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Developing improved crop protection options in support of intensification of sweetpotato production in Papua New Guinea

This project aims to help smallholder farmers adopt sustainable solutions to the major crop protection threats to sweetpotato.
Sweetpotato is the major staple food crop of Papua New Guinea. Around 90% of Papua New Guinea's population consists of semi-subsistence smallholder farmers for whom sweetpotato is a major crop species. The crop is also the focus of efforts to increase commercialisation for both fresh product marketing and processing. After investing for many years in sweetpotato research in PNG, ACIAR commissioned in 2013-14 a small research activity, SMCN/2012/016, to review what had been done, assess current needs and make recommendations for future investment.
This proposal addresses crop protection issues. It complements another project (SMCN/2012/105) on soil management and crop nutrition, developed in parallel. Both of these projects will provide research support for a third project, HORT/2014/097, focusing on sweetpotato commercialisation, within the Transformative Agriculture and Enterprise Development program (TADEP). These projects will dovetail through the mechanism of common Technology Evaluation and Marketing (TEAM) sites used for participatory research and experiential learning.