A farming technique developed in Brazil and known as ‘syntropic farming’ has been introduced in Papua New Guinea by PNG Biomass. It is a regenerative agricultural cropping method that aims use forest concepts in food production to have plants work symbiotically and grow in abundance.
Known locally as ‘intercropping’ this farming technique is the practice of growing fruits and vegetables on tree plantations in between rows of trees. PNG Biomass conducted its first intercropping trials on its eucalypt plantations in the Markham Valley in 2012 with melons, cucumbers, pumpkins, rice, cassava, yam, peanuts and other food crops.
After highly successful intercropping trials the practice was soon adopted by many communities. Across the Markham Valley they are now increasing food supply for markets and creating additional value and income streams.
The introduction of intercropping by PNG Biomass is a core tenet of its community participation and development approach. The renewable energy company sees an inclusive economic growth model that empowers local communities as central to its mission to power PNG with domestic low-emission renewable energy.
Intercropping is a smart way to farm and improve food security, engage and empower women, and drive higher incomes.