Identifying appropriate strategies for reducing virus and weevil losses in sweetpotato production systems in Papua New Guinea and Australia

Sweetpotato in Papua New Guinea
Project code
AUD 684,990
Research program manager
Ms Irene Kernot
Project leader
Michael Hughes, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
Commissioned organisation
Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
SEP 2012
JUN 2015
Project status
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This project aimed to identify the most promising strategies for managing sweetpotato pests and diseases in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Australia.

Sweetpotato is a significant, year round, staple food in PNG which is increasingly grown as a domestic market crop, catering to escalating demand from expanding urban centres. 

In recent years, with growing concerns of food and nutritional insecurity in PNG, the crop has figured largely in ACIAR’s portfolio of projects addressing factors limiting production, such as soil fertility, pests and diseases, and marketing.

Within the broader development goal of increasing the resilience of food and nutritional security, the project identified that farmer education of weevil biology and ecology, and a participatory research process to empower farmers to implement the strategies they develop is the most promising means of management.

This project was formerly known as PC/2011/053.

Project outcomes

  • Assessed the value of pathogen-tested planting materials in reducing the impact of virus diseases.
  • Identified the most promising management tactics for weevils in specific production systems.
Key partners
National Agricultural Research Institute, Papua New Guinea
Australian Sweetpotato Growers Inc
Secretariat of the Pacific Community
final report placeholder image
Final Report HORT/2011/053