New taro and kumala varieties released by Ministry
July 8, 2018 5:30 am
New disease resistant and tolerant varieties of taro and kumala were released at the Agriculture’s Ministry Koronivia Research Station.
The newly released taro leaf blight tolerant varieties are known as “Tarova Loa” and “Tarova Vula” along with the new kumala variety named “Golden Brown”.
Agriculture Minister Inia Seruiratu says the release of these varieties created a new pathway of plans to protect the taro industry from leaf blight disease.
Seruiratu says the varieties will ensure improved dalo resilience to the taro disease that is present in the Pacific Island Countries such as Hawaii, Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Guam, Northern Marianas and Samoa.
The Minister highlights, taro is one of the most important crops in terms of food and income security to farmers.
He says it has been one of the major export commodities over the years with a total production gross value of $120million with export earnings of $22million in 2017.
Fiji currently exporting taro to lucrative markets such as New Zealand, Australia, Canada, United States and Hawaii.