Samoa shows way to fight dreaded taro leaf blight

Taro struck by the leaf blight.

Taro struck by the leaf blight.

by Alan Ah Mu

APIA: WEDNESDAY 10 JULY 2013: Methods used in Samoa to fight the dreaded taro leaf blight has been recorded in a book.

The blight brought a flourishing export industry to its knees in 1993.

A new publication, the Taro Leaf Blight Manual discusses how Samoa tackled the disease successfully through a breeding programme which has seen taro revived as a top source of food and an export crop.

The manual explains the steps involved in a taro breeding programme and how to establish a participatory taro breeding programme, says Land Resources Division, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, in a release

“A step by step approach is used to explain the breeding process which should enable any farmer, researcher or extension agent to breed taro,” says the release.

The publication concludes by highlighting the risks of taro leaf blight (TLB) faced by other countries in the Pacific, under the projected climate conditions for the region, with recommended strategies for consideration.

The manual can be downloaded from the LRD website:, and hard copies are forthcoming from Noumea.

If you cannot download an e-copy please contact Miriama Kunawave Brown on who will forward a copy.