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Optimising soil management and health in Papua New Guinea integrated cocoa farming systems

This project aims to improve soil management in Papua New Guinean smallholdings with crop diversification, by evaluating how nutrient management strategies affect cocoa.
Cocoa is Papua New Guinea's third largest agricultural export; more smallholders are producing cocoa, but yields are 2,000 kg/hectare less than they could be, due to infertile soil.
The project will evaluate opportunities for green waste management of cocoa production to supply nutrients to the soil, and for managing soil in diversified cocoa farming systems to make cocoa crops more nutritious. It will develop region-specific soil management strategies for smallholdings.
The research will benefit small landholders whose main income is from cocoa production. Smallholder cocoa growers with similar soil constraints on production will be able to use the sustainable model production systems that the project develops. The project will also help smallholders to diversify crops; this will improve diets for farming communities. The income generated will make communities healthier, and improve the status of women, housing and education.