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The taro improvement programme in Samoa: sharing genetic resources through networking

Tuifao, Iosefa and Taylor, M. and Hunter, D. and Tuia, V. (2011) The taro improvement programme in Samoa: sharing genetic resources through networking. [Conference Proceedings]

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Abstract

The outbreak of taro leaf blight (TLB) in 1993 devastated taro production in Samoa. In response, several exotic taro cultivars from Palau, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Philippines, reported to have tolerance to TLB, were introduced to meet local production demand. The cultivars were highly recommended and were instrumental in establishing the TLB horizontal resistance breeding programme in Samoa. However, despite their positive impact the need to introduce more diversity to enrich a potentially narrow genepool was recognized. Several exotic cultivars of South East Asian origin were later introduced via the Secretariat of the Pacific Community - Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees (CePaCT) in 2004 and were incorporated into the breeding programme to support the generation of breeding lines; they were characterized by improved disease resistance, good palatability and drought tolerance. Unlike previous breeding cycles, progeny from the crosses between taro of Asian origin and those of the Pacific showed a huge diversity in types. Regional networks, namely TaroGen and TANSAO, made it easier for the Samoan breeding programme to freely access the much needed genetic diversity from Asia. Consequently Samoan farmers are now planting several varieties generated from the first combination of taro from Asia and the Pacific with two promising progenies favoured by farmers and highly recommended for export by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Subjects: S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Divisions: Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) > School of Agriculture and Food Technology
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email tolo.iosefa@samoa.usp.ac.fj
Date Deposited: 17 May 2013 15:24
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2013 10:34
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/5855
UNSPECIFIED

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