Root and tuber crops (RTCs) are important dietary staples and food security crops for the people of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Pacific Islands. However, the productivity of RTCs remains almost static, reflecting the agro-technological and socio-economic constraints to production, while consumption is challenged by high imports of cheap cereal products.
Research and development (R&D) on RTCs receives little attention compared to other established commodity crops like coffee, oil palm, coconut and cocoa. A change in government policies on agricultural development, trade and research is required in order to give adequate attention to RTCs and support their development. Adopting a value chain approach, driven by market demands for fresh and processed RTCs may provide the answers.