The Center’s base for Oceania operations is in Fiji, under the auspices of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) with the support of the Ministry of Primary Industries, Department of Agriculture.

The rate of type 2 diabetes in Oceania is very high by global standards. Nauru has the highest proportion of diabetic people of any country in the world (33%) and Tonga is in the top ten of severely affected nations. The role of vegetables in improving diets and the health of the populations in the region is critical. Anemia, riboflavin deficiency, and calcium deficiency are common nutritional problems in rural and urban areas of many islands, while heart disease, hypertension and other chronic diseases are on the rise. This is due primarily to diets based on carbohydrate-rich staple crops, imported and highly refined foods that are low in fiber and high in fat and sugars, and cheap canned meat.

Although traditional diets frequently include local vegetables (e.g. greens of taro, yam, and slippery cabbage) and tomatoes, cucumbers and green beans, vegetable production has been insignificant and of low priority in the Pacific nations. The dietary transition to more processed, refined food makes vegetables even scarcer. This has been exacerbated by population growth, urbanization, exporting produce, and selling produce to hotels.

In Fiji, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Mariana Islands and Papua New Guinea there are some efforts to diversify food production through vegetable cultivation. However, most vegetable production is carried out on a subsistence basis, with a few vegetable species of poor quality. Production is wholly dependent on imported seeds of varieties that often are not adapted to local harsh environmental conditions.


  • Saving seed is an essential skill for small-scale farmers in PNG.

Producing and saving seed in Papua New Guinea

November 6th, 2015|Comments Off on Producing and saving seed in Papua New Guinea

AVRDC is strengthening seed security in Papua New Guinea and enhancing availability of good quality seed of traditional vegetable crops, produced by the farmers themselves.

  • IMG_3939

Board selects new Director General

October 16th, 2015|Comments Off on Board selects new Director General

AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center announced today that its Director General, Dr. J.D.H. ‘Dyno’ Keatinge, will retire after eight years of service on April 20, 2016. The Center’s Board of Directors selected Dr. Marco Wopereis to succeed Keatinge as the organization’s Director General effective April 21, 2016.


Pepper tasting in the Solomons

March 17th, 2015|Comments Off on Pepper tasting in the Solomons

Taste, color, texture: all are important when introducing a new variety to the market.

  • solomons

New tomato for the Solomons

March 17th, 2014|Comments Off on New tomato for the Solomons

Tested under tough field conditions, MAL-SI/LE/01/14 outperformed the competition in yield and taste.



Ellen Iramu, Project Coordinator – Pacific Islands
ellen.iramu (at) worldveg.org

Aloesi Dakuidreketi-Hickes, Plant Health Field Technician

Pitakai Tikai, Liaison Officer