Pacific’s gene bank

THE Pacific Community (SPC) has the largest collection of taro species in the world based at its Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT) in Narere.

Curator Logotonu Waqainabete said CePaCT was the Pacific’s only internationally recognised gene bank and houses more than 2000 tissue culture varieties, including the largest collection of taro diversity in the world.

“We now have 2000 accessions from 17 different crops all conserved as tissue culture so our core activity is conservation of those 17 different crops,” she said.

“We have five key collections which consist of taro, yams , bananas, breadfruit and cassava.”

Mrs Waqainabete said CePaCT had received global recognition from Crop Trust — the only international organisation dedicated solely to conserving and making available crop diversity..

CePaCt was established 20 years ago and according to Mrs Waqainabete their main focus is to conserve the Pacific’s genetic resources.