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International Society for Horticultural Science

Horticulture Research International

Papua New Guinea

General info
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Climate
Papua New Guinea experiences a tropical climate. Climate shows little seasonal variation and is determined largely by altitude. However annual rainfall varies from 995 mm (Port Moresby) to 4617 mm (Lae) and parts of the country experience a distinct dry season whereas other parts are well watered all year round.

Geography
Papua New Guinea is a group of tropical islands in the Pacific Ocean which lies between latitudes 2 and 11°S and 142 and 152°E. The main island borders on the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya. The topography is mountainous rising from sea level to over 4500 m (Mt Wilhelm).

Horticulture
Papua New Guinea has been described as a 'nation of gardeners' and the main staple crops are starchy roots which are usually regarded as horticultural crops. In the lowlands these include taro (both Colocasia esculenta and Xanthosoma sagittifolium) and yams (Dioscorea spp). Sweet potato is grown in all parts of the country and is the major staple in the highlands. In some areas cooking bananas are an important staple crop and PNG is an important centre of diversity of the genus Musa.

Because of the wide range of climates a wide range of fruit and vegetables are grown. Important fruit crops include citrus, mango, banana, pawpaw, pineapple and guava. Both introduced and indigenous vegetables are important. Aibika (Abelmoschus manihot) amaranth (Amaranthus spp) and kangkong (Ipomea aquatica) are important traditional leafy vegetables. Introduced vegetables that are widely grown in the highlands include potatoes (Solanum tuberosum), cabbage, carrots and tomatoes. In the lowlands pumpkins, cucumbers, Chinese cabbage and watermelon are important.
In the highlands temperate vegetables, citrus and avocadoes are important crops. In the dry lowlands mangoes are an important fruit crop. In the wet lowlands aibika is an important vegetable. Introduced fruit species such as rambutan are gaining in importance. A wide range of root crops and vegetables are produced by subsistence gardeners in all areas.

Distribution of Horticulture
In the highlands temperate vegetables, citrus and avocadoes are important crops. In the dry lowlands mangoes are an important fruit crop. In the wet lowlands aibika is an important vegetable. Introduced fruit species such as rambutan are gaining in importance. A wide range of root crops and vegetables are produced by subsistence gardeners in all areas.

Nature of Institutes
The National Agricultural Research Institute has taken over responsibility for research on food and spice crops previously vested in the Department of Agriculture and Livestock. Some horticultural research is conducted by the Agriculture Department of the University of Technology in Lae and by the University of Vudal (formerly Vudal Agricultural College) in East New Britain.

Organisations / Institutes:
National Agricultural Research Institute


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