APIRAS APAARI Good Practice n.2. Strengthening capacities to innovate through North-South collaborative agricultural research in Papua New Guinea

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good practice
Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI)
Asia-Pacific Islands Rural Advisory Services Network (APIRAS)
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Researchers at the University of Queensland have worked on research projects in the PNG Highlands since 2005. These projects were, and are, applied research to manage soil fertility in sweetpotato-based cropping systems in the Highlands. They were funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. Our key collaborator was PNG’s National Agricultural Research Institute. Although the projects were in the field of Soil Science, specifically soil fertility management, our approach has always been multidisciplinary. The timeline of project management has always been a small scoping study type activity to assess research needs before full-length projects commenced. All activities were planned in close collaboration with NARI, NGOs, and the farming community. This allowed us to develop and implement projects in a truly collaborative manner. A key component was regular visits of UQ project staff to review project activities, provide on-the-job training, and plan new project activities. In this Good Practice Note, Gunnar Kirchhof reflects on his experience of doing agricultural research in the PNG Highlands over the last 15 years. It is a personal account of having worked as an Australia-based researcher in the PNG Highlands; it is a narrative of impressions that aims to guide and make research in this region more effective. 

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agricultural research
TAP-related resource
capacity development