Agriculture in Papua New Guinea

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Agriculture in Papua New Guinea has a more than 7,000 years old history. Currently around 85% of Papua New Guinea's population lives from semi-subsistence agriculture.[1]


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.[2]

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.[2]

Major agricultural products[edit]

Sweet potato[edit]

Sweet potato is a major food in PNG and dominates production in the highlands.[3]


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).[4] After oil palm, coffee is Papua New Guinea's second largest agricultural export, employing approximately 2.5 million people.


See also[edit]


External links[edit]