Taro leaf blight hits Western Samoa
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CTA. 1994. Taro leaf blight hits Western Samoa . Spore 49. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/49311
Taro, Colocasia esculenta, is one of the main staple food crops of Pacific Island countries and is the principal crop of Western Samoa but the devastating fungal disease, taro leaf blight (Phytophthora colocasiae), has now hit Western Samoa. The...
Taro, Colocasia esculenta, is one of the main staple food crops of Pacific Island countries and is the principal crop of Western Samoa but the devastating fungal disease, taro leaf blight (Phytophthora colocasiae), has now hit Western Samoa. The disease, which is found in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, has already effectively destroyed production in these two countries. Loss of revenue from taro production is estimated at US$12million. The disease poses a serious threat to Western Samoa for not only is taro the principal root crop consumed, but Western Samoa is the major supplier of taro to the large populations of Pacific Islanders in New Zealand, Hawaii and the US. Taro leaf blight disease was discovered in early July in Western Samoa when farmers in the southern region of the main island, which is also the windward side, reported the drying up of taro leaves in their plantations. They expressed fears at the rate at which the disease was spreading to other areas. The southern region is characterized by high rainfall throughout the year, a situation favoured by the disease. A major chemical eradication programme is now underway with a US$123,000 grant from the government. Emil Adams - Information Officer CTA Pacific Regional Branch Office - USP School of Agriculture Alafua Campus - Private Mail Bag Apia - WESTERN SAMOA