Subsistence food production continues to provide much of the food consumed in Papua New Guinea (PNG), West Papua, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. There are many common elements in traditional food production in the several Melanesian political units. Most Melanesians are rural villagers and their most important food is some combination of sweet potato, Colocasia taro, yam, Xanthosoma taro and banana. The most common technique used to restore soil fertility after cropping is natural fallows, with fallow vegetation being burnt in the new garden area. Food crops which have been adopted in many parts of Melanesia include sweet potato, Xanthosoma taro, cassava, maize, African yam, pumpkin and numerous vegetables and fruits. The signs of stress on food production that have appeared on small islands and in some New Guinea highland locations in recent decades are likely to become more widespread in the future.
|Title of host publication||The Melanesian World|
|Editors||Eric Hirsch and Will Rollason|
|Place of Publication||New York|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|