An overview of food security in PNG

Type Working Paper
Title An overview of food security in PNG
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2000
People have adequate food security when households have the capacity to access sufficient food at all times, either through self-production or through market purchases. Overall, food security is high in PNG as most rural people have access to land and can grow most of their food requirements. The food security situation is considerably better in PNG now than it was before the Pacific war. This is because high-yielding staple crops have been adopted and people have access to cash income that can be used to purchase food. The adoption of new staple crops provided a once-off benefit, however, and this phase is now ending in PNG.\n\nFood supply problems may be short term or long term. Short-term threats include climatic extremes such as frost and excessive rainfall, cycles in planting rates and human disease epidemics. Long-term threats include very low cash income and land degradation associated with population increase. There are policy implications for both these types of threats. These relate to improvements in subsistence agriculture and to cash income. Reducing rural and urban poverty and increasing the diversity of cash income sources are also likely to have other positive implications beyond increasing food security.

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