Penny thinks traditional varieties are underrated:
Where Hawaii’s research stations and taro farmers practice good soil husbandry, timely harvests and plant stock culling practices, traditional taro varieties thrive. An old Hawaiian saying – nana i ke kumu; look to the source.
This was in reply to a Brainfood snippet on a recent paper by Vincent Lebot and colleagues: “Adapting clonally propagated crops to climatic changes: a global approach for taro (Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott).”
Results indicated that hybrids tolerant to taro leaf blight (TLB, Phytophthora colocasiae Raciborski), developed by Hawaii, Papua New Guinea and Samoa breeding programmes outperformed local cultivars in most locations.