16 Jun 2014

8,000 yam hybrids developed in Vanuatu

2:46 pm on 16 June 2014

A yam expert from India sent to Vanuatu by the World Bank to improve the country's yam varieties pollinated 8,000 hybrids in a month.

Kuttolamadathil Abraham says he expected 4,000 varieties to survive and be ready for harvest by October this year.

Dr Abraham says Vanuatu already has many genetic varieties and very rich soil, which is useful for plant breeding.

But he says the country must develop climate resilient varieties to deal with heavy rain fall and drought.

The existing varieties may not be able to survive the expected climate. So we have to be prepared with better varieties, hardy and strong varieties, especially with disease resistance, resistance to drought, resistance to irregular climatic conditions.

Kuttolamadathil Abraham says he has trained people in Santo and Efate how to pollinate and breed yam.