Taro (Colocasia esculenta)-An Important Staple Food for the General Population of Fiji Islands

  •  Laurence Sundar    


Taro production in Fiji is fluctuating in a yearly basis due to presence of devastating pests and diseases. Lack of knowledge in controlling these pests and diseases and the availability of controlling resources is another problem, which farmers in Fiji are currently facing. Taveuni being the largest supplier of taro in Fiji, is experiencing problems related to mono-cropping which in cooperates problems like soil degradation, unwanted weeds and minor pests and diseases. This research article mainly focuses on pests and diseases associated with taro production in Fiji and possible control measures to help farmers in Fiji to enhance their knowledge in controlling these pests and diseases. A thorough survey of taro farmers and exporting companies in Fiji was done to evaluate the problems that have directly or indirectly affected taro production in Fiji in previous years. As shown in figure 2, Fiji has experienced the shortages of taro in the year 2010, 2012 and 2014 as a result of increasing pest and diseases. This shortage not only has affected the demand from overseas market but also farmers in terms of earning for their livelihood. If these problems are not solved at an earliest, the taro industry in Fiji may collapse resulting in greater number of problems in future.

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