Rising demand puts taro on the menu for farmers

Main Stories

By JIMMY KALEBE
THE demand for taro in Lae is increasing with more farmers growing the root crop for local and commercial consumption.
According to researcher Ignatius Gena, of a Goroka-based food company, the potential of commercialising the root crop was high but approaches provided by authorities were not encouraging.
Gena said taro was flooding markets in Lae and the province should know that the food crop had the potential to make it on international scene if developed properly.
He said taro could be commercialised in a huge scale for export either in raw tuber or processed granules.
“Morobe farmers have grown varieties of taro with the help of National Agriculture Research Institute (Nari) and that has been very successful,” Gena said.
However, before commercialising, there is a need to set out an export market for the product.
He said the Bumalu Taro project funded by the former Morobe government needed to be revived.
Meanwhile, taro farmers in the Nabak local level government area of Nawaeb said since the the Bumalu Taro project, cultivation was boosted and commercialising it would be a good idea.
Taro farmer Priscilla John, of Wain, said they produced enough for the market but sometimes the crop was wasted when they could not be sold.
She said if a taro processing plant or marketing arrangement was found overseas, it would help local farmers.

Leave a Reply