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Earning a Living in PNG: From Subsistence to a Cash Economy

  • George N. CurryEmail author
  • Gina Koczberski
  • Joachim Lummani
  • Sean Ryan
  • Veronica Bue
Chapter
Part of the Schooling for Sustainable Development book series (SSDE, volume 3)

Abstract

This chapter addresses the question of how individuals and families in rural PNG respond to major livelihood threats as they make the transition from a subsistence mode of life to become increasingly integrated into the global economy through export cash cropping. Two case studies are presented: cocoa farmers on the Gazelle Peninsula of East New Britain Province (ENB) and oil palm migrant farmers residing on the Hoskins Land Settlement Scheme in West New Britain Province (WNB). The cocoa farming community of Gazelle Peninsula began growing cocoa on their customary land in the 1950s with encouragement by the Australian administration. Since 2006 they have been confronted with an introduced cocoa pest, Cocoa Pod Borer (CPB), which is devastating their cocoa crop and livelihoods. The migrant oil palm farmers voluntarily took up State agricultural leases of 6 ha blocks in the late 1960s and early 1970s and are now experiencing population and resource pressures as their children marry and begin raising their own families on their parents’ blocks. By examining the pressures emerging among farming households as they make the transition to a market economy, the chapter highlights some of the key challenges and pressures of contemporary rural life for people in the Global South such as declining access to land, increased dependence on cash, fluctuating cash crop prices and changing lifestyle values.

Keywords

Cocoa Production Cocoa Farmer Customary Land Local Marketing Food Gardening 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

Numerous people assisted with fieldwork. In cocoa, research assistance was provided by Nick Mangu and Julai Walaun (both from NGIP-Agmark), Esley Peters, John Thomas, Jack Pundu, Andrew Roboam, Sharon Roberts and Simon Mele (all from CCIL), Joel Mormor and Kapinus Tande (both are cocoa farmers), Scott Kimpton (Curtin University), Mary Bongare and Joeashton Dauwa (both students from Vudal University).

In oil palm, research assistance was provided by Merolyn Koia and Pauline Hoare (both from PNGOPRA) and extension officers from the Oil Palm Extension Corporation.

The research would not have been possible without the many cocoa and oil palm growers and their families who gave their time to be interviewed.

Fieldwork was funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • George N. Curry
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gina Koczberski
    • 1
  • Joachim Lummani
    • 2
  • Sean Ryan
    • 1
  • Veronica Bue
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Social Sciences and Asian LanguagesCurtin UniversityBentleyAustralia
  2. 2.Socio-economic Research UnitPapua New Guinea Cocoa and Coconut Institute LimitedEast New Britain ProvincePapua New Guinea
  3. 3.Department of AgriculturePNG University of TechnologyLaePapua New Guinea

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