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The Surprising Innovations in Agriculture and Aquaculture in West Papua

by Senaman
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In recent years, the western province in Indonesia, West Papua has continued developing itself in many aspects, from health, education, and public service, to infrastructure.

Agriculture and aquaculture have also become two of the main attentions in this region.

Nowadays, you will be able to see some of West Papua’s astounding innovations in agriculture and aquaculture. What are they? Keep reading.

The Role of Agriculture and Aquaculture for Papuan

Both agriculture and aquaculture play a vital role for people in West Papua. While back then, agriculture is only meant for contributing to people’s food security, now this sector also helps the Papuan economy.

With the island’s fertile soil and tropical climate, West Papua can produce a high-value range of crops, an export potential.

Similar to agriculture, aquaculture is also crucial for Papuans. As many of you may already know, Papua has many diverse ocean marine sources.

Not only for local consumption but aquaculture in West Papua also has a big chance in export markets.

This will definitely create job opportunities which will eventually boost their economic growth.

Surprising Innovations in Agriculture and Aquaculture in West Papua

1. Seaweed Cultivation

In fact in 2020, the Papua governor shipped 20 tons of seaweed commodities from Teluk Wondama to Europe.

Seaweed has become one of the major non-deforestation commodities. Many Papuan indigenous farmers get their income from seaweed cultivation.

Before the support from the government, seaweed cultivation in this province was conducted by small-scale farmers.

They grow seaweed on nets or ropes and tie it to floating buoys. Now, the commodities are used for food production, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.

2. Indigenous Food Crops

The local food crops in Papua are diverse. The locals wisely sustain their farming culture for generations. Governments continue to support and improve these food crops.

Some of the most popular and high-value food crops in Cenderawasih Island are sago, yam, potato, cassava, taro, coconut, pineapple, and papaya.

Sago, sweet potato, and cassava serve as staple foods for many indigenous tribes in West Papua.

Efforts are being made to promote West Papua’s indigenous food crops. By promoting these crops, agriculture will move forward.

3. Sago Farming

Another great innovation in West Papua’s agriculture is sago farming. Last year, in 2022, Minister of Agriculture Syahrul Yasin Limpo (Mentan SYL) stated that West Papua would be Indonesia’s best sago producer.

Additionally, sago has become the staple food for most people on this beautiful island. The fertile area and tropical climate support sago farming in Papua.

Sago farming in West Papua consists of cultivating and harvesting. Moreover, the sago forest in Papua is also ready to serve as an agro-tourism area.

With the touch of technology and training for local farmers, sago farming in West Papua will be at the forefront.

4. Organic Farming

In many areas in Indonesia, organic farming is becoming increasingly popular. This is because people nowadays seek healthy and best-quality crops through organic farming.

This type of agriculture relies on natural substances and practices. Using fertilizers, synthetic pesticides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is prohibited.

But luckily, the farmers in West Papua are familiar with this method as it is their traditional habit.

Some organic farming conducted in West Papua is crop rotation, agroforestry, and intercropping. Therefore, governments are working to promote this sustainable agriculture.

Those are four of West Papua’s astounding innovations in agriculture and aquaculture.

Challenges such as lack of access or technology should overcome to take agriculture and aquaculture on this island to the next level.



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