Using locally available fertilisers to enhance the yields of swidden farmers in Papua New Guinea
Data used for the analyses and figures in the paper titled "Using locally available fertilisers to enhance the yields of swidden farmers in Papua New Guinea". For a full description of the hypotheses, methods used and results, please refer to the paper. Our aim was to investigate whether using locally available fertilisers can increase soil quality, crop yields and lifetimes of swidden fields in Papua New Guinea (PNG). In August 2018 we set up experimental gardens on the land of swidden farmers in the PNG Lowlands, in which we grew sweet potato. Gardens were set up on two types of sites: five were established on new sites that had just been prepared for gardening by cutting and burning vegetation after a fallow period, whereas another five were prepared on recently abandoned garden sites which were being fallowed. We applied compost consisting of decaying banana peels, chicken manure and NPK fertiliser to different plots in the gardens, and tracked soil quality and yields of sweet potato over 12 months (three subsequent cropping periods). This data set contains information on (1) soil nutrients, (2) soil moisture, (3) nutrients in sweet potato leaves, (4) nutrients in sweet potato tubers, (5) yields of sweet potato leaves and vines, (6) yields of tubers, (7) tuber quality, (8) tuber taste, and (9) market price of sweet potato tubers on the Madang market.