For most farmers swamp taro is not new to them and has been part of their agriculture for generations. But swamp taro is not traditionally grown in all parts of the Solomons. KGA is looking to change that and make sure that farmers in all isolated areas have access to this important crop. Most farmers grow 1 or maybe 2 varieties of swamp taro. But KGA farmers have located seven varieties and this will help to broaden the diversity grown in swamp taro plots. Diversity of crops contributes to food security by reducing the risk of any one variety failing.
7 varieties of swamp taro have been collected by KGA in Choiseul and are being shared with farmers on the Guadalcanal weather coast (a new crop in that area). Swamp taro is a very good reserve crop and is used as an emergency food for many people in the Solomons. The large tubers can stay in the ground for a long period of time and be harvested when needed.
Swamp taro may be an important food crop for people in more isolated areas and maybe important in climate change adaptation. It is tolerant of very wet and high rainfall conditions which is the time when other crops such as sweet potato can have little yield.
All families in Solomons are encouraged by KGA to have a plot of swamp taro for their food security. Swamp taro is a staple food and can be cooked and used in many different ways. As the name implies, it is planted in swampy areas.
KGA is also working with the department of agriculture to import some disease free new varieties of swamp taro from Federated States of Micronesia.
If you are a PMN member and are interested in obtaining Swamp Taro varieties please contact Andrew Nanau or Thecla Limai