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Sustainable Management Practices of Taro (Colocasia esculenta) Production in Western Samoa

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Title:  Sustainable Management Practices of Taro (Colocasia esculenta) Production in Western Samoa
Authors: Liyanage, A de S.
Misipati, Peni
Keywords: Colocasia esculenta
sustainable agriculture
traditional farming
Western Samoa
Issue Date: Jan 1993
Publisher: University of Hawaii
Citation: Liyanage A de S, Misipati P. 1993. Sustainable management practices of taro (Colocasia esculenta) production in Western Samoa. In: Ferentinos L, editor. Proceedings of the Sustainable Taro Culture for the Pacific Conference. Sustainable Taro Culture for the Pacific Conference; 1992 Sept 24-25; Honolulu, Hawaii. Honolulu (HI): University of Hawaii. p. 79-83.
Series/Report no.: Research Extension Series
Abstract: A Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) survey was conducted in 30 farms in ten villages in different parts of Upolu Island of Western Samoa to ascertain the traditional sustainable methods of cultivation of taro (Colocasia esculenta). It was the major crop in a mixed cropping system under
coconut. It was also grown extensively as a monocrop, mainly in areas where forests and abandoned bush land were cleared for planting. Few farmers used insecticides, but none used fungicides to control pests and diseases, respectively. Cluster caterpillar Spodoptera litura was the most serious pest. It was controlled by crushing the caterpillars and their egg masses and cutting and burning severely infected leaves. Corm rot by Pythium spp. caused considerable damage in the wet areas. It was controlled by uprooting the plants and destroying the infected corms and also by not planting in poorly drained soils. Several major species of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous weeds were present. Herbicides were widely used. Most applied them two to three times after planting, while some removed weeds manually and used
them as a mulch. Farmers owning large holdings fallow the land for 12-18
months, while many others used short fallows of six to eight months. A few carried out continuous cropping. Erythrina subumbrans was extensively used, mainly in areas where taro was grown as a monocrop, and the loppings were used as a mulch. The cation exchange capacity (CEC), calculated from the organic carbon content, was over 20me/100g soil. This indicated that the soil fertility
is good. Inorganic fertilizers were not used by many farmers. Soil erosion was prevented by mulching and allowing tree trunks and branches to remain on the ground.
Pages/Duration: 5 pages
ISSN: 0271-9916
Appears in Collections:Taro
Proceedings of the Sustainable Taro Culture for the Pacific Conference

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