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Ministry Releases New Dalo And Kumala Varieties

These Taro Leaf Blight tolerant varieties to our farmers will ensure improved dalo resilience to this devastating dalo disease that is present in Pacific Island countries: Seruiratu   A new
07 Jul 2018 10:00
Ministry Releases New Dalo And Kumala Varieties
The “Tarova Vula” and “Tarova Loa” are two of varieties of taro leaf blight tolerant dalo plants as well as a new kumala variety. Photo: Sheenam Chandra

These Taro Leaf Blight tolerant varieties to our farmers will ensure improved dalo resilience to this devastating dalo disease that is present in Pacific Island countries: Seruiratu

 

A new variety of dalo that will prevent the spread of the taro beetle has been introduced by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Minister of Agriculture Inia Seruiratu officiated at the event at the Koronivia Research Station yesterday and officially released the new taro leaf blight tolerant varieties “Tarova Loa” and “Tarova Vula”.

Mr Seruiratu said the dalo industry had a total production gross value in 2017 of about $120 million with export earnings of $22 million. To safeguard this industry, Mr Seruiratu said, his ministry was taking cautionary steps to control diseases such as taro leaf blight.

“I would like to encourage you to ensure multiplication of these two new dalo varieties in your farms for food security and future growth of our dalo industry,” he said during his address.

“These Taro Leaf Blight tolerant varieties to our farmers will ensure dalo resilience to this devastating dalo disease that is present in Pacific Island countries.”

Meanwhile, the new kumala variety “Golden Brown” takes 100-115 days to mature is drought tolerant, high yielding and resistant to kumala scab disease.

“The introduction of this new variety will boost the production of kumala in Fiji and establish a consistent supply of this commodity to the food processing sectors, hotels and restaurants,” Mr Seruiratu said.

Retired civil servant and farmer Ulaiasi Toni, 58, said for the first time in his eight years of farming he saw the introduction of new varieties of dalo and kumala.

“During floods and changing weather, the dalo varieties that we planted brought us losses. I want to thank the Government for the initiative,” he said.

Another root crop farmer, 52 year-old Aporosa Suguvanua from Vunisei, Toga, said the Government initiative would help boost the morale of farmers through improved and fruitful harvest.

“I think it’s a good initiative for the Ministry of Agriculture, especially with these type of diseases. It will help us farmers.”

A total 171 registered farmers received the new varieties of dalo and kumala.

The Ministry of Agriculture will distribute tubers to farmers across Fiji at a later date.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

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