Hawaii : Measures being taken to save taro root vegetable

Local legend has it that the precious root vegetable taro is the Hawaiian people's ancestor. Locally known as "kalo", it has held an important place for centuries in Hawaiian food and culture. However, having once been one of the most farmed root vegetables in the world, it's future has now been compromised due to taro mildew which is caused by a water-borne fungus. Over the last 50 years, yield has decreased by more than half. The scientist Susan Miyasaka and her team are testing a new mildew resistant taro. 

Irrigation is also a problem as taro needs a lot of water, which is being used by large farms, golf courses and urbanisation projects. Water rights people are trying to reverse the situation by prioritising small farms when it comes to water supply.

Source : National Geographic

Publication date: 2/26/2018

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