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?



    Thursday, January 07, 2010


    From : Island Bussiness

    Better farms, better income

    Ivor Hanson

    The dozen or so men and women sitting at the rough-hewn tables in a large leaf hut in Honiara pondered their worksheets, sketched pictures of crops, trucks, ships and markets, and carefully answered their questionnaires on value chains and cost reviews.
    Earlier that morning, Heiko Bammann, an Enterprise Development Officer based in Rome with the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation, had impressed upon this group of Solomon Islanders the link between better farms and better income, sharing information, and pinpointing every step taken from seed selection to final sale.
    “What do farmers need?” Bammann had asked before detailing farmer-driven success stories in Papua New Guinea, Thailand and India. “They need to know what the market needs! They need to get their produce to the market!”
    Welcome to the new Kastom Gaden Association. Or, rather, the new role this Solomon Islands NGO is fashioning for itself.
    No longer just a resource to help its members get the best use of seeds, soil, crops and yields, KGA now emphasises marketing and sales margins as well.
    And no wonder: with Solomons’ food trade recently estimated by the AusAid-supported Community Sector Programme at $800 million, and the country’s population due to double in the coming decades to 1.1 million, the demand for food will be increasing—along with the chance to profit from it.
    At the two-day Value Chain Workshop last September—at which four provinces were represented—Kastom Gaden began implementing this new approach of getting farmer-members to regard their plots of land as a business. And themselves as not just producers but entrepreneurs.
    As FAO’s Bammann made clear: “The farmer has to be at the center of it all.”
    Founded in 1994 as a project of APACE, an Australian non-governmental organisation, 2009 marks 10 years since Kastom Gaden became one of this country’s first local NGOs.
    Tasking itself with “promoting self-reliance”, Kastom Gaden has made “improving the lives of rural people” its direct if daunting mission.
    And although the means by which Kastom Gaden seeks to achieve its goals—“strengthening food security and sustainable livelihood development”—echo mission statements adopted by other such players, what sets Kastom Gaden apart is its focus at the village level, what Tony Jansen, a founder of, and now an advisor to KGA, calls “our farmer-to-farmer approach.”
    Johnson Ladota, a Taro farmer from northern Malaita who has worked with KGA since 2003, bears this out. When the Value Chain Workshop ended, he looked forward to spreading the word on entrepreneurship to the highlands.
    Painful but necessary: “I see the chain,” Ladota said, “I see the market in a new way now. It is a new challenge for us, another challenge, but we can do it. We will organise ourselves.”
    In its own way, Kastom Gaden has faced its own challenges and has organised itself as well.After recently experiencing what co-founder Jansen calls a “painful but necessary” re-structuring that did away with a fragmented “to-and-fro” management approach, KGA is now in a position where it can “make the projects fit the structure and not the other way round”.
    Still, just as its members must now take on an entrepreneurial role to improve their incomes, so too must KGA to ensure its own future.
    In its 15 years of existence, Kastom Gaden has grown from having a few hundred farmer-members and a handful of staff, to now having over 2000 members and a staff of 22.
    In addition, it has 10 partner organisations in five Solomons provinces, works with the S.I. Planting Material Network, is a member of the Melanesian Farmer First Network, publishes newsletters, offers a library service, broadcasts nationally a weekly radio show—and has a budget of SB$4 million.
    Although Kastom Gaden has had a long relationship with Australia’s Agency for International Development—AusAid funded the Australian NGO that established Kastom Gaden, and is currently KGA’s major donor. Both sides recognise the risk of being overly dependent on one source of funding, what Paul Greener, a Honiara-based AusAid Rural Development Advisor, calls a “moral hazard.”
    Simply put, if an organisation wants to make the leap from being a donor project to becoming a social enterprise, it needs to broaden its funding base and open itself to various means of income.
    In regards to Kastom Gaden, such possibilities exist. KGA could pursue having a range of donors, with KGA’s Clement Hadosaia mentioning New Zealand and the European Union as potential candidates, along with Oxfam and the ICCO, both of which recently funded projects with them.
    Community Sector Programme Agricultural Livelihoods Advisor Grant Vinning cites successful marketing efforts by peanut, vegetable, and fruit growers, in particular a man known as Patterson the Pineapple Seller, who successfully covers his transportation costs by selling to shops, thereby making his sales at Honiara’s Central Market pure profit.
    “Solomons farmers are entrepreneurs-in-waiting,” Vinning says, adding, “Food Security is not just about growing food, but having the money to buy food.”
    KGA has bolstered its once vibrant, then faltering, fresh fruit and vegetables delivery business, “Farm Fresh”, by having Jennifer Kellie, a Honiara businesswoman who also runs a successful dried fruits company, take charge.
    Indeed, KGA co-founder Jansen, sees the possibility of Kastom Gaden “incubating” other such businesses and then spinning them off to KGA members, with Kastom’s Hadosaia suggesting poultry, seedlings and seeds as likely candidates.
    Hadosaia doesn’t seem too worried about his organisation’s future down the line.
    “We’re serious about sustainability,” he says. “There are plenty of possibilities and we are exploring them as ways for us to make money.”
    Hopefully Hadosaia’s take will turn out to be a case of well-placed confidence, and not of complacency.
    It would be a shame if KGA’s less than perturbed outlook turns out to be an instance of so-called “Last Match In The Box” thinking, when a problem is only dealt with once it’s upon you, i.e. once you’ve run out of matches, run out of options.
    Ideally, KGA will market itself successfully to a range of donors, foundations, even private companies; build up its Farm Fresh enterprise and spur others; complement even further its work with the Ministry of Agriculture.
    Ideally, in other words, KGA has been going over its equivalent of a Value Chain.

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