Recently, there has been a decline in the consumption of indigenous vegetables in Papua New Guinea, with an increasing consumer preference for imported foods such as tinned meats, rice, flour, and tinned fish; particularly in middle-to-high income households in urban communities. This study into the challenges and opportunities for indigenous vegetable consumption in Papua New Guinea found that factors relating to increasing urbanisation and land pressure such as: physical access to land to grow or collect indigenous vegetables, cultural perceptions, loss of knowledge in growing and cooking indigenous vegetables, changes in life style, introduction of new vegetables, and the loss of natural habitats containing wild food resources were all contributors to the decline in cultivation and consumption. However, the study also found a rise in consumption of indigenous vegetables among low income urban families, and identified several opportunity points for the promotion of indigenous vegetables such as; potential health benefits, cheaper prices, availability, and association with custom and tradition. Practices associated with ethnic food are at the core of indigenous cultures and are considered to be the most resilient of all habits in an acculturation context, and could prove to be an important aspect in fostering an emotional connection with indigenous vegetables for consumers.
Paul, T., Omot, N., Linibi, M., Myers, B., & Palaniappan, G. (2015). Urbanisation and the decline in consumption and production of indigenous vegetables in Papua New Guinea. Acta Horticulturae, 1102_30, 245-252. https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1102.30