Diverse Types of Agricultural Commodities Available in West Papua

Agricultural Commodities

Agricultural Commodities

West Papua, Indonesia has an abundance of agricultural resources. The province’s agricultural commodities come from the small-scale yards of the Papuan family and large-scale plantations of the local community. The native grows many edible plant species in their yard such as bananas, taro, spinach, and others.

On the other hand, the large-scale plantations by the local community, under the joint effort of the national and regional government,  focus on the available lands for food corps in Manokwari, Sorong, Jayapura, Timika, and Merauke Regency in West Papua Province. These plantations are mandatory to create food security and stability for the local communities.

West Papua has wide land resources with exceptional potential for agricultural development. A total of 2.7 million out of 9.9 million hectares of land has the potential for agriculture. However, the local farmers and the government have only used and optimized the 33% or 0.94 million hectares of agricultural land.

Types of Agricultural Commodities in West Papua

The government and local community do not miss to keep on maximizing the province’s agricultural potential. Both parties have produced a large quantity of various agricultural products. This improvement has shifted the West Papuans’ diet, from consuming Sago and sweet potatoes to rice. Let us take a look at the data in each product.

  1. Leading Commodities for Economic Growth

West Papua’s leading commodities consist of oil palm, cocoa, coffee, coconut, and nutmeg. Each commodity provides massive income to the province and the country through exports. Oil palm and cocoa are the most profitable among the rest of the commodities to leverage the region’s economy.

Land for oil palm plantations reaches a total of 699.761 hectares. The production capacity is around 1,800 to 2,000 tons per month. Meanwhile, cocoa plantations which can be found in every district have utilized around 6,200 hectares of land with the Manokwari Regency having the most area, around 3,204 hectares. The total cocoa production varies every year, approximately 0,4 to 1 ton per year.

Coffee, coconut, and nutmeg are also crucial agricultural commodities to step up the economic growth of West Papua Province. However, the land area for coffee is still relatively small, less than 1,000 hectares. In contrast, coconut is produced in a large area but its price in the global market is low. Thus, the native people prefer to use coconut to fulfill their daily needs or sell it in the local market.

  1. Commodities for Food Security

The land of West Papua can produce various types of edible agricultural products. Local food commodities include rice, corn, sago, root tubers (carrots, sweet potatoes, and cassavas), and other horticulture products (soybean, peanut, mungbean, chili, shallots, welch onion, cabbages, banana, etc.). Among all, the most prominent is paddy rice.

Transmigrant farmers in the province are the majority who cultivate lowland rice. The variety of lowland rice is Ciherang. The farmers plant Ciherang seeds without selecting the quality, thus resulting in low-quality production. The local farmers cultivate field rice using a shifting cultivation pattern.

The rice production reaches a number of 2,2 to 3,0 tons for each planting season. Manokwari Regency holds the largest paddy field in the province, around 578 hectares of land. The majority of Papuan farmers do this agricultural activity to provide food for the family. Most do not have access to the market local or global market. However, this outcome is enough to sustain each farmer’s family’s food security.

West Papua holds great hidden potential for agriculture. In addition, the government and farmers have made every effort to cultivate and produce various agricultural commodities for regional economic growth and food security. However, the development of agricultural infrastructure and human resources is still needed to increase total productivity.

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