Agriculture in Papua New Guinea
People in Papua New Guinea started practising agriculture around 7,000 - 10,000 years ago. The oldest evidence for this is in the Kuk Swamp area, where planting, digging and staking of plants, and possibly drainage have been used to cultivate taro, banana, sago and yam.
Between the 17th to 19th centuries, a small number of plant species, including sweet potato, cassava and tobacco have been brought from the Americas by Europeans and introduced to Indonesia from where they spread to New Guinea. In the second part of the 19th century and especially after 1870 further crops have been introduced directly by Europeans, including beans, pumpkin, corn, watermelon, papaya, mangosteen, durian, orange, lemon, coffee, lime and guava.
Major agricultural products
Sweet potato is a major food in PNG and dominates production in the highlands.
Coffee production in Papua New Guinea accounts for a little over 1% of the total world production according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). After oil palm, coffee is Papua New Guinea's second largest agricultural export, employing approximately 2.5 million people.
- AusAID: About Papua New Guinea, retrieved 5 May 2011
- Bourke, R. Michael: History of agriculture in Papua New Guinea in Food and Agriculture in Papua New Guinea, ANU Press, 2009
- R. Michael Bourke, John Gibson, Alan Quartermain, Kate Barclay, Bryant Allen and Jean Kennedy: Food Production, Consumption and Imports in Food and Agriculture in Papua New Guinea, ANU Press, 2009
- "COFFEE INDUSTRY CORPORATION LIMITED" (PDF). United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Retrieved 24 September 2010.
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