7 Jul 2010

Samoa resumes taro exports after blight

9:40 pm on 7 July 2010

A Samoan farmers' group says the first taro shipment to New Zealand in almost 20 years represents a huge opportunity for growers.

Taro crops were wiped out by blight in the early 1990s, and production has only now recovered enough for the vegetable to be available for export.

Afamasaga Toleafoa of the Samoa Farmers Association says a lot of work has gone into finding a variety that is resistant to the blight, and also meets the demand of consumers.

He says before the blight, Samoa was the main exporter of taro to New Zealand, supplying possibly 90% of the market.

Mr Toleafoa says the market could be worth about $10 million a year.