10 Oct 2017

Fiji govt developing leaf blight-resistant dalo

9:10 am on 10 October 2017

The Fiji government says it is working on a new variety of dalo which is resistant to taro leaf blight disease.

A Taro plant

Photo: RNZI/Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia

It said the blight, caused by water mould, posed a major threat to the dalo industry in Fiji.

The principal research officer, Savenaca Cuquma said Fiji is free from taro leaf blight at the moment but all varieties of dalo cultivated in Fiji were susceptible to the disease.

He said in the early 1990s the disease decimated the dalo industry in Samoa after which lost all its dalo export markets.

Mr Cuquma said 10 local varieties had been cross pollinated with seven exotic Dalo plants from Samoa the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia at the Koronivia Research Station.

He said the results will be field tested before the new variety is released to farmers across the country in about two years time.