsack said. “This significant investment into research, education and extension will enable specialty crop producers to improve their products and increase their profitability.”
The Specialty Crop Research Initiative was established by the 2008 Farm Bill to support the specialty crop industry by developing and disseminating science-based tools to address the needs of specific crops in five focus areas: 1) improve crop characteristics through plant breeding, genetics and genomics; 2) address threats from pests and diseases; 3) improve production efficiency, productivity and profitability; 4) develop new innovations and technologies and 5) develop methods to improve food safety. Each of the focus areas received at least 10 percent of the available funds. The majority of the funded projects address two or more focus areas.
The projects funded in 2009 address research and extension needs for crops that span the entire spectrum of specialty crops production, from studying invasive mealy bug pests in west coast vineyards to developing biodegradable mulches for specialty crops produced under protective covers. Major projects were also funded to protect important specialty crops from invasive pests and to develop improved varieties.
Although 20 institutions will manage the research/extension grant funds from this program, each award includes an average of 8 principal investigators from three other states who will work together in a multi-disciplinary approach to solve problems. All of the awards required 100 percent matching funds from non-federal sources which will double the impact of the award dollars.
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