A blog maintained by Tevita Kete, PGR Officer
Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Suva, Fiji Islands
This weblog documents the activities of Pacific Agricultural Genetic Resources Network (PAPGREN), along with other information on plant genetic resources (PGR) in the Pacific.
The myriad varieties found within cultivated plants are fundamental to the present and future productivity of agriculture. PAPGREN, which is coordinated by the Land Resources Division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), helps Pacific countries and territories to conserve their crop genetic diversity sustainably, with technical assistance from the Bioversity International (BI) and support from NZAID and ACIAR.
SPC also hosts the Centre of Pacific Crops and Trees (CEPaCT). The CEPaCT maintains regional in vitro collections of crops important to the Pacific and carries out research on tissue culture technology. The CEPaCT Adviser is Dr Mary Taylor (MaryT@spc.int), the CEPaCT Curator is Ms Valerie Tuia (ValerieT@spc.int).
PAPGREN coordination and support
Mr William Wigmore
Mr Adelino S. Lorens
Dr Lois Englberger
Mr Apisai Ucuboi
Dr Maurice Wong
Mr Tianeti Beenna Ioane
Mr Frederick Muller
Mr Herman Francisco
Ms Rosa Kambuou
Ms Laisene Samuelu
Mr Jimi Saelea
Mr Tony Jansen
Mr Finao Pole
Mr Frazer Bule Lehi
Interested in GIS?
Monday, February 28, 2005
Posted 3:34 PM by Luigi
Estimates of Food Crop Production in PNG
Bourke, R.M. and Vlassak, V. (2004). Estimates of Food Crop Production in Papua New Guinea. Land Management Group, The Australian National University, Canberra.
This fascinating paper by the Australian National University's Land Management Group is now available on the web as a pdf. The summary is reproduced below.
Estimates of the quantity of food produced in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are important for planning and research. Information contained in the Mapping Agricultural Systems of PNG database of the proportion of land devoted to various food crops allows new estimates to be made. To calculate annual production for each staple crop, estimates of the proportion of garden area devoted to each crop for each agricultural system were combined with census data on the rural population in 2000 (4.3 million rural villagers), mean garden area planted per person per year and mean crop yield for that environment. These data allow estimates to be made for banana, cassava, coconut, potato, Queensland arrowroot, rice, sago, sweet potato, and various taro and yam species.
Total annual staple crop production is estimated as 4.5 million tonnes (1050 kg/person/year), with an energy value of 4.3 × 1012 kilocalories (2770 kcal/person/day). It would require an additional 1.2 million tonnes per year of imported rice to replace the energy value of these staple foods, with a retail value of K2850 million. Sweet potato accounts for almost two-thirds (64%) of production of staple food crops by weight and 63% by food energy. No other staple in PNG contributes more than 10% by weight or food energy. The contribution by weight for the more important foods is: banana (9.7%), cassava (6.0%), yam (6.0%), Chinese taro (Xanthosoma) (5.0%), Colocasia taro (5.0%), coconut (2.2%) and sago (1.8%). The proportions of food energy produced by these crops are similar to their values for weight. Sago, coconut and rice are exceptions; their proportions of food energy are greater than their contribution by weight. The significance of the various staples varies between provinces in the lowlands, but sweet potato dominates production in the highlands.
An independent check of the production figures is made by calculating the energy in the food grown in representative agricultural systems and for all provinces. The energy needs from staple foods of the human population are compared with the available energy. Estimates of production and human needs are very similar for lowland agricultural systems and for provinces where most systems are in the lowlands. For highland provinces, production is 47% greater on average than the estimated human requirements. This is expected and consistent with the large domestic pig populations which are fed significant amounts of sweet potato.
These figures suggest that about one third of all sweet potato tubers are fed to pigs in the central highland valleys, or about one quarter of all sweet potato production in PNG. Average sweet potato production per person for all PNG is 670 kg/year, with about 500 kg of this produced for people and the remainder for pig consumption.
The figures generated here are compared with estimates made as part of the Survey of Indigenous Agriculture conducted in 1961–1962, with data generated from the 1996 PNG Household Survey, and with figures published annually by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The most important difference between the surveys is that the new estimate for sweet potato production is more than twice that made in the first two surveys. A major change over the past 40 years has been the increased significance of crops of New World origin, that is, cassava, potato, sweet potato and Chinese taro. In contrast, production of staple crops of Asia-Pacific origin (banana, sago, taro and yam) has either decreased or is similar in magnitude to that of 40 years ago.
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