Proceedings of the Sustainable Taro Culture for the Pacific Conference

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    Effect of Alomae-Bobone Virus Complex on Young Taro Seedlings and Other Aroid Species in Controlled Conditions
    (University of Hawaii, 1993-01) Ivancic, Anton ; Liloqula, Ruth ; Levela, Helen ; Saelea, Jimi
    The effect of Alomae-Bobone Virus Complex (ABVC), the lethal disease of taro Colocasia esculenta in the Solomon Islands, on young taro seedlings and on other aroid species has been studied. Young taro seedlings are very sensitive to the disease. The symptoms of the disease are not uniform. Other aroid species can also be affected by ABVC in controlled conditions.
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    Ecology of a Typical Taro Farm at Sabana, Rota, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
    (University of Hawaii, 1993-01) Ragus, L.N. ; Almario, V.M. ; Richards, H.
    The ecological study of a typical taro farm at Sabana, Rota, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) was conducted from October, 1990 to June, 1991 to compare the pests associated with taro under low-input, high-input, and farmer's practice of weeding taro. This experiment was superimposed with a yield/profitability study of taro under weeding at 60 and 120 days after planting (OAP) (low input); 30, 60, 90, and 120 OAP (high input); and rototilling at 60 and 120 OAP (farmer's practice). Under the three weed management schemes, common diseases associated with taro were not observed during the experimental period. Only planthopper (Tarophagus proserpina) was consistently observed for eight months. Low-input plots had more counts of nymphs and adult planthoppers than other treated plots. Weed counting done at 60, 120, and 180 days showed 15 weed species as commonly growing with taro. However, Eleusine indica L., Ageratum conyzoides L., and Bidens pilosa L. were predominant and aggressively competing with taro for space, light, water, and nutrients.
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    Research Priorities for Taro in the Pacific Islands
    (University of Hawaii, 1993-01) Ferentinos, Lisa
    During the final session of the conference, participants divided themselves into groups to discuss priorities for future taro research in the Pacific Islands.
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    Water Needs for Sustainable Taro Culture in Hawai'i
    (University of Hawaii, 1993-01) Penn, David C.
    Taro is a spiritual and nutritional center of Hawaiian culture, and the future of sustainable taro culture in Hawai 'i depends upon water. Water needs for expanded wetland and dryland field systems can be filled if physical and institutional changes are made. Potential for making such changes grows as agroeconomic alternatives for taro-based farming systems expand. While lands historically used for wetland taro cultivation hold strongly protected water rights, their water needs and those of other taro-producing lands continue to be strongly denied.
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    Taro Trade and Cost of Production in Selected Areas of the American Affiliated Pacific
    (University of Hawaii, 1993-01) Tipton, Trace V. ; Brown, John W. ; Leung, PingSun
    Much of the taro (Colocasia esculenta var. antiquorum) that is produced in the Pacific is not traded in the market, but rather it is used for other non-market purposes. Taro is used for home consumption, for social and cultural purposes, and it is sold in the market for income. This article reports general economic factors which influence taro production in American Samoa, Pohnpei, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Hawai'i. The rapid rural assessments provide a look at taro on islands that are in many different stages of economic development and of cultural intrusion. Generally, as an island developed economically and cultural intrusion increased, taro became less important in the diet and imported starches such as rice became more important. Farmers' motivations for growing taro change from sociocultural and subsistence to commercial, and with this change the use of mechanical equipment and fertilizers increased. Taro remains a viable and important crop in all of the areas studied with the possible exception of Guam.
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    Yield and Profitability of Taro Production Under Three Weed Management Schemes at Rota, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
    (University of Hawaii, 1993-01) Ragus, L.N. ; Almario, V.M. ; Richards, H.
    This experiment conducted at Sabana, Rota from October, 1990 to June, 1991 determined the yield and profitability of growing taro under three weed management schemes. These were weeding taro at 60 and 120 days after planting (low input), weeding taro at 30, 60, 90, and 120 days after planting (high input), and rototilling at 60 and 120 days after planting (farmer's practice). Taro plants under high-input plots produced the highest yields and profits. The farmer's practice had the lowest yields and profits. However, the corms under farmer's practice were big and fully developed. This study could not single out the effects of weed management in taro yield under farmer's practice due to tillage and/or wide space of planting (90 cm between plants and 90 cm between rows) and the other treatments (60 cm between plants and 90 cm between rows).
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    Traditional Taro Cultivation in the Solomon Islands
    (University of Hawaii, 1993-01) Liloqula, Ruth ; Saelea, Jimi ; Levela, Helen
    Taro (Colocasia esculenta), yams (Dioscorea spp.), sweet potato (Ipomea babatas), and Cassava (Manihot esculenta) are the four major root crops grown throughout the islands and are components of the daily diet. Taro and yam used to be the major root crops grown throughout the islands and are very much a part of the people's customs. This paper discusses origins and uses of taro, irrigation systems, local varieties, and diseases and pests impacting production in the Solomon Islands.
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    Taro Research in Palau Since 1990
    (University of Hawaii, 1993-01) Ngiralmau, Meresbang
    This paper reports the results of a project to research and document the traditional techniques of taro production in Palau. The researchers concluded that: 1) both pesticides and commercial fertilizer have no major significance in taro production; 2) traditional knowledge is rapidly being lost and needs to be preserved due to its ecological soundness; and 3) Colocasio taro is still culturally important and taro production is decreasing.
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    Continuing Role of Aroids in the Root Crop-Based Cropping System of Tonga
    (University of Hawaii, 1993-01) Pole, Finau S.
    For many generations, taro, together with other root crops, has been a major component of the traditional cropping system in Tonga and is its most important staple. The increasing problem of land shortage has resulted in a gradual change in the traditional cropping system, reducing the bush fallow to a minimum and replacing some root crops with vegetables. Susceptibility to drought has recently caused a marked decrease in taro production. In addition, the introduction of more attractive short-term cash crops has slowly caused taro to be replaced in their cropping system. This paper discusses the continuing important roles of taro either in a root crop based multiple cropping system or as a possible cash monocrop.
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    Taro Growing on Yap
    ( 1993-01) Falanruw, M.C.
    The documentation of traditional methods of growing taro is a major objective of the Low-Input Sustainable Agriculture Taro Project. On Yap, almost all taro is grown by low-input traditional methods without the use of chemical fertilizers or machinery. A number of these taro growing systems are described in the report which follows. The systems are arranged in a rough sequence from simple to more intensive methods.