New Access for Samoan Taro to Australia

Taro Leaf Blight (TLB) describes the effects of the pathogen Phytopthora colocasiae on susceptible varieties of taro, causing leaf browning and later rapid and complete defoliation, and sometimes corm rot. TLB is present in Samoa but with the development of resistant cultivars (‘Samoa 1’ and ‘Samoa 2’), limited exports of fresh taro are occurring, to New Zealand and the USA.  This report proposes a TLB research and development program to help Samoan fresh taro meet Australian Biosecurity requirements. It outlines how such a program could be developed, noting there is no certainty that acceptable measures could be developed, and that it will likely take several years and require large quantities of taro and the co-operation of knowledgeable local experts and growers.

Key words: Phytophthora colocasiae, Taro Leaf Blight (TLB), Taro, Taro corms, area freedom, country freedom, devitalized corms, taro corms.

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