By Bethanie Harriman – EMTV News, Lae
A National Agricultural Research Institute based Papua New Guinean kaukau expert, Elic Guaf, says there are twenty-two varieties that can be planted in areas facing food shortages after the drought.
People in Telefomin in the Sandaun Province need early maturing Kaukau plants, to plant after pests destroyed Taro and Kaukau in their gardens.
Guaf also explained techniques to protect kaukau against insects and pests.
The Kaukau research was done to combat the affects of climate change on Kaukau.
But,the results are also useful in addressing food security after the drought, because there is a quicker yield just after ninety-eight days.
“Sweet potato is ideal in any case. There are varieties for the lowlands and the highlands adaptable to any condition once the crop hits the soil” says Guaf.
In a green house, are sweet potato variety which are part of the twenty-two researched and identified by the institute.
NARI’s Elic Guaf says all twenty-two are available to local farmers depending on their soil makeup.
In Telefomin and Kabwum, district pests and fungal diseases destroyed kaukau and taro still in the ground when the rains came.
There is now a food shortage, raising the need for early maturing crops.