Recent research on sweetpotato and cassava in Papua New Guinea

Mike Bourke

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    In the Western Pacific (Papua New Guinea [PNG], Solomon Islands, Indonesian Papua), sweetpotato is the most important staple food crop, and production is increasing faster than the population. There has been a significant amount of research on sweetpotato in PNG, and the main recent publications are highlighted here. In PNG, sweetpotato has become more widely grown since 1940, and spatial and production data are presented to illustrate that. For example, it contributed 45% of food energy from staple food crops in 1961, and had increased to 66% by 2000. In Solomon Islands, it accounts for an estimated 65% of the production of staple food crops. The main research in PNG over the past 20 years has covered cultivar evaluation; description of agricultural systems; studies of agronomy and crop physiology; identification of the main pest and disease problems; identification of the causes of variation in supply of roots over time; description of commercialisation in the highlands; impact of its adoption over the past 300 years; and a comprehensive electronic bibliography. There have been a number of crop science studies on sweetpotato in Papua. The priorities for future research on sweetpotato in PNG arising from a 2004 workshop are summarised. Cassava is a relatively minor crop in the Western Pacific, but it is growing rapidly in importance. Its contribution has increased from 2 to 6% of staple food crop production in PNG over the past 40 years, and accounts for 12% of staple food production in the Solomon Islands. The limited research conducted on cassava in PNG has been published in a technical paper.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    EventInternational Symposium on Sweetpotato and Cassava 2005 - Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
    Duration: 1 Jan 2006 → …


    ConferenceInternational Symposium on Sweetpotato and Cassava 2005
    Period1/01/06 → …


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