Agricultural research priority-setting at best promotes the effective and efficient use of scarce research resources. This paper reviews firstly the priority-setting methods used in Papua New Guinea for agricultural R&D and examines the practicalities of implementing these and other methods. Secondly, this paper reports on key factors affecting the strategic directions for agricultural R&D in Papua New Guinea. These factors include:(i) the long term trends in international crop prices; (ii) long-term trends in crop production by sector (plantations or smallholders); (iii) the cost of production by sector and its effects on the long-term economic sectoral sustainability; and (iv) the potential impact of pests and diseases. Related issues of research capacity, remuneration, funding and administration are also explored. Conclusions are drawn about desirable research directions and the capacity of PNG to deliver appropriate R&D products.