Landowners benefiting from intercropping trial

Business

LANDOWNERS in Markham, Morobe, are benefitting from an “intercropping” trial undertaken by a company.
PNG Biomass, a renewable energy company, conducted intercropping trials at its eucalypt plantations in Markham Valley with melons, cucumbers, pumpkins, rice, cassava, yam, peanuts and other food crops.
The farming technique involves growing fruits and vegetables between rows of trees.
Project director Michael Henson said intercropping was a smart way of farming which would improve food security, engage and empower women, and generate high incomes.
“Local women are making good money from intercropping. They sell their crops in the market making on average about K50 to K100 a day, and on good days even K200. We recently had one family that made K8000 out of one single harvest of watermelons from intercropping,” Henson said.
“For our project, we only lease land that is underutilised and not in agricultural productive use.
“So once we have done the hard work of preparing leased land and establishing our plantations it has also become suitable to grow crops. That is when we invite landowners back onto their land and encourage them to grow food crops on previously unproductive land. This way we increase food production and empower women to start small agricultural businesses and have their own incomes.”

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