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Africa
*Madagascar & taro breeding
Central America & Caribbean
*CARDI scientists to Pacific
*Root crops meeting Cuba
Europe
*Taro viruses Solomon Is
*Drought tolerance
Oceania
*Anton visits NARI, PNG
 
 

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Library News  

Library News

June 2015 - Issue No.4  

Welcome to the Edible Aroids Newsletter

Cyclone Pam Devastates Vanuatu

On Friday 13 March a massive Cyclone passed through Vanuatu, only a month after INEA held its annual meeting there. Cyclone Pam was rated one of the strongest ever in the region, with wind gusts of 320 km/h! Pam had a devastating impact on agriculture and it will take months, years, for perennial crops to get back to normal. Some lessons were learnt, and here's a report from Vincent Lebot, INEA Technical Director.

Nowadays, anywhere on earth, but especially in the Southwest Pacific - a region of frequent cyclones - the warning system is very efficient as there are many satellites above us. We were well prepared, with a red alert on Thursday 12 March 2 days before the cyclone struck. This meant that we had time to get organised.

CyclonePamSml
We were well prepared, 2 days in advance, with a red alert on Thursday 12 March, a day before Cyclone Pam hit, said Vincent Lebot

All our cassava was cut down to 1 m and our yams still on their stakes were laid on the ground. Sweet potatoes and taro were left as they were. So what’s the situation now, 3 months later? READ MORE


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CARDI Scientists Visit SPC

Three scientists from Jamaica, St Vincent and Dominica, undertook attachments to the Secretariat of the Pacific Commission in May as part of an exchange program between the Caribbean and the Pacific. At SPC's CePaCT, Centre for Pacific Crops and Trees, the scientists spent a week learning to describe taro - Colocasia and Xanthosoma - as well as breeding, The training was given by Tolo Iosefa, SPC taro breeder. READ MORE


Snails  

Anton Visits NARI Papua New Guinea

In September last year, Anton Ivancic visited INIVIT, Cuba, and his account can be found in Newsletter No. 2. Now he reports on his visit to Papua New Guinea, his old "home" this is what he has to say. I was in Papua New Guinea, 9-19 February this year, immediately after our meeting in Vanuatu. READ MORE


Snails  

Screening Elite Taro for Drought Tolerance

In the last issue we mentioned that Humberto Nóbrega from the ISOPlexis Germplasm Bank of the University of Madeira, participated in the International Conference Agriculture and Climate Change - Adapting Crops to Increased Uncertainty, 15-17 February 2015, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. A poster was presented.  READ MORE


Snails  

Root Crop Meetings Galore - China and Cuba!

In the last newsletter we mentioned the World Congress on Root & Tuber Crops, Nanning, China 5-10 October 2015. This is a partnership between the International Society for Tropical Root Crops and the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century. But that is not all. INEA has now received an invitation from Cuba to attend the Third International Symposium on roots, rhizomes, tubers, plantains, bananas and papaya, 2023 October 2015. READ MORE


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DSMZ Zooms in on the Pacific Taro Viruses

In the last issue we reported that taro were sent by the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock, Solomon Islands to the German Collection of Microorganisms and Cell Cultures (DSMZ), Braunschweig. Many plants recovered from their journey – Stephan Winter thinks they were frozen en route! – and are showing symptoms of alomae and bobone. The holy grail of taro virology is to find out what causes these diseases. There is good news. READ MORE


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What is Colocasia taro?

A paper in the journal Aroideana by Peter Matthews and others on the taxonomy, evolution and domestication of taro caught our attention. The problem, they say, is that there is no way to tell if a wild population is present because of natural spread or put there by humans: wild taro are foods for humans and livestock. READ MORE


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Taro Breeding in Madagascar

Madagascar did not attend the annual meeting in Vanuatu in February this year. Nevertheless, Arsène Rakotondravao, the country’s INEA rep. visited Vanuatu later that month where he saw taro research at the Montmartre Catholic Mission, Port Vila with Vincent Lebot, and at VARTC, Espiritu Santo with Floriane Lawac. READ MORE


Snails  

Find us on Facebook!

We are trying to get to the widest audience possible using various media: website, newsletter and now Facebook. We will probably Tweet too! The Facebook site went ‘live’ in March. So far, there are 30 members – people who have “liked” the page. READ MORE


INEA is led by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Fiji, and the Centre de Cooporation Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Developpement (CIRAD), France and Vanuatu. The project is made possible by a generous EU grant of €3 million.