Assessing socioeconomic impact of pathogen tested and conventional practice sweet potato production in the highlands of Papua New Guinea

Richard J. Culas, Coleman Pombre

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Abstract

Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a major staple food crop in Papua New Guinea (PNG), grown extensively in the high-altitude Highlands as a subsistence food crop by smallholder farmers and it is developing into commercial production for cash income. However, pests and diseases attack remain a major challenge. Most of the PNG farmers do not practice an active pests and diseases management, which has a significant impact on the yield and farmers' income. Few farmers have opted to use cultural practices, though these methods are ineffective and expensive. An alternative intervention technology through Pathogen Tested (PT) seeds as a part of Integrated Pest and Disease Management (IPDM) technology was trialed in three different zones in the Highlands of PNG and compared with the Conventional Practice (CP). The study was done using farmer participatory research approach (FPR). Pre-designed structured questionnaires were administered to collect data for yield, costs, income, and farmer's perception. The Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) analysis was used to compare the costs, benefits, and net incomes. T-test statistics was used to compare the mean yield. The farmer perception was summarized using descriptive statistics. Results revealed that marketable sweet potato yield was significantly (P < 0.01) improved with implementation of the PT practice compared to the CP. The improvement in storage root yield had subsequent result in the net income doubled for the farmers. The yield and quality of storage roots had significant influence on the farmers' perception towards adoption of the IPDM technology.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100701
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Agriculture and Food Research
Volume14
Early online dateJun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Grant Number

  • HORT/2014/0183

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