Sovi Basin communities yesterday receives three new taro varieties that are tolerant to Taro Leaf Blight (TLB) – a disease that is present in some Pacific Island countries such as Samoa, Hawaii, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Guam and Federated States of Micronesia. These varieties namely Tarova Loa, Tarova Vula and SL/SM 44 has been distributed to three villages and are being planted in nurseries. At maturity, they will be de-topped leaving the corms in the ground to produce more suckers. The villages that receives these new taro varieties includes Delailasakau, Naseuvou and Nadakuni. None of Fiji’s over 70 traditional varieties will tolerate the disease if it ever comes to Fiji. The addition of these three new varieties into the existing collection will certainly help the communities in food security.
The three new taro varieties
New taro varieties sorted and prepared to be distributed to the Sovi Basin villages.
Sovi Basin Conservation Officer Vilikesa Masibalavu looks at the Waidina River valleys where the project hope to develop more of these new varieties for distribution and cultivation.