Pilot – A Business Approach to Product and Market Development for Processed Sweetpotato Products in Papua New Guinea

This project is a pilot study aimed at assisting community groups and entrepreneurs in Papua New Guinea to identify and assess product and market development opportunities for processed sweetpotato products.

Food processing using local materials has the potential to add value, reduce freight costs and increase shelf life of fresh produce, as well as creating employment and income-generating opportunities for smallholder farmers and rural communities. More importantly in the longer term a well-functioning food processing sector is crucial for the sustainability of the farming sector as the demand for value-added and processed products increases along with economic development. However, the PNG food manufacturing sector is currently small, and dominated by a small number of foreign companies using primarily imported ingredients. It has been a real challenge for the PNG government and industry to develop an efficient food processing sector from a very low base. In this project we aim to develop and test a framework on which commercially viable home-grown small-scale processing enterprises can be established using sweetpotato processing as a pilot case. Sweetpotato is chosen because it is the major food crop in PNG and opportunities exist for  enterprise diversification to increase and stabilize farm household income through value adding and processing. This project is a collaboration between UNE and the National Agricultural Research Institute in Papua New Guinea.

Due for completion in 2015

Funded by: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

Contact: Christie Chang