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Taro - Tapping the full potential of a minor Australian crop

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Daniells, J. W. (2005) Taro - Tapping the full potential of a minor Australian crop. Acta Horticulturae, 694 . pp. 295-299.

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2005.694.48


Taro is the fourteenth most important food crop by production in the world, yet in Australia it barely makes the top 100 and is relatively unknown by most of the population. Production of about 1000 t is predominantly from the wet tropical coast of north Queensland with small supplies from the Northern Territory, southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. Bun Long is the most widely produced variety and is preferred mainly by Asian consumers in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Lesser quantities of Pacific taro types are also produced. These are preferred mainly by Pacific Islanders in Australia. However, imports of Pacific taros, mainly from Fiji, are about treble the total Australian supply of all taro. Presently there are severe threats to the survival of the two major industries on the wet tropical coast - sugar and bananas. A range of alternatives is much needed. Taro is one crop that should be considered but its successful expansion depends on significant improvement in the efficiencies of production, connecting suppliers to consumers via strong supply chains and major awareness campaigns and education of consumers to properly appreciate the very special qualities of taro. Current developments include the establishment of a taro chip (crisp) factory at Babinda (Far North Queensland) with support from the Australian Government's New Industries Development Program (NIDP). Also the Australian Government's Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) have been supporting research projects on aspects of industry mechanization, taro chip production feasibility and the investigation of export market potential of Japanese taro to Japan. A project funded by RIRDC to specifically assist in industry development has recently commenced.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Plant culture > Harvesting, curing, storage
Plant culture > Vegetables
Live Archive:11 Jul 2017 02:29
Last Modified:03 Nov 2022 23:55

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