24 Sep 2009

Food shortages on PNG islands described as disastrous

9:36 am on 24 September 2009

Residents living on the Trobriand Islands off the Papua New Guinea mainland are looking to the government for a solution to their current food shortages.

Disaster management officials say heavy rain earlier in the year and lack of good soil and nutrients have led to a poor harvest of crops including taro, yams and tapioca.

Peter Niesi, a freelance journalist who is from Milne Bay Province, says the food shortage is reaching disaster proportions and the Government must find ways to save the people.

"They basically have two options in their hands, one is to resettle the people and the other is to find a way to ensure that soil is transported to the island to improve the soil content."

Peter Niesi says in the past the land in the Trobriand Islands has been kept fertile but with an expanding population and insufficient time for nutrients to be replenished, the conditions have depleted over time.