Intensification of agricultural systems in Papua New Guinea

Mike Bourke

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    This paper provides an overview of the ways in which villagers have intensified agricultural systems in Papua New Guinea, focusing on the last 60 years. The intensification techniques used by villagers include: adoption of more productive staple crops, in particular sweet potato, cassava, Xanthosoma taro, Solanum potato and maize; adoption of more productive cultivars, especially of banana and sweet potato; shortening the fallow period; extending the cropping period; certain soil fertility maintenance techniques, other than natural regrowth fallows (composting, managed tree fallows, especially using casuarina, a legume/root crop rotation, and soil erosion control); and some other intensification techniques including soil tillage, drainage, construction of garden beds, garden segregation, mounding and irrigation. People often use more than one technique and the techniques used vary between the major agricultural zones. The adoption of new food crops and more productive cultivars of existing food crops has facilitated many of the other changes, particularly longer cropping periods and shorter fallow periods.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)219-236
    JournalAsia Pacific Viewpoint
    Issue number2/3
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


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