Thursday, December 20, 2012

Malama Kalo

People working in kaloTaro (kalo) is a culturally important crop in Hawai‘i—historically, there were as many as 300 varieties extant in native Hawaiian communities. CTAHR’s LIFE, Risk Management, and Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Programs are working with native Hawaiian communities across the state to preserve and perpetuate native Hawaiian taro varieties by maintaining taro germplasm collections at CTAHR’s research stations. Jerry Konanui, Penny Levin, and many volunteers dedicate time each year to sharing their knowledge about taro with CTAHR and verifying the varieties within the germplasm collection using descriptions in CTAHR Bulletin 84, “Taro Varieties in Hawaii.” Safeguarding native Hawaiian varieties through maintenance of the collection and establishing trusting partnerships with experts like Jerry Konanui and Penny Levin help CTAHR to preserve and perpetuate these rare, culturally significant plants.

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