SPC Launches Research and Development Project on Improved Crop Management
22 February 2012: The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) convened a workshop that aimed to assist Pacific Island countries and territories in strengthening the production of valuable crops, through better management of pests and diseases.
The woorkshop, which convened from 19-24 February 2012, in Sigatoka, Fiji, also marked the launch of a joint SPC, Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), University of Queensland, and The World Vegetable Centre project aimed at building regional and national research and development capacity for SPC and its partners.
The project will establish a framework for a longer-term programme to initiate problem-solving research focused on vegetable production, and resulting in improved production and diversification. Mike Furlong, University of Queensland, underscored the importance of well-adapted vegetable varieties and the development of locally-relevant sustainable production technologies. He also noted serious threats to health and the environment through the inappropriate use of hazardous pesticides, improper use of other inputs and degradation of the natural resource base.
The Pacific Community has 26 members, including 22 Pacific Island countries and territories: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna. [SPC Press Release]